The Proud Boys chairman has been banned from Washington, DC, ahead of this week’s pro-Trump rally.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested Monday night on a destruction of property warrant stemming from a mid-December protest that involved the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to a historically Black church in the nation’s capital
When Tarrio was taken into custody, police found two high-powered magazines branded with the Proud Boys logo in his bag, according to DC Superior Court documents viewed by Insider.
The devices were unloaded, and Tarrio told law enforcement he intended to sell them to someone he was meeting in DC at the rally.
Tarrio pleaded not guilty to destruction of property and possession of a high-capacity ammunition feeding device charges Tuesday afternoon from his holding cell at the metro police station.
Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond ordered Tarrio, who was held overnight, to be released on the condition that he stay out of the District of Columbia.
Raymond said she was imposing the condition because Tarrio recently posted a meme on the encrypted chat platform Parler indicating he would burn another Black Lives Matter flag.
The Proud Boys leader also posted about burning the church’s banner on social media.
The flag burning took place during the Dec. 12 Trump rally, for which Tarrio previously told Insider he was overseeing security.
Tarrio, who is Cuban-American, has maintained to Insider that Proud Boys – a recognized hate group linked to street fights and violence around the US – is not racist or white supremacists by nature, while recognizing that some members hold those beliefs.
“Given there are a lot of Black Lives Matter placards, banners, and alike in the District of Columbia, this will be the least restrictive condition” of release, Judge Raymond said.
At the time of his arrest, Tarrio was arriving ahead of a pro-Trump rally planned to take place in the city this week. The demonstration is intended to coincide with Congress formalizing the presidential election results on Wednesday.
Donald Trump, who continues to fuel conspiracy theories that President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory was fraudulent, recently tweeted that the rally would be “wild.”
The National Guard has been activated to handle crowd control this week.
The leader of the far-right group Proud Boys was arrested Monday in Washington, DC, on charges of destruction of property, a spokesman for the DC Metropolitan Police Department confirmed.
Enrique Tarrio, the Proud Boys chairman, was arrested after he arrived in DC in relation to the burning a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to a historic Black church during a protest in downtown Washington, DC, on December 12.
“At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines,” according to the statement. “He was additionally charged with Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device.”
Police stopped a vehicle Tarrio was in as it entered the city from the airport, Dustin Sternbeck, a MPDC spokesman, told The Washington Post. The Proud Boys leader was charged with one misdemeanor count of destruction of property and two counts of possession of high capacity ammunition feeding devices, referring to magazines that allow firearms to hold additional bullets, according to The Post report.
Tarrio told The Post in a December interview that he burned the banner and would plead guilty to charges of destruction of property if the criminal charge was filed.
The Proud Boys leader also posted about burning the banner on social media.
“Against the wishes of my attorney I am here today to admit that I am the person responsible for the burning of this sign,” Tarrio wrote in a post on the social media app Parler, which is favored by the far-right. “And I am not ashamed of what I did because I didn’t do it out of hate…I did it out of love.”
“Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong,” he continued.
Representatives from the DC Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
A number of historically Black churches were vandalized during the DC protests in mid-December. Black Lives Matter banners belonging to Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church were taken down amid the protests.
The Proud Boys leader arrived in Washington, DC, in anticipation of another round of demonstrations on January 6, to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden. Tarrio posted on far-right message boards, saying that members of the far-right extremist group would “turn out in record numbers” and would roam around the city “incognito.”
Members of the far-right group, the Proud Boys, will head to Washington, DC to rally for President Donald Trump on January 6 – the day on which Congress is scheduled to meet to finalize the 2020 presidential election results.
Leaders from the group have shared with their followers that they intend to attend the rally “incognito” and wearing “ALL black.”
The Proud Boys’ chairman, Enrique Tarrio, revealed on Parler that “the Proud Boys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but, this time, with a twist.”
The twist, Tarrio said, is that they will forgo their traditional uniform for something inconspicuous.
He wrote: “We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow.”
The group’s standard uniform is black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts, military armor, and MAGA hats.
Instead, the chairman explained: “We might dress in all BLACK for the occasion.”
Followers of antifa, an anti-fascist movement, typically wear all-black clothing.
The Proud Boys intend to take further steps to blend in with other protesters.
Tarrio wrote: “We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams.”
Joe Biggs, an organizer for the group, confirmed the alleged plans on his Parler account.
In a video, he said: “We will not be attending DC in colors. We will be blending in as one of you. You won’t see us. You’ll even think we are you. “
He continued: “We are going to smell like you, move like you, and look like you. The only thing we’ll do that’s us is think like us! Jan 6th is gonna be epic.”
During a special legislative session Monday at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, far-right protesters stormed the statehouse as lawmakers were inside.
Anti-lockdown protesters, some of whom were armed, called on lawmakers and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to reopen the state and end COVID-19 restrictions.
Lawmakers met early Monday morning to review five bills related to COVID-19 relief, including an extension of Oregon’s eviction moratorium and relief for victims of regional wildfires.
By 8:30 a.m., as protesters coalesced around the Capitol door, Oregon state police declared an unlawful assembly, according to authorities, according to authorities and local reports.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, among the dozens of protesters were members of Patriot Prayer, a far-right, violent group sympathetic to white supremacists, based in Vancouver, Washington. Local Proud Boy affiliates also attended and were heavily armed, according to The Daily Beast.
