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3 Arrested in New York Violence After Far-Right Speech

A person wears a hat of U.S. far-right men's organization Proud Boys during a campaign rally for Patriot Prayer founder and Republican Senate candidate Joey Gibson in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 4, 2018.

Three people were arrested in New York City following violent clashes after a speech by the founder of a far-right group, and police said Saturday they were reviewing video of the clashes and could make additional arrests.

The violence Friday night followed a speech by Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, at the Metropolitan Republican Club. The male-only Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists.”

Videos posted on YouTube show clashes between the Proud Boys and groups that were protesting McInnes’ speech.

No serious injuries were reported.

Gavin McInnes speaks during an event called "March Against Sharia" in New York, June 10, 2017.
Gavin McInnes speaks during an event called "March Against Sharia" in New York, June 10, 2017.

The three arrested face assault charges and were awaiting arraignment Saturday in Manhattan criminal court. Police spokesman J. Peter Donald said the department was reviewing video and would make other arrests as warranted.

Several elected officials expressed outrage over the violence and blamed the Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

More arrests possible

“Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said. “Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.”

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat who is running for state attorney general, said, “I am disturbed and disgusted by the videos I’ve seen of members of the neo-fascist, white supremacist Proud Boys group engaging in hate-fueled mob violence on the streets of New York City.”

City Councilman Rory Lancman, also a Democrat, said video shows police officers were at the scene of an assault by Proud Boys members but did not arrest anyone from the group.

“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested or prosecuted,” Lancman said.

The Republican club was vandalized ahead of Friday’s speech by McInnes, who is also a co-founder of Vice Media. Statewide Republican officials said the damage included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue. A note left at the scene claimed that the damage was “just the beginning.”

Clashes in Portland

Saturday night in downtown Portland, Oregon, fights broke out between protesters with a right-wing group and counter-demonstrators.

The right-wing Patriot Prayer group was holding a Flash March for Law and Order Saturday evening when the counter-demonstrators, some of whom identified themselves as members of the militant group Antifa, confronted them, leading to scuffles, local media reported.

Police in riot gear worked to break up fights and used pepper spray to try to control the crowd, local media reported. Police said officers saw people at the demonstration with hard-knuckled gloves, guns, knives and batons.