Patriot Front

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Patriot Front
Pflogo.png
Motto"Reclaim America"[1]
FormationAugust 2017; 3 years ago (August 2017)
FounderThomas Rousseau[2]
Type
Location
Affiliations
Websitepatriotfront.us[3]

The Patriot Front is an American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist and American nationalist group[4][5][6] which utilizes imagery of patriotism, liberty, and other widely accepted American values to promote its ideology.[7] Part of the broader alt-right movement, the group split off from Vanguard America in August 2017 in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally.[2][8][9][10]

History[edit]

Patriot Front is led by Thomas Ryan Rousseau. Rousseau was a teenager in Fort Worth, Texas, at the time he founded the group, and had previously taken control of Vanguard's web server and Discord channel several weeks prior to the Unite the Right rally, which Rousseau had participated in as the leader of Vanguard America's contingent. Following bad press associated with the rally, Rousseau left Vanguard and used the group's domain name to form Patriot Front as an ostensibly new group, although most members were former Vanguard members and rally participants.[2] Rousseau has been repeatedly arrested for posting flyers and stickers promoting the group.[11][12]

As with Vanguard America, Patriot Front supports white supremacy, antisemitism, homophobia, fascism, and a white supremacist version of American nationalism. It also promotes the Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG) conspiracy theory.[2] The group uses a combination of patriotic and fascist imagery, such as a fasces surrounded by thirteen stars, and attention-grabbing techniques such as setting off smoke bombs during demonstrations and protests and chanting slogans, such as "blood and soil",[2] and "Strong Borders, Strong Nations".[13]

Activities[edit]

Patriot Front's activities, such as distributing propaganda[14][15][16] organizing demonstrations,[1] or "doing miscellaneous acts of public service",[17] have been seen in at least 25 states.[1][2][7][14][18] Members have also been known to hand out flyers at Trump rallies[19] and leave them in Barnes & Noble bookstore books.[20]

In 2017, the organization planned to attend an alt-right "March Against Communism" in Charlotte, North Carolina, on December 28 alongside members of Anti-Communist Action (the main organizers of the event), Richard B. Spencer, Billy Roper of The Shield Wall Network and Augustus Sol Invictus but the march was cancelled due to "security concerns".[21]

On July 10, 2018, a local anti-white supremacist group in Tacoma, Washington, "Tacoma Against Nazis", erected a billboard reading "There are NAZIS in our neighborhood". On July 19, Patriot Front members "climbed up the structure at Pacific Avenue and South 72nd Street and pasted over 'Nazis' with 'Illegal Aliens.'"[22]

On January 21, 2019, Patriot Front flyers were found on home driveways in Edmonds, Washington, sparking a small demonstration of around 50 citizens and a statement by the mayor which condemned the flyers and their message of intolerance and exclusion.[23]

On February 13, 2019, Patriot Front flyers were spotted in Boston, Massachusetts, in the Eastern section of the city. The flyers said "Keep America American", "Better Dead Than Red", and "Will Your Speech Be Hate Speech?" The flyers were denounced by Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston. Two days later on February 15, three Patriot Front members were arrested for putting up the flyers and one of the men slapped a police officer's hand when the officer was reaching for his identification via wallet. One was found to have a spring-loaded 5-inch knife and another was found to have a wood-handled trowel and brass knuckles. A lawyer for one of the men stated that this was an incident of "youthful stupidity" and he also stated that the three men met while playing Xbox and other video games. The three men later appeared in court.[24][25][26][27][28]

In March 2019, a man was charged in connection with posting Patriot Front posters in Vienna, Virginia.[29]

In July 2019, Downtown Indiana, Pennsylvania, was littered with stickers from the group. Police are investigating the matter and considering charges for a hate crime.[30]

In November 2019, areas in Massachusetts had stickers posted on telephone poles, including Middleboro, Bridgewater and West Bridgewater.[31]

On Saturday, February 8, 2020, at around 4:00 pm, approximately 100 members of the Patriot Front held a march in Washington DC along the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol grounds, and then headed north ending at a Walmart located near Washington Union Station at 1st and H Streets NW. Those marching all wore similar clothing - khakis, matching dark blue jackets with flag patches on the left sleeve, with hats, full white face masks, and dark sunglasses - and all carried various modified versions of the American flag with the Patriot Front logo of a fasces in a circle of 13 stars replacing the normal 50 stars and differing numbers of red and white stripes, The marchers shouted "Reclaim America!" and "Life, liberty, victory!" and were trailed and surrounded by a phalanx of MPD police officers on bicycle and foot, ostensibly to prevent interaction with local citizens, some of whom shouted at and taunted the marchers calling them "Neo-Nazis" and "Do not let these people into DC!" as they passed by.[32][33]

