FBI says 'extremist group' attended Portland protest
A purported "men's fraternity" that participates in Portland's violent protest scene has been categorized as "an extremist group with ties to white nationalism" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI's spotlight of the so-called Proud Boys was revealed in documents posted on Monday, Nov. 19 by Property of the People, a national nonprofit that uses public record requests to increase government transparency.
"The FBI has warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest and that some Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington," the records state.
The 16-page document was completed in August, 2018 by Clark County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Michael McCabe, who was investigating a deputy affiliated with the Proud Boys women's auxiliary movement.
The Portland Police Bureau did not attend the Aug. 2 FBI briefing, according to a spokesman, but several other Washington law enforcement departments did.
"The FBI does not and will not police ideology," the agency said in a statement to The Guardian, but "regularly assesses intelligence regarding possible threats and works closely to share that information with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners."
The FBI designation has never before been made public, though the Southern Poverty Law Center has previously labeled the Proud Boys as a hate group and an "alt-right fight club."
The Proud Boys' uniform — a distinctive brand of black polo shirts with yellow trim — were on prominent display during the waterfront protest on Saturday, Aug. 4 that was later declared a "civil disturbance" after hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters began to brawl in the streets.
A least one person wearing the PB outfit was spotted attending a "Him Too" rally on Nov. 17, which also devolved into violence after a conservative group exited a downtown plaza heavily guarded by police. The Proud Boys do not have a formal Oregon chapter, according to the group's website.
The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, a co-creator of Vice, who espouses pro-Western Culture views and wants society to revert to old gender roles.
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