Hate groups shut down their own rally with violence

Shortly after members of fascist groups known as the Proud Boys and/or Patriot Prayer started a fight with anti-fascist counter protesters, police shut down the “Resist Marxism” rally on the State House lawn in Providence on Saturday.

This is the second time Boston-based, ultra-right wing political group Resist Marxism organized a rally at the Rhode Island State House and once again many right-wing organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate groups Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, were in attendance.


See: Ocean State Against Hate shuts down Resist Marxism rally in Providence


Long before the rally began the Rhode Island State Police had set up barricades around the south side of the the State House establishing a wide area to separate the small number of rally organizers from the much larger group of anti-fascist counter protesters. Many of the police wore riot gear and there were police snipers spotted on the roof of the State House. The police barricades, made to be easily separated, were bound together with small bike locks.

Despite the wide area established by the police to separate the two sides, about 15 members of the Proud Boys and/or Patriot Prayer lined the outside of the barricades to directly face off against the anti-fascist counter protesters. Some of the Proud Boys wore red MAGA hats and many wore black shirts marked “SECURITY.”

It had been rumored for weeks that the Resist Marxism organizers had arranged for certain members of the Proud Boys and/or Patriot Prayer to be flown in as instigators and muscle. TusitalaTinyToese and Joey Gibson were identified as being there. Both live in Vancouver, Washington.

The counter protesters were organized by Ocean State Against Hate, an antifascist coalition here in Rhode Island.

The rally was set to begin at noon and continue until 3pm, but it was over by 12:30 at the latest, after a fight broke out between the Proud Boys and the anti-fascist counter protesters and the Rhode Island State Police ordered everyone to clear the area or risk arrest. The State Police seemed to be being assisted by Capitol Police and the National Guard.

My camera caught the moment the first punch was thrown by a member of the Proud Boys and the scene erupted into chaos. Warning: This video gets pretty violent. At one point a fire extinguisher is fired into the melee, some sort of smoke bomb went off and other foul liquids were splashed.

After the police moved in and broke up the fight the anti-fascist crowd began to chant, “who do you protect? Who do you serve?” at the police officers.

In the video below we first see the arrival of the police in riot gear, then we jump forward to after the fight and aftermath seen in the videos above. The police made the decision to forcibly disperse everyone from the State House grounds “regardless of your purpose in remaining.” Threats of arrest were made

The riot police advanced on the crowd ten steps at a time until everyone from both sides were off the State House grounds. As the anti-fascist counter protesters retreated, the Resist Marxism rally went on, with speeches and disingenuous calls for unity and understanding.

There was no one there to listen to them, and the police dispersed them as well.

Organizers of the rally promised to return to Providence.


Providence Journal: Groups clash in raucous protest at State House


Proud Boys

Gubernatorial candidate Anne Armstrong and candidate for Attorney General Alan Gordon

Snipers

Just off the State House grounds pro-and anti-fascist protesters had heated discussions
Note the “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong” shirts. The back reads: “Make Communists afraid of rotary aircraft again” a reference to the Chilean dictator’s practice of executing people by throwing them out of helicopters. From Wikipedia: “Following his rise to power, Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists, and political critics, resulting in the executions of from 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people and the torture of tens of thousands.”

Shortly after the area was cleared, a family can be seen walking their dogs on the State House grounds, behind the police line…
…and this young woman rode her Jump Bike across the lawn.
Anne Armstrong and Alan Gordon blow shofars.


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9 Comments

  1. Southern Poverty Law Center is not a hate group. They defend victims of hate crimes Please correct this article.

    • The piece does not make the claim that the Southern Poverty Law center is a hate group, but rather that the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer have been certified as hate groups by the SPLC.

    • Read again. It says that that the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer ARE SPLC certified hate groups.

      “This is the second time Boston-based, ultra-right wing political group Resist Marxism organized a rally at the Rhode Island State House and once again many right-wing organizations, including the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate groups, were in attendance.”

  2. I’m not a lawyer, but couldn’t the video of the fight be used to press charges for assault?

  3. Yesterday while this distressing spectacle was taking place, I was participating in a workshop at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, guided by Thandeka, providing interactive exercises to illustrate her philosophy of Love Beyond Belief. Her view, which I embrace, is that humans are inherently spiritual, and connect with the divine through personal experience toward Insight, Reflection and Action-Guided-by-Compassion. My attempt at summarizing her wisdom: The infinite universe pervades us continuously and offers serenity and awe, but we’re wrapped up in a frenzy of must-do’s and fail to notice. To break through cognitive bias, it is only necessary to pause and observe and absorb. Are you familiar with the concept of the “blik?” It was created by the British moral philosopher Richard Mervyn Hare and is defined as “an unverifiable and unfalsifiable way of labeling, identifying and interpreting one’s own personal experiences.” The ego creates bliks to protect the organism from its toxic environment, but suppresses the emotions that must come out in one way or another at some point or other. When confronting someone you despise as causing harm to others, it is imperative to consider how that person was broken, what that person is suffering from, and to identify with that pain. If you can do that, you can engage them without provoking more bliks on their part. Argument will stoke, not stop the bliks.

    • Justice precedes mercy. Those two virtues need to be combined. But harm doers must be prevented before they are given any merciful, therapeutic or psychological consideration.

  4. Sheila Resseger posted, “When confronting someone you despise as causing harm to others, it is imperative to consider how that person was broken, what that person is suffering from, and to identify with that pain.” Sorry, but I really don’t give a shit if a Nazi wasn’t hugged more as a child. Not everyone who is in pain and suffering actively works for the destruction of non-white non-Christians. As a matter of fact, Muslims, Jews, People of Color, Indigenous people, Women and LGBTQIA folks are in pain and suffering, but the Nazis aren’t identifying with our pain — they’re causing it. I’ve tried rising above and being silent. It’s overrated.

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