Portland Proud Boys day of rage fizzles as promised crowd of 20,000 turns out 500

Much jackboot-quaking as a much-touted demo in Portland had a weak showing north of the anarchist jurisdiction. 

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— Garrison Davis (@hungrybowtie) September 26, 2020

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— Nathan Bernard (@nathanTbernard) September 26, 2020

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— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 26, 2020

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— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) September 26, 2020

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— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) September 26, 2020

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— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 26, 2020

At far-right rallies across the U.S., an English tennis champion named Fred Perry hovers, invisible to the men unwittingly representing him. For the last two years, members of the Proud Boys cult of masculinity have worn Perry-branded striped-collar polo shirts with a Wimbledon-inspired laurel insignia as they shout at anti-fascist protesters and take rocks to the head. In blog posts and tweets dating back to 2014, their patriarch Gavin McInnes has instructed them that this — a Fred Perry cotton pique tennis shirt, always in black and yellow — is the proper armor for battling multiculturalism.

The Proud Boys at most have a few hundred active members, but they are a fixture at fascist “free speech” events like this month’s anti-Muslim marches, where they mingle with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. McInnes is eager to point out that the Proud Boys accept people of color, Muslims, and Jewish people — so long as those members also “accept that the West is the best” and reject non-Western immigrants to America (McInnes is Canadian). But McInnes insists his followers are not themselves white supremacists, a clarification he has to make partially because Fred Perry polos have a history of popping up at racist skinhead punk shows and rallies across Europe and the Americas. The shirts have been a fixture in some form or another, in all their two-dozen-plus colorways, in both fascist and anti-fascist politics for fifty years, here in the States but especially in England, where both the brand and the skinhead subculture that co-opted it are from.

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— Mr. Spock 🖖 (Commentary) (@SpockResists) September 26, 2020

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