Proud Boys Canada Breaks Up With Itself After Terrorist Designation
Back in February, the Canadian government declared the Proud Boys a terrorist organization, a designation with more than a few legal and financial consequences there.
As the Washington Post explained at the time, this means "[p]olice can seize the property of the group or its members; banks can seize their assets." Also, "it's a crime to knowingly provide assistance to a designated group to facilitate or carry out attacks," and "[g]roup members may be denied entry to Canada."
In a post on the official Proud Boys Telegram channel Sunday, Proud Boys Canada announced it was officially disbanding. Or, at least, no longer calling itself "Proud Boys."
The statement reads:
It is with a heavy heart that I pen these words, knowing we have done nothing wrong. As of today there is officially no longer any Proud Boys in Canada, it's officially dissolved. The truth is, we were never terrorists or a white supremacy group.
Unless there's something about the Canadian Proud Boys that we're missing, that's not true, but do go on.
As a fraternity of men we had thought of perusing [sic] the case legally but we have no financial support, given we are not funded by the rich. We are just regular patriotic Canadians. We are electricians, carpenters, financial advisors, mechanics, etc. More than that, we are fathers, brothers, uncles and sons.
Does having a job mean you can't be a white supremacist or a terrorist? Does having relatives now preclude one from being a white supremacist or a terrorist? Are we to believe that all terrorists and white supremacists are grown in labs and have no parents or siblings? I just watched a documentary featuring Ted Kaczynski's brother, so that does not seem like an actual thing.
In the face of a tyrannical leftist government, we regular citizens were banned and outlawed for holding the same beliefs as the men who built this country.
While "We believe the same things as white men in 1867 believed" does not exactly preclude anyone from being racist either, that's not why they were declared a terrorist organization. They were declared a terrorist organization because they keep doing terrorist shit, like storming the US Capitol.
The American Proud Boys also issued a statement on the channel in which they asserted their holiness and once again noted that members of Proud Boys Canada have relatives. [sic throughout, obviously]
Because the ProudBoys put Christ and our families first...they have made the decision to disband. Their livelihoods and that of their future generations must come first. Fighting this in court will prove to be expensive and time consuming, Time that must be taken away from raising their children and loving their wives. They will continue to fight for western values...but now...as individuals.
The ProudBoys in Canada is no more. Anyone walking around in Fred Perry polos and ProudBoys gear are simply posers to our organization. We will respect the decision or [sic] our brothers and we will continue to hold them and their country in our prayers.
Of course, just because they are not calling themselves "Proud Boys" anymore doesn't mean that they aren't going to continue organizing and doing the exact same crap without the official designation. That being said, there is likely some cachet in right-wing extremist circles to being an official Proud Boy, so perhaps ridding them of that label may hinder recruitment efforts and make things a little less fun for them.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse