On Saturday night, members of the Democratic Socialist group Defend North East Los Angeles chased members of the alt-right “Western chauvinism” Proud Boys group out of a local bar called The Griffin, shouting things like “No Proud Boys, no KKK, no fascist USA” and “Fascist pigs, squeal. You’re all swine.” Police showed up as bar staff asked the Proud Boys to leave. The Proud Boys continued loudly arguing with socialists outside of the bar. Videos of the Los Angeles Proud Boys incident have since gone viral on Twitter.
In case you’re not familiar with the Proud Boys, their Facebook group says their values include being pro-life, advocating for free speech, supporting gay rights and the Trump administration. The group also claims to stand against Islam, Nazism and feminism.
While the group’s founder Gavin McInnes acts as if the group is just for rowdy, prankish dudes, Proud Boys occasionally attend attend white supremacist rallies and remain in close intellectual company with neo-Nazis and other hate groups.
Democratic Socialists are aligned with the political philosophy that believes society and the economy should be run democratically to meet public needs rather than profits for a wealthy few.
The Griffin describes itself as a “cavernous watering hole with arched-brick ceilings, fireplaces and a spacious patio.”
In the videos posted on Twitter by the Democratic Socialists (below), you can hear them say things to the Proud Boys like, “Nobody wants you here,” “Fuck you, fascist” and “Get out of here, Nazi.”
In response, the Proud Boys — some wearing Donald Trump’s red trademark “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) caps — make “okay” hand gestures (a gesture increasingly used by the alt-right) and ask why they’re being asked to leave. They also ask whether they’ll be safe outside considering the angry people inside the bar.
Last night our members and allies in @defendnela ran a proud boy meet up out of the Griffin in Atwater Village. The bar knew about it and the manager defended them, but we shut it down anyway. Don’t let nazis convene in your city! pic.twitter.com/96GzdwHG18
— DSA Los Angeles ? (@DSA_LosAngeles) July 15, 2018
In the video above, a Proud Boy says, “Irish people were slaves just like the fucking black people.” While Irish people historically worked as indentured servants to wealthier people who often treated them horrendously, their treatment was vastly different from black slavery, according to The New York Times. Irish Indentured servants were still considered people and were often freed after about seven years of servitude.
In response to the Los Angeles Proud Boys incident at The Griffin, the bars owner wrote, on Instagram (below), “I’m Jewish and finding out that my bar was overrun by a hate group has had a legitimate emotional impact on me and has made it hard for me to function…. Neither I nor my business partner support any Nazi or white supremacist groups and this is not a Nazi bar.”
The owner claims that the bar didn’t have advanced notice that the Proud Boys would show up. The owner also writes that when the incident occurred, they only had a few employees working.
“Ideally, [the Proud Boys] would be stopped at the door, but since a they were already inside I advised that we use a tactic that I’ve used in the past with gang members or people that are obviously in there to cause problems: Kill them with kindness and they’ll get bored and go away,” the owner writes.
The owner adds, “We are generally a pretty mellow and peaceful bar with no real security and I foolishly thought this was the best way to ensure they’d leave …”
While some people on Instagram have criticized The Griffin bar for permitting the Los Angeles Proud Boys to meet there in the first place, others have sympathized with how the bar handled a tense situation.
Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes says that conservatives, guys in MAGA caps and Proud Boys regularly get publicly harassed for their political affiliation.
The Los Angeles Proud Boys incident is somewhat similar to an April 2017 incident in which alt-right douchebag Milo Yiannopoulos and his gay conservative pal Chadwick Moore (both who have appeared on McInnes’ web show) were both shouted out of a New York City bar by people chanting, “Nazi scum, get out.” Neither was wearing a MAGA hat at the time.
To join the Proud Boys, wannabe members must go through a four-degree initiation process. The first requires publicly outing oneself as a Proud Boy. The second involves taking a beating from other members until the pledge can name five kinds of breakfast cereal. This initiation step also requires a vow to abstain from masturbation. To complete the third degree, the new member must get a Proud Boy tattoo.
What do you think of the Los Angeles Proud Boys incident at The Griffin bar?
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