Loading...

Canada Designates the Proud Boys as a Terrorist Entity

February 4, 2021by Rob Gillis, Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2020, file photo, a protester carries a Proud Boys banner, a right-wing group, while other members start to unfurl a large U.S. flag in front of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore. The Canadian government designated the Proud Boys group as a terrorist entity on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, noting they played a pivotal role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government designated the Proud Boys group as a terrorist entity on Wednesday, noting they played a pivotal role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Proud Boys have faced increased scrutiny after seizing on the former Trump administration’s policies and the group was a major agitator during earlier protests and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. The Proud Boys is a far-right, male chauvinist extremist group known for engaging in violent clashes at political rallies. Canada is the first country to designate them as a terrorist entity.

During a September presidential debate, Donald Trump had urged the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” when asked to condemn them by a moderator.

Senior officials speaking on a technical briefing said authorities had been monitoring and collecting evidence about the Proud Boys before the Capitol Hill insurrection, but confirmed that the event provided information that helped with the decision to list the organization.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said they revealed themselves.

“Their intent and their escalation toward violence became quite clear,” Blair said.

Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of Proud Boys, called the terrorist designation “ridiculous.”

“There is no basis for it. It’s infringement of free speech rights. All the Canadian Proud Boys have ever done is go to rallies,” Tarrio said in a phone interview.

“They used what happened at the Capitol to push for this.”

Tarrio said the Canadian chapters are very quiet compared to their American counterparts. He estimated there are between 1,000 and 1,500 Proud Boys in Canada.

Tarrio was arrested in Washington shortly before the Capitol riot. He was accused of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church during an earlier protest in the nation’s capital.

U.S. Federal authorities, meanwhile, arrested Wednesday a man who describes himself as the “Sergeant of Arms” of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys after he was charged in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol. He is at least the eighth defendant linked to the Proud Boys facing federal charges after thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win

Asked whether the U.S. will follow Canada and designate Proud Boys as a terrorist entity, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. has a domestic extremism review underway. “We will wait for that review to conclude before we make any determinations,” Psaki said.

The terrorist designation in Canada means the group may have assets seized and face harsher terrorism-related criminal penalties. A government official said just because they are a member doesn’t mean they will be charged with a crime, but if they do engage in violent acts they could be charged with terrorist crimes.

Sending money to the organization or buying Proud Boys paraphernalia would also be a crime.

“The group and its members have openly encouraged, planned, and conducted violent activities against those they perceive to be opposed to their ideology and political beliefs,” the Canadian government said in briefing materials.

“The group regularly attends Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests as counter-protesters, often engaging in violence targeting BLM supporters. On January 6, 2021, the Proud Boys played a pivotal role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.”

The government calls the Proud Boys a neo-fascist organization with semiautonomous chapters located in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It said it engages in political violence and that members espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacist ideologies.

“Since 2018 we have seen an escalation towards violence for this group,” Blair said.

Blair said four right-wing groups including a white supremacist group called The Base that espoused using violence to accelerate overthrowing the U.S. government and Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division were also designated as terrorist entities. They are a part of 13 additions to the list which also include three groups linked to al-Qaida, four associated with the Islamic State group and one Kashmiri organization.

The Proud Boys were formed in 2016 by Canadian Gavin McInnes, who co-founded Vice Media. Tarrio said McInnes is no longer a member.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said Trudeau’s Liberal government is trying to attach their star to the anti-Trump sentiment prevalent in Canada.

“Since the Proud Boys are identified with Trump, they are an easy target. Had Trump won the election, I’m confident the Liberals would not have gone after the Proud Boys,” Wiseman said.

“There is right-wing extremism in Canada but much, much less than in the U.S.”

Foreign Affairs

October 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Vice President Harris to Meet With Macron During Paris Visit

WASHINGTON - Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in November in the administration’s latest attempt... Read More

WASHINGTON - Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in November in the administration’s latest attempt to repair the diplomatic damage caused by a botched submarine agreement. The White House announced Friday that Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will be in... Read More

October 21, 2021
by TWN Staff
Government Unveils Suite of Analyses on Climate Change

Several federal agencies representing the core of the executive branch’s national security and foreign policy apparatus, are releasing a suite... Read More

Several federal agencies representing the core of the executive branch’s national security and foreign policy apparatus, are releasing a suite of reports on the impact of climate change at home and abroad, and particularly on how to deal with the refugees a changing world climate is... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Kate Michael
Experts Fear Travel Restrictions Have Unintended Consequences for Diplomacy

WASHINGTON — Early advice from the World Health Organization warned against imposing travel or trade restrictions on countries experiencing COVID-19... Read More

WASHINGTON — Early advice from the World Health Organization warned against imposing travel or trade restrictions on countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Now experts fear the decision by most countries to ignore this advice may have unintended consequences for the future of global mobilization and diplomacy. “The... Read More

Border Residents Rejoice as US Says it Will Lift Travel Ban

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Beleaguered business owners and families separated by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced Wednesday after the U.S. said it... Read More

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Beleaguered business owners and families separated by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced Wednesday after the U.S. said it will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze. Travel across land borders from Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted... Read More

Fiona Hill, a Nobody to Trump and Putin, Saw Into Them Both

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vladimir Putin paid scant attention to Fiona Hill, a preeminent U.S. expert on Russia, when she was... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vladimir Putin paid scant attention to Fiona Hill, a preeminent U.S. expert on Russia, when she was seated next to him at dinners. Putin's people placed her there by design, choosing a "nondescript woman," as she put it, so the Russian president would... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Reece Nations
Biden Discusses AUKUS Partnership with Macron Amid 'Diplomatic Crisis'

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic partnership with the U.K. and Australia. Australia is set to construct eight nuclear-powered submarines through its alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., dashing the country's... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version