Less than 48 hours after Donald Trump told the white supremacist militia to “stand by,” the Proud Boys launch an automated text message campaign. Their goal is to recruit people to help break the law and intimidate voters on election day (just like Trump ordered).
We noticed this text campaign thanks to a post from Alexandra Chalupa. Here’s an excerpt from her post, including the similarities between this and operations in Ukraine. (It’s relevant that the tactic is similar to that of militias in Ukraine; some American neo-Nazi militias have bragged about training with similar groups there.)
From Alexandra Chalupa:
It also appears that a text message was blasted out within 24-48 hours recruiting “Proud Boys” Election Day poll watchers, including one a good friend of mine and a couple of her family members received despite that she’s a very vocal critic of the Trump regime and Putin. Her surname is German but she’s of Ukraine/Russian heritage…
On a side note, a similar operation was run in a very organized manner during Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election where militia were stationed at the polls, and which sparked an international letter from G7 representatives. In describing the Ukrainian far right’s election intimidation tactics based on an interview with one of its members, Radio Free Europe Reported:
“We will seize the urn and shut down the polling station” if fraud is detected, he says. After that, he adds, they would call for law enforcement and wait for them to arrive before taking any further action. He declines to say what that might be.”
“But the National Militia’s chief commander, Ihor Mykhaylenko, wrote on Telegram earlier this month that if infractions were discovered the group would be prepared “to punch someone in the face in the name of justice…without hesitation.”
“In response to past violence and that threat of violence, a letter by G7 ambassadors leaked to RFE/RL last week was sent to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. It urged him to curb the power of what it called “extreme political movements.”
“They intimidate Ukrainian citizens, attempt to usurp the role of the National Police in safeguarding elections, and damage the Ukrainian government’s national and international reputation,” French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont, who authored the appeal on behalf of her fellow G7 ambassadors, wrote.”
According to WikiPedia:
The Proud Boys are a far-right, neo-fascist male-only organization with ties to white supremacists that promotes and engages in political violence. It is based in the United States and also has a presence in Canada. The group was started as a joke in the far-right Taki’s Magazine in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder and former commentator Gavin McInnes, taking its name from the song “Proud of Your Boy” from the Disney musical Aladdin. The Proud Boys emerged as part of the alt-right, but McInnes began distancing himself from the alt-right in early 2017, saying the alt-right’s focus is race while his focus is what he defines as “Western values.” This re-branding effort intensified after the Unite the Right rally.
The group believes men—especially white men—and Western culture are under siege; their views have elements of the white genocide conspiracy theory. Officially, the group rejects white supremacy, although it has significant ties with white supremacist groups. Members have participated in multiple racist events and events centered around anti-left violence, with a former member organizing the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. The organization glorifies violence and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called it an “alt-right fight club.”
Photo: REUTERS/MARANIE STAAB