Proud Boys To Terrorize Portland Today — Governor Declares State Of Emergency
Today, the Proud Boys, a notoriously violent "western chauvinist" street gang will be descending on Portland, a city that really does not want them anywhere near there, to hold a big stupid rally that they are disingenuously calling an "End Domestic Terrorism" event. But, you know, they're trolls, that's what they do.
Reportedly, they are expecting 20,000 people, which seems like a lot for them. If there are 20,000 people who like and support the Proud Boys enough to make it to Portland in order to march in the streets and beat people up who disagree with them in a bid to "End Domestic Terrorism," we will all be surprised/horrified.
But, just to be safe, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency. Surely, this will please Donald Trump, who has been saying he wants to cut off federal funding to cities like Portland for not being harsh enough on protesters.
In an official statement, she said:
I am incredibly concerned about this increased risk of violence in Portland this weekend, and for the safety of Oregonians.
In America, we have the right to peacefully assemble, and everyone in Oregon has a right to express themselves freely — even those who the vast majority of Oregonians would deeply disagree with.
However, the First Amendment does not give anyone license to hurt or kill someone because of opposing political views.
And when free expression is fueled by hate, and coupled with an intent to incite violence, then I need to do everything I can as Governor to ensure the safety of Oregonians.I have spoken with Mayor Wheeler, Commissioner Hardesty, Multnomah County Chair Kafoury, Sheriff Reese, and Speaker Kotek. Out of this conversation came the agreement that we must have a coordinated effort across state and local law enforcement officials to keep everyone safe this weekend.
To do that, I am exercising my authority to put the Superintendent of State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff in charge of public safety in Portland this weekend. The Mayor has agreed to and supports this plan.
She then noted that "[t]he Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer groups have come to Portland time and again, from out of town, looking for a fight, and the results are always tragic," adding that the state and the city of Portland "will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend."
It's true. They're dangerous and they have hurt people. They've stabbed people. The whole reason they focus on Portland is because they know that no one wants them there and it's a place where they can start shit and get into fights with people without too much fear of actually getting too hurt themselves. I'm just saying, I could be wrong, but they do seem to have honed in primarily on areas with a disproportionate amount of vegans.
In other Proud Boys related news, Fred Perry has announced that they will stop even making the black and yellow shirts that the Proud Boys have adopted as their semi-official uniform, because of how they want absolutely nothing to do with them. The brand has been super pissed about this for a while, but is just now calling it quits on making the shirts.
Via Fred Perry:
Fred Perry does not support and is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys.
It is incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt and subverted our Laurel Wreath to their own ends.
The Fred Perry shirt is a piece of British subcultural uniform, adopted by various groups of people who recognise their own values in what it stands for. We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity and independence. The Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt has been an important part of that uniform since its introduction in the late 70s, and has been adopted generation after generation by various subcultures, without prejudice.
Despite its lineage, we have seen that the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt is taking on a new and very different meaning in North America as a result of its association with the Proud Boys. That association is something we must do our best to end. We therefore made the decision to stop selling the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt in the US from September 2019, and we will not sell it there or in Canada again until we're satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended.
To be absolutely clear, if you see any Proud Boys materials or products featuring our Laurel Wreath or any Black/Yellow/Yellow related items, they have absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to pursue any unlawful use of our brand.
Frankly we can't put our disapproval in better words than our Chairman did when questioned in 2017:
"Fred was the son of a working class socialist MP who became a world tennis champion at a time when tennis was an elitist sport. He started a business with a Jewish businessman from Eastern Europe. It's a shame we even have to answer questions like this. No, we don't support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with," John Flynn, Fred Perry Chairman 2017
I would like to note that Fred Perry shirts have been popular among neo-Nazi skinheads (and non-racist skinheads/SHARPs) for years — though I do get that in this case, it's a particular color scheme rather than just any Fred Perry shirt. I supposed criticizing them for continuing to make the laurel wreath golf shirts would be like criticizing Doc Martins for staying in business or the makers of red suspenders ("braces") for continuing to sell those. It's good that they're pulling it, although it is likely that the Proud Boys will just come up with another thing to identify themselves, such as wearing cereal boxes on their heads or getting Pinochet's face tattooed over their own faces or something like that.
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