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Moment 100 Patriot Front white supremacist group members march along Boston’s Freedom Trail

A large group of white supremacists marched along Boston’s Freedom Trail ahead of the Fourth of July in protest that allegedly turned violent.

Patriot Front led nearly 100 members carrying white nationalist flags and shields through the Massachusetts capital on Saturday as part of their efforts to ‘reclaim America.’

Video shows the group walking step with a snare drum, with flags and banners in hand, as they made their way to the Old State House and City Hall Plaza.

Boston police have launched an investigation into the protest after a black man reported that he had been assaulted by the demonstrators. 

He claimed a group of Patriot Front members donning shields surrounded him and knocked him to the ground.

Patriot Front has been linked to several instances of violence against protesters. Last month, a group believed to be affiliated with organization was arrested for planning a riot at a Pride event in Idaho.

Nearly 100 Patriot Front members marched along Boston's Freedom Trail on Saturday in protest ahead of the Fourth of July

Nearly 100 Patriot Front members marched along Boston’s Freedom Trail on Saturday in protest ahead of the Fourth of July

Boston police were alerted to the demonstration around 12.30pm Saturday as approximately 100 people carrying Patriot Front flags, upside down American flags and shields marched through downtown.

About an hour later, officers were called to Dartmouth and Stuart streets for a report of an assault and battery. 

The victim, a 34-year-old black man, said he was walking down the street when the group targeted him.

He told police he had taken out his phone when he ‘found himself being shoved around in the middle of a group of individuals with shields and masks,’ according to an incident report obtained by The Boston Globe.

The victim allegedly yelled at the group to get away from him and starting swinging his arms in attempt to flee. That’s when he claims his more attackers ‘joined in, knocking him to the ground and continuing to assault him.’

Paramedics took the man to Tufts Medical Center where he was treated with non-life-threatening injuries. His current condition remains unknown.

The group carried white nationalist flags and shields through the Massachusetts capital on Saturday as part of their efforts to 'reclaim America'

The group carried white nationalist flags and shields through the Massachusetts capital on Saturday as part of their efforts to ‘reclaim America’

Video shows the group walking step with a snare drum, with flags and banners in hand, as the made their way to the Old State House and City Hall Plaza

Video shows the group walking step with a snare drum, with flags and banners in hand, as the made their way to the Old State House and City Hall Plaza

Boston police have launched an investigation into the protest after a black man reported that he had been assaulted by the demonstrators. It is unclear which Patriot Force members attacked the man

Boston police have launched an investigation into the protest after a black man reported that he had been assaulted by the demonstrators. It is unclear which Patriot Force members attacked the man

Footage shared to social media showed the protest marching through the city’s Downtown Crossing, however the exact protest route in unknown.

The group was also spotted in front of Back Bay Station, Boston Public Library in Copley Square, Haymarket and the Old State House.

Witnesses allege an unmasked man sporting a cowboy hat led the group in chats of ‘Life! Liberty! Victory!’ as they marched through Copley Square.

A bystander, antagonizing the group, asked why the group hid behind face coverings.

‘Why don’t you show your faces? What are you afraid of?’ she questioned.

One man responded: ‘There’s a global pandemic.’

‘God bless, ma’am,’ another protestor answered. 

Another pulled down his gaiter, puckered his lips and walked away, the woman told the newspaper.

The protesters later boarded a train to Oak Grove Station in Malden.

Witnesses allege an unmasked man sporting a cowboy hat (pictured) led the group in chats of 'Life! Liberty! Victory!' as they marched through Copley Square

Witnesses allege an unmasked man sporting a cowboy hat (pictured) led the group in chats of ‘Life! Liberty! Victory!’ as they marched through Copley Square

A bystander, antagonizing the group, asked why the group hid behind face coverings: 'Why don't you show your faces? What are you afraid of?'

A bystander, antagonizing the group, asked why the group hid behind face coverings: ‘Why don’t you show your faces? What are you afraid of?’

A Massachusetts State Police spokesperson told the Globe that troopers had monitored the march ‘like we do any other large demonstration’ and said he was not aware of any arrests during the protest.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said there were no reports of the group disrupting train service. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu slammed the group’s presence in her city and accused the protesters of being cowards.

‘To the white supremacists who ran through downtown today: When we march, we don’t hide our faces,’ she tweeted. ‘Your hate is as cowardly as it is disgusting, and it goes against all that Boston stands for.’

