Over the weekend, 31 alleged white supremacists came from at least 11 different states to gather in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to commit what appears to be one stupid attempt at violently disrupting people who were minding their own business at a peaceful event.
Y’all have heard of the Patriot Front, right? The Anti-Defamation League describes the organization as “a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.” (Yes, those are a lot of words just to say, “Make America white again.”) What the ADL doesn’t mention is that this particular white nationalist group appears to poses all the competency of a coyote using his Acme Prime account to catch a local roadrunner.
At the beginning of this year, we reported that members of the Patriot Front marched through Washington D.C. in protest of—well, whatever it is bargain basement KKK members protest against. They were booed by people as they marched through the street and many of the members got left stranded in the cold because they couldn’t all fit into the U-Haul truck they brought for transport.
Well, according to CNN, members of the group were spotted packing themselves into a U-Haul once again—this time in an alleged plot to start a riot during a Pride parade in Coeur d’Alene. (At this point, U-Haul has to be wishing these people would switch to Penske.) As a result, 31 disgruntled white men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to riot, which is a misdemeanor, according to Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White.
“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession, the U-Haul with them along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” White said during a news conference.
I’m sorry—did he say they had riot paperwork? Does the Patriot Front have some kind of white supremacist terms and agreements document its members have to sign off on before joining in on rowdy racist activities? Do they also have to submit a resume and application? Can you imagine those cover letters?
Anyway, from CNN:
The FBI is assisting local police in its investigation, according to FBI Public Affairs Specialist Sandra Yi Barker. Barker said Coeur d’Alene police are the lead law enforcement agency investigating the situation.
The people who were arrested were all wearing similar clothing associated with Patriot Front, including identical insignia, and there was at least one smoke grenade in their possession, police said.
White said the group was equipped with “shields, shin guards and other riot gear with them,” along with papers he described as “similar to an operations plan that a police or military group would put together for an event.”
On Sunday, the identities and mugshots of all 31 men were released. Since then, they have all bonded out of jail, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
This is probably a good time to mention that members of the Patriot Front reportedly participated in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
So, these people might be idiots who couldn’t organize a KKK garage sale without things going astray—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember how dangerous these bigots are. Fortunately, no harm came to the Pride parade.
“As a small community nonprofit, North Idaho Pride Alliance is taking a much-needed day of rest after successfully organizing a momentous, joyful, and SAFE Pride in the Park community celebration under the most challenging of circumstances,” the North Idaho Pride Alliance said in a statement Sunday. “We are deeply grateful to law enforcement agencies who were present and professionally responded throughout the day to keep our community safe.”
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