Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Central, Queer, Trans
Last Sunday, community members mobilized in Denver, Colorado, as the pro-Trump street gang the Proud Boys teamed up with neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Worker Party and Patriot Front to protest “Drag for All Ages,” a monthly event held at Mile High Comics, which was also serving as a benefit for a scholarship fund. Members of the Parasol Patrol, a LGBTQ youth support group, along with antifascists, were on hand to protect the event from about two dozen Proud Boys, neo-Nazis, and far-Right Christians, and were able to successfully drown out the neo-Nazi and far-Right groups who screamed “graphic and obscene” statements at those attending the event.
big ups to the anti-fascists who stood against the proud boys, former traditionalist workers party nerds, and nazi flat earthers who were harassing children at Mile High Comics on Sunday!#noplacefornazis#webashback pic.twitter.com/I9NiaWpqn1
— Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists (@COSAntifa) October 2, 2019
In a livestream posted to Facebook, one of the Denver area Proud Boys, Antonio “Enki” Balderas, recorded himself and a collection of Proud Boys, far-Right trolls, and neo-Nazis, marching towards Mile High Comics. After introducing leading members of the Proud Boys, Balderas stated that they were also being joined by members of Anonymous and “some of our friends from TWP.” Ironically, according to one YouTube interview, Balderas is the Denver Proud Boys’ “Vetting Officer,” although the leadership of the national group has stated again and again, that it does not associate with the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, or white nationalists.
During Balderas’s livestream, one can see members of the TWP carrying shields and wearing Nazi styled army helmets, such as TWP members did during Unite the Right in Charlottesville. Balderas also stated that the Proud Boys were protesting to “stop the pedophilia happening in Colorado” and that, “Children [are], stripping for money, for pedophiles.” One Proud Boy wearing an Alex Jones mask screamed into the camera, “They already turned the frogs gay, we’re not gonna let em turn our kids gay!,” to which the wider crowd screamed, “Yeah!”
The Proud Boys, the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), and Patriot Front, which is simply a re-brand of Vanguard America, were all central to organizing the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. James Alex Fields, Jr, the man who was recently sentenced for the murder of Heather Heyer, was photographed marching along side members of Vanguard America while also carrying a shield with the group’s logo.
"Our friends from TWP." Last Sunday, #ProudBoys marched with neo-Nazi groups in #Denver against a queer + trans youth event to benefit scholarship fund, claiming,"Children [are] stripping for money, for pedophiles." Community groups mobilized against them. https://t.co/XjLcvY8Eo9 pic.twitter.com/Ho2k31Nz7J
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) October 5, 2019
TWP and Vanguard America were also both members of a confederation of neo-Nazi organizations called the Nationalist Front (NF), which also included the National Socialist Movement and the League of the South. Following the events in Charlottesville, the NF disbanded, the TWP largely fell apart after its leader, Matthew Heimbach, went to jail for domestic abuse, and Vanguard America attempted to rebrand as Patriot Front.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 13, 2017
The TWP has never hid their admiration for Adolf Hitler or the Nazi party and their leader Matthew Heimbach has also openly called for the complete genocide of all Jews. On one podcast he stated:
“Exterminationism toward the Jews is the only way to do it. Cause they will plant a seed anywhere, like in Antarctica if they have to. If we don’t get them all they will come back. Like they have to fucking go, every God damn one of them. The international Jew and the local Jew, I don’t care if he runs a fucking bagel shop, he’s got to go.”
The Proud Boys were also heavily involved in the Unite the Right rally; Jason Kesler, the event’s organizer, was a member of the group, and numerous members of the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (FOAK), the “military” wing of the Proud Boys, attended the rally, including the current leader of the Proud Boys and the Florida Director of Latinos for Trump, Enrique Tarrio. Currently, a member of the Proud Boys, Alex Michael Ramos, is doing prison time for taking part in the brutal beating of DeAndre Harris inside a parking garage, alongside several members of the TWP. After Unite the Right however, the Proud Boys attempted to distance themselves from the Alt-Right and white nationalism, often to mixed results.
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) April 29, 2017
The fact that members of the Proud Boys are comfortable mobilizing and marching side by side members of neo-Nazi groups in 2019, shows that nothing has changed – that the Proud Boys still seek out and are actively building alliances with neo-Nazi groups in order to engage in street violence against their enemies: the LGBTQ community, Black Lives Matter, anti-ICE protesters, and anyone organizing against far-Right violence and the Trump administration.
"Nazis are my best friends!" "These are the 1488 Proud Boys!" In their own words, #ProudBoys explain why Joe Biggs + Enrique Tarrio are building a coalition of neo-Nazis, Alt-Right, militias + white nationalists to rally in #Portland to attack anyone they deem as being "Left." pic.twitter.com/2InicQBsru
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 16, 2019
Despite claiming to be open to gay male members and the “dating of trans,” time and time again, the Proud Boys have mobilized against the queer and trans community, joining in anti-LGBTQ protests across the US, harassing trans marches, and protesting against the Drag Queen Story Hour. The Proud Boys justify this by echoing the false claims of far-Right conspiracy theorists and grifters like Alex Jones of InfoWars, currently in the middle of several Sandy Hook related lawsuits, that these events are front for pedophiles.
Sunday’s events are not the first time that members of the Proud Boys in the Denver area have stood side by side neo-Nazis. In 2017, the Proud Boys organized a so-called “Free Speech” rally in Boulder that was also attended by members of the Traditionalist Worker Party.
Following Sunday’s rally, Denver area Proud Boy, Louis Zachary Huey, posted a YouTube video claiming that antifascists had slashed all of his car’s tires.