Proud Boys Harass Fresno City Council Pres At His Home To Whine About Lockdown
Hey! So remember that time some anti-fascists protested outside of Tucker Carlson's home and there was all kinds off sobbing from conservative media for at least a year about how horrible it was and how he was so scared for his life and how Antifa protesters were so scary and out of control and blah blah blah blah blah forever on til infinity? There was even some support from liberals who did the "I don't like Tucker Carlson but that's not right" thing, which they still have not gotten any kind of thank you card for.
On Tuesday of this week, dozens of rightwing extremists led by Proud Boy member Ben Bergquam went bonkers at the home of Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias, demanding their right to complain to him, at his home, where he lives with his family, about how they don't like the COVID-19 restrictions and feel they should be lifted.
Why? Because they really don't care so much if people live or die.
This resulted in a physical conflict when Bergquam and his friends came directly up to Arias's door and Arias attempted to escort them off of his property. Arias has since been charged with "battery" of the big tough Proud Boys, who claim they just came to his house looking for "answers."
While I am not the President of Fresno or whatever, I am actually more than happy to give them the answer they are looking for. It is because there is a fucking pandemic. That is why they have restrictions right now. Because if they don't have the restrictions, people will die. It's actually very easy! There isn't going to be an "answer" that isn't that.
Bergquam hosts an internet TV show called "Frontline America" (which is exactly like the PBS show "Frontline," but not at all like that) and claims to have been doing important journalism. Also involved with this "journalism" was Josh Fulfer, best known for posing in a picture with Bergquam and Devin Nunes doing the "OK" hand gesture, widely considered to be some white supremacist bullshit.
In a very obviously edited and cobbled together video posted to Facebook, Bergquam and his gang of yahoos are seen at first filming outside of Arias's home — which they at first claim probably isn't even his real home and that he only pretended it was his home so he could be president of the Fresno City Council. As one does.
Following this, the video shows Bergquam and others walking up the stairs, right up to Arias's door, whereupon Arias, without asking any questions at all, immediately grabs Bergquam, slaps his equipment out of his hand, and walks him toward the stairs while telling him to get out of his house, as Bergquam cries out about how he is destroying businesses.
Via ABC 30:
"There are business owners who are losing everything and we just wanted to ask him a couple of questions," Bergquam said. "As I was saying that, he comes out of the apartment, grabs me by the arms, and tried to throw me down the stairs."
Arias described the encounter from a different perspective.
"I asked him to leave, I told him this wasn't the place, this was my home, and he refused to do it, so I moved him out of the way and I escorted him down the stairs," Arias said. "Folks didn't want to give way to my private property, so I moved them out of the way."
Arias also performed a citizen's arrest of the men involved.
According to Arias, who posted the following missive to Facebook, the video was very, very deceptively edited, and does not show the entire encounter or what led up to him escorting the Proud Boys off of his property.
Yesterday afternoon, as my two kids slept, the safety of our home was violated by a dozen out-of-town individuals led by Sanger resident Ben Bergquam, a self-identified member of the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a racist hate group.
Bergquam and his companions bypassed security to reach my private condominium residence unannounced. The short video that has been released only depicts a small fraction of a much longer incident. Indeed, the entire initial sequence of events, including the group members' attempts to force their way into my residence, is not depicted at all.
I asked him to leave my home, emphasizing my kids were home and that I would not allow them to be placed in danger. I took precautions to ensure the safety of my family and protect them from individuals known to be armed and dangerous.
They are known to be both of those things! Also, California has "Castle Doctrine" — usually supported by people like the Proud Boys — and that means that if someone feels threatened on their property, they are permitted to do whatever they need to do to get the person they consider a threat off of their property.
Arias also shared that since the incident occurred, he's received all kinds of threats from people all over the country, and that he and his family have had to take additional precautions for their safety. Nice!
Surely, all of the people who were so very appalled by protesters showing up at Tucker Carlson's home two years ago will be quickly issuing their denouncements of Bergquam's actions.
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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. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse