According to The Wall Street Journal, two Proud Boys members John Kinsman and Maxwell Hare, were found to be guilty of gang assault and attempted assault on Monday. This comes after a fight in 2018 after the Proud Boys founder made a speech at a Republican club in New York City.
Proud Boys is a far-right organization that only admits men. According to their website, “The basic tenet of the group is that we are ‘Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Like Archie Bunker, we long for the days when “girls were girls and men were men.’ This wasn’t controversial even twenty years ago, but being proud of Western culture today is like being a crippled, black, lesbian communist in 1953.”
Kinsman and Hare allegedly attacked members of Antifa, a far-left group, who were protesting the speech outside of the Republican club.
Both men could now be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Defense lawyers for the men, Jack Goldberg and Ronald Paul Hart, argue that the fight was initiated by Antifa members who ran at Kinsman and Hare and threw a bottle at them. Antifa members also allegedly made several threatening phone calls to the speech venue the day of the event, leading Kinsman and Hare to think that they needed to defend themselves, according to Goldberg and Paul.
Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass disagreed, saying the actions of the Proud Boys was beyond self-defense.
“What these defendants did was beyond overkill,” Steinglass said. “Words alone, unaccompanied by physical threats or acts does not make a person the original aggressor.”
Kinsman is on surveillance tape body slamming and kicking an Antifa member. The surveillance also caught Hare punching another Antifa member repeatedly.
“Within 10 seconds of this brawl, everyone on the Antifa side was either down, or running away. This beating was never about self-defense. It was about payback,” said Steinglass.
Although Kinsman insisted that the Antifa member was kicking him too, Steinglass said that the video revealed the Antifa member “desperately and unsuccessfully trying to block those kicks.”
Proud Boys overtly encourages violence. In order to become the highest level in the organization, or a “fourth degree” Proud Boy, a person must get into a physical altercation or get arrested in the name of the organization. This bylaw was removed after the October fight.
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