Donate

Videos Allegedly Show Proud Boys Beating Protesters After Gavin McInnes Event At Manhattan GOP Club

A mob of pro-Trump right wing extremists appear to have beaten a small group of protesters in the streets of Manhattan on Friday night, following an appearance at the Metropolitan Republican Club by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.

A disturbing video taken at the scene by independent journalist Sandi Bachom appears to show dozens of Proud Boys swarming two people on the ground, shouting "you're dead, motherfucker" and "faggot" as they take turns attacking them. Three people were arrested following the event, according to police, though a public defender with the Legal Aid Society says she's confirmed that the arrests were of anti-racist protesters. An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist that they have "no reference to Proud Boys" in any police reports.

A longer video from Proud Boys member Christopher Wright, which is excerpted in the Tweet directly above, was removed from Facebook this morning. It showed members of the group shouting "I LIKE BEER" as they walk on after the assault. The phrase is in reference to recently confirmed Supreme Court associate justice Brett Kavanaugh, who repeatedly declared his fondness for beer during a Senate hearing about his alleged attempt to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in high school.

Around the 4:30 mark of Wright's video, a Proud Boy could be heard shouting, "I had one of their heads and I was just smashing it into the pavement! I ripped that motherfucker's mask off and kicked him right in the head! That son of a bitch! He's a fucking foreigner!"

A high five is exchanged.

[UPDATE: We've received a copy of that video, which you can watch below].

After the attack, members of the Proud Boys posed for a group photo, according to photographer Shay Horse, who was at the scene. "I haven’t seen a fight that violent in a long time," he tweeted. "The proud boys were totally ready and willing to be violent tonight. They didn’t even wear masks."

The self-identified "Western Chauvinists" had apparently descended on the Upper East Side during an anti-McInnes protest outside the Metropolitan Club. Earlier in the day, vandals painted anarchist symbols on the doors of the clubhouse, smashed two windows, and left a note condemning the conservative group for inviting "a hipster-fascist clown to dance for them." While McInnes spoke at the event on Friday night, a crowd of at least 50 protesters gathered, chanting "Kill more Nazis."

The Proud Boys—described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a leading "recruiting ground for white nationalists and anti-Semites"—have a history of street violence, and were involved in several fights with antifascists during a McInnes appearance at NYU last year (A member of the group attacked two reporters, including this one). Following that event, McInnes told a right-wing radio host, "I cannot recommend violence enough. It is a really effective way to solve problems."

This week, McInnes promised that, during his Metropolitan Club appearance, he'd re-enact the "inspiring moment" a Japanese socialist was killed. He was escorted into the clubhouse by police on Friday, apparently carrying a Samurai sword.

Asked prior to the event whether the Metropolitan Club had any misgivings about providing a platform to someone like McInnes, board chairman Ian Reilly told Gothamist, "He is part of the right. We promote people and ideas of all kinds from the right. We're open to different views. We would never invite anyone who would incite violence."

GOP Chairman Ed Cox, meanwhile, described the previous day's vandalism as, "a level of violence that we have not seen before."

Neither Reilly nor Cox responded to Gothamist's request for comment on Saturday.

We'll update as more information becomes available.


UPDATE:
In a statement, Deputy Police Commissioner Phil Walzak said that the NYPD is "currently reviewing additional video and other evidence from events last night to determine if other crimes were committed and, if so, identify those perpetrators and make further arrests as warranted." He encouraged anyone with information or video to contact the police immediately at 1-800-577-TIPS. "There is no tolerance for violence anywhere in New York City, and the NYPD will do everything in its power to ensure public safety," Walzak added.

Featured in News