After local police declared an unlawful assembly, the group of protesters grew angrier and chanted “let us in” and “Arrest Kate Brown!” As protesters ignored the decree, they moved in on the capitol door and clashed with police, who were wearing gas masks, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
According to Oregon State Police, protesters sprayed police with bear spray and other “chemical agents.” Two hours after protesters broke into the Capitol, Police pushed them out and made more arrests, with the Oregon state police announcing four arrests made today.
“When people attempted to come in to the building they actually used pepper spray and other things on officers. In return we used those to separate ourselves and get them to hold that spot. So I don’t know what all was used but I know at least pepper ball was used,” Lt. Treven Upkes of Salem Police told the Statesman Journal.
In videos shot by local journalists, anti-lockdown protesters can be seen kicking and jamming a flagpole into the statehouse doors to break the glass before entering.
In other videos (and in response to being filmed), protesters are seen assaulting and intimidating members of the press covering the protests.
Sergio Olmos, a journalist with Oregon Public Broadcasting, filmed Brian Hayes of the Salem Statesman being physically assaulted and followed by anti-lockdown protesters as he photographs of the attempted break-in.
According to OPB, at least one state senator addressed the crowd in support. During the legislative session, Republican State Senator Dallas Heard reportedly rebuked the Capitol’s mask requirement.
“If you had not done such great evil to my people and had simply asked me to ear my mask, I would have,” Heard said, ripping off his mask. “But you commanded it, and therefore I declare my right to protests against your false authority and remove my mask.”
Heard later accused state senators of engaging in a “campaign against the people and the children of God.”
The far-right movement came out of the shadows in the last year.
The year 2020, defined by a global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, brought white supremacists, right-wing extremists, and other groups promoting social unrest into the limelight.
From the Proud Boys to QAnon, the armed militias, and the Boogaloo Bois, scroll down to find out more about how far-right extremism made its way back into the limelight in 2020.
The year 2020 has been defined by white supremacists’ rapid growth, right-wing extremists, and other groups who promote hate, division, and social unrest.
These groups have been fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the 2020 presidential election.
The Proud Boys, a far-right political organization that calls itself a “fraternity” of “Western chauvinists”, gained national media attention during the first presidential debate when President Trump told them to “stand back and stand by.”
The group was founded in 2018 by Gavin McInnes, who is also the co-founder of Vice Media.
While McInnes and other leaders of the group have denied that it is racist, some members “espouse white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies” and are involved in white supremacist organizations, according to the ADL.
Classified by the FBI as an”extremist group with ties to white nationalism,” the Proud Boys are known for holding rallies to protest left-wing groups and stoking violence.
The Proud Boys also made appearances at political rallies this year, including a November “Million MAGA March” demonstration against the election results.
The fraternity’s international chairman, Enrique Tarrio, told Insider in September that some of its members were running for the 2020 election, but declined to identify them by name.
“We have our guys who are running for office, and we’ll be busy door-knocking pretty much across the county,” Tarrio told Insider at the time. “We’re focused on the election and getting our favorite candidates elected, including our guys.”
Other organizations that came to the forefront in 2020 include the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely organized far-right, anti-government group known for wearing trademark Hawaiian shirts and wielding rifles at various protests.
The Boogaloo Bois, who are supporters of the Second Amendment, have called for a second US civil war and an uprising against the federal government.
The Boogaloo Bois have been linked to several crimes. Earlier this week, one member pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide weapons and resources to US-designated terrorist group Hamas.
“This case highlights the real threat posed by domestic violent extremists who self-radicalize and threaten to violently attack others opposed to their views, with little or no warning,” said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office, according to Insider.
The same has been witnessed in other European countries, including the United Kingdom, where fascist symbols or QAnon references often make an appearance in anti-lockdown protests.
In the summer, hundreds of demonstrators, some of whom belonged to far-right groups, clashed with police during a protest in London. This picture,- of a BLM supporter carrying an injured counter-protester to safety – made national headlines.
Experts worry right-wing extremism will continue to be a problem in the years to come. Top international security officials last year ranked it as one of the world’s most serious security threats alongside space security, climate change, and emerging technologies.
Clashes broke out between protesters, counter-protesters, and police on Saturday night, leaving multiple injuries and nearly two dozen arrests following a day of pro-Trump rallies in Washington, DC.
Two days before the electoral college vote is expected to solidify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, thousands demonstrated in support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election.
The march was largely made up of people who defended the president’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud and refused to acknowledge that Biden won the election.
Hundreds of members of the Proud Boys were in attendance as well, and could be seen in videos marching while chanting “fuck antifa.” The far-right group is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Later in the evening, pro-Trump protesters and Proud Boys clashed with black-clad counter-protesters near Black Lives Matter Plaza and other areas of DC. The Washington Post reported at least six people were arrested during the protests earlier on Saturday.
The DC mayor’s office said at least 23 arrests were made related to the protests, and at least eight people were hospitalized, local Fox 5 DC reported. Two of those hospitalized were reportedly police officers.
The pro-Trump rally occured one day after the Supreme Court rejected a bid to overturn the election results. It was the latest in a string of defeats for the Trump campaign and other Republican officials who have mounted a flurry of legal challenges to no avail.