, 2022-09-19 01:50:00,
The document is so dowdy and formal it resembles the annual minutes of a society of tax accountants. Its index lists sections on “objectives” and “rules of engagement” and carries an “addendum” that provides recommendations for hotels and parking.
On the cover, two words give a clue to the notoriety of the group that produced it: “MAGA” and “WARNING”. That and the date: 5 January 2021, the day before the US Capitol attack.
What goes unsaid on the cover and is barely mentioned throughout the 23 pages is that this is the work of one of the most violent political gangs in America, the far-right street fighters who Donald Trump told to “stand back and stand by”: the Proud Boys.
The document, published by the Guardian for the first time, gives a very rare insight into the meticulous planning that goes into events staged by the far-right club.
The Proud Boys have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and are alleged to have acted as key organizers of the violent assault on the Capitol.
In the wake of January 6, which has been linked to the deaths of nine people, the New York march featured in the document was called off and the strategy so fastidiously laid out was never implemented. But the document remains sharply revealing.
It shows the lengths to which the Proud Boys go to prepare for potentially violent encounters and then to cover their tracks – something prosecutors have stressed but that has never been seen in the group’s own words. It exposes the militaristic structure and language the Proud Boys have adopted, and their aspiration to become the frontline vigilante force in a Trump-led America.
It also provides clues as to how the group continues to spread its tentacles throughout the US despite the fact that many of its top leaders, including its national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, are behind bars awaiting trial on charges of seditious conspiracy.
The purpose of the document is to provide a “strategic security plan” and call to action, summoning Proud Boys members to a pro-Trump Maga march that was scheduled for New York City on 10 January 2021. That was four days after Congress was to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election – the occasion that would be targeted by the fatal insurrection.
The document was obtained from a Proud Boys member by the extremism reporter Andy Campbell as he researched his new book, We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era…
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