‘As we mark Boston’s legacy as the cradle of liberty, we celebrate the continued fight to expand those liberties for all,’ the mayor added. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu slammed the group's presence in her city and accused the protesters of being cowards

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu slammed the group’s presence in her city and accused the protesters of being cowards

City Councilor Ed Flynn posted a letter to Facebook detailing Patriot Force's presence in the city over the past year

City Councilor Ed Flynn posted a letter to Facebook detailing Patriot Force’s presence in the city over the past year

Robert Trestan, director of the Anti-Defamation League New England, called their presence an 'insult' to those who fought for American freedom

Robert Trestan, director of the Anti-Defamation League New England, called their presence an ‘insult’ to those who fought for American freedom

City Councilor Ed Flynn posted a letter to Facebook detailing Patriot Force’s presence in the city over the past year. 

‘It is wholly repugnant to once again read reports, and see videos on social media, about dozens of neo-Nazis making another brazen public display with their hateful ideology,’ Flynn wrote.

‘Although all people of goodwill and decency are both angered and extremely disturbed by the increased activity we continue to witness from neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups locally, we can no longer say that we’re surprised with what we continue to see across the country, unfortunately.’ 

Robert Trestan, director of the Anti-Defamation League New England, said ‘Patriot Front marching alongside the freedom trail on 4th of July holiday weekend is an insult to all who fought for freedom, equality, justice.’

Last month the Patriot Front founder and 30 other members who were arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride

Last month the Patriot Front founder and 30 other members who were arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride 

The group was rumbled when a local resident called cops after spotting the men, all wearing white masks and carrying shields, loading themselves into the vehicle 'like a little army'

The group was rumbled when a local resident called cops after spotting the men, all wearing white masks and carrying shields, loading themselves into the vehicle ‘like a little army’

What is the Patriot Front?

Patriot Front is a white supremacist group founded by 23-year-old Dallas man Thomas Ryan Rousseau.

The group maintains a white nationalist ideology, firm in its belief that since its white members’ ancestors conquered America, the country should be left to them, and no one else.

Patriot Front is a white supremacist group founded by 23-year-old Dallas man Thomas Ryan Rousseau

Patriot Front is a white supremacist group founded by 23-year-old Dallas man Thomas Ryan Rousseau 

The group, which sees black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, argues, argues that through processions and riots against these groups, it is preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of its members’ white, European ancestors.

The Patriot Front spreads its message predominantly  through the internet, via social media with materials such as banners, fliers, and posters.

In 2020, the group shifted its materials’ message from being more antisemitic and white supremacist to a form of ‘patriotism’ that justifies its bigotry, based in white supremacist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and fascist ideals.

The group is responsible for the majority of white supremacist propaganda in the US, representing 80 percent of all propaganda incidents nationally in 2020.

They currently participate in localized ‘flash demonstrations’ across the country.

Patriot Front was founded in 2017 by Thomas Ryan Rousseau, 23, of Grapevine, Texas. He grew up in the suburbs of Dallas and later emerged as the leading figures of the white nationalist right. 

The group, responsible for more than 80 percent of white supremacist propaganda, was formed by Rousseau in the aftermath of the 2017 white nationalist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, breaking off from another extremist group, Vanguard America, which was also founded by then teen in 2015.

The group is a white supremacist neo-Nazi group whose members perceive black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, says Jon Lewis, a George Washington University researcher who specializes in homegrown violent extremism.

Their playbook, according to Lewis, involves identifying local grievances to exploit, organizing on platforms like the messaging app Telegram and ultimately showing up to events marching in neat columns, in blue- or white-collared-shirt uniforms, in a display of strength.

Last month, Rousseau and 30 other members who were arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride. The arrestees are facing felony charges of criminal conspiracy.

The demonstrators had come from at least 11 states across the country for the planned procession. 

Police said the group had been plotting to incite chaos at a pride event about 10 minutes from where they were arrested, called ‘Pride in the Park’ event in Coeur d’Alene City Park.

The group was reportedly busted after police received a tip from a local resident who called cops after spotting the group of men, donning white masks and carrying shields, load themselves into the vehicle.

Footage of the large-scale arrest shows the dozens of men, masked and wearing shirts that bore the message ‘reclaim American,’ kneeling in cuffs in a field. 

It was not immediately clear if any of the group had any firearms. 

 lawyer representing some of the alleged white supremacists has since attested that the charges to leveled against the members – a Class F felony punishable with up to five years in prison – are in violation of their First Amendment rights, citing that they do not have a reputation for violence and that Americans are allowed the right to protest.

He told DailyMail.com last month: ‘Even if you don’t like the speech, they have the right to make it.’

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