In August 2020, three men were arrested after placing stickers on signs on the Parker County Courthouse lawn in Weatherford, Texas, according to arrest warrants. One of those arrested was Rousseau, the leader of Patriot Front. They were charged with criminal mischief, jailed on a $500 bond and released. Previously at the courthouse, protesters had demanded the removal of a Confederate statue, while counter-protesters defended the statue.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murray, Elizabeth (2018-02-12). "'White supremacist' group not welcome in Burlington, mayor says". Burlington Free Press. USA Today. Archived from the original on 2018-12-14. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Patriot Front". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  3. ^ Henry, Chris (November 4, 2018). "Nazi symbol seen on Olympic College campus protected as free speech". Kitsap Sun. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018. Patriot Front's current website is patriotfront.us.
  4. ^ "Vanguard America (Patriot Front, American Vanguard) - Extremist Watch". extremistwatch.org. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  5. ^ "Patriot Front". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  6. ^ "Patriot Front". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  7. ^ a b Mistich, Dave (2018-04-19). "Seeing Through the Rhetoric of the Alt-Right: Spotting White Supremacist Propaganda in W.Va". WV Public Broadcasting. Archived from the original on 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  8. ^ "Meet 'Patriot Front': Neo-Nazi network aims to blur lines with militiamen, the alt-right". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  9. ^ Roman, Gabriel San (2017-12-13). "New Fascist Group Appeared at Laguna Beach Anti-Immigrant Rally". OC Weekly. Archived from the original on 2017-12-24. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  10. ^ "White Nationalist Group Targets Bellevue, Gig Harbor". Bellevue, WA Patch. 2017-11-20. Archived from the original on 2017-12-24. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  11. ^ Johnson, Kaley; Ranker, Luke (October 31, 2018). "Alt-right leader cited for hate speech posters in Fort Worth, police say". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Johnson, Kaley (August 4, 2020). "Leader of white nationalist hate group, 2 others arrested in Weatherford". Archived from the original on August 5, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  13. ^ Sauers, Camille (2018-07-30). "Texas Neo-Nazi Group Attacks San Antonio's Occupy ICE Encampment". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on 2018-08-29. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  14. ^ a b Wiater, Natalia (2018-12-11). "Xenophobic posters discovered near East Quad". The Justice. Waltham, MA. Archived from the original on 2018-12-13.
  15. ^ Green, Chris (2018-04-02). "Questionable immigration flyers spread in Boone County". The Gazette.
  16. ^ Johnson, Kaley (2018-10-05). "Anti-immigration banner hung from Fort Worth bridge, hate group posts fliers in city". Star Telegram. Archived from the original on 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  17. ^ "Patriot Front". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2018-12-21. Archived from the original on 2018-12-22.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Cooper, Emily; Schenke, Rana (2018-10-27). "Attendees hand out Patriot Front flyers at Trump Rally". Daily Egyptian. Southern Illinois University. Archived from the original on 2018-10-28.
  20. ^ Bawab, Nashwa (2018-11-21). "Another White Supremacist Flyer Found in North Texas". Dallas Observer. Archived from the original on 2018-11-21.
  21. ^ "Neo-Nazis and white nationalists are recruiting Trump supporters who are mad at Colin Kaepernick". Newsweek. 2017-10-12. Archived from the original on 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  22. ^ Sailor, Craig (2018-07-22). "Anti-Nazi billboard gets reworked by vandal to read with anti-immigrant message". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on 2018-07-22.
  23. ^ MyEdmondsNews (2019-01-08). "Edmonds neighbors take stand against Patriot Front flyers". My Edmonds News. Archived from the original on 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  24. ^ "Boston couple takes action after anti-immigrant signs are plastered all over neighborhood". WHDH. February 15, 2019. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  25. ^ Haynes, Crystal (February 15, 2019). "Residents remove anti-immigrant posters put up in Boston". Boston 25 News. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Arrests made in connection with racist flyers placed in neighborhood". WCVB/ABC News. February 16, 2019. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  27. ^ Horman, Nate (February 19, 2019). "Three suspects arraigned on charges of weapons possession and assaulting an officer: BPD". Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  28. ^ Tempera, Jacqueline (February 19, 2019). "Attorney for one of the men accused of posting propaganda for white nationalist group Patriot Front around East Boston says it was just 'youthful stupidity'". Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "Herndon man charged in connection with posting white supremacist posters in Vienna". WUSA TV, channel 9. Washington, D.C. March 25, 2019. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  30. ^ Widdowson, Josh. "Indiana Borough Police Investigating Posting of Hate Stickers in Downtown Business District". WCCS. Homer City, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  31. ^ Corpuz, Mina (2019-11-13). "Stickers linked to white nationalist group found in Middleboro". The Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-28 – via southcoasttoday.com.
  32. ^ "Masked white nationalists march in Washington with police escort". Reuters. February 8, 2020. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  33. ^ "White Nationalist march in DC near Union Station on Saturday". WUSA TV, channel 9. Washington, D.C. February 8, 2020. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  34. ^ "Leader of White Nationalisf Hate Group, 2 Others Arrested in Texas". Forth Worth Star-Telegram. 3 August 2020.

External links[edit]