Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes announced Wednesday that he is quitting the organization, The Daily Beast reports. His announcement comes following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s decision to classify the Proud Boys as an “extremist group.”
“I am officially disassociating myself from the Proud Boys. In all capacities, forever, I quit,” McInnes announced in a video statement posted to his official YouTube channel. McInnes claims to have been told by his legal team that him leaving the group he had founded would alleviate the sentencing of nine of his Proud Boy colleagues charged over an October attack that occurred during a clash with an anti-fascist organization following one of McInnes’ fiery speeches. “Fine. At the very least, this will show jurors they are not dealing with a gang and there’s no head of operations,” he said.
McInnes also added that he has never actually been the leader of the far-right group, The Daily Beast notes, arguing that it has thousands of members around the world, and that the Proud Boys “certainly don’t” need him to survive.
According to Rolling Stone, video footage and eyewitness account demonstrate that around 30 members of McInnes’ group participated in the assault, shouting homophobic and similar slurs while physically harming counter-protesters. One of the videos, the same publication notes, shows an NYPD officer arriving at the scene, seemingly reluctant to break up the fight.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, following the assault, PayPal terminated accounts used by Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, and multiple anti-fascist groups, prompting some of them to dispute the ban as a “ridiculous false equivalence.” For McInnes’ group, the PayPal ban appears to have only been an announcement of what would later come — the FBI’s decision to classify the Proud Boys as an extremist group.
McInnes said he's quitting in hopes of alleviating the sentences of Proud Boys members accused of violently assaulting protesters in New York last month. https://t.co/OhrZnRqhqO— HuffPost (@HuffPost) November 22, 2018
“Meet the shock troops of the weirdo right” is how Vox began its piece about the far-right group led and founded by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes. According to the publication, the Proud Boys is a white supremacist organization known for promoting Islamophobic, sexist, and anti-Semitic views. Prominent American white supremacist David Duke, for instance, is an avid fan and supporter of McInnes’ organization.
Although known for its extremist views, the Proud Boys have also become known for advocating violence and committing violent acts, according to Vox, which notes that Gavin McInnes has made a number of videos advocating violence. “What’s the matter with fighting? Fighting solves everything. The war on fighting is the same as the war on masculinity,” McInnes can be heard shouting in one of the videos meant to galvanize members of his extremist organization.