Idaho police arrest armed extremists protesting Pride event
The Washington Post reports:
Police in Idaho arrested 31 people who had face coverings, white-supremacist insignia, shields and an “operations plan” to riot near an LGBTQ Pride event on Saturday afternoon. Police said they were affiliated with Patriot Front, a white-supremacist group whose founder was among those arrested.
Authorities received a tip about a “little army” loading into a U-Haul truck at a hotel Saturday afternoon, said Lee White, the police chief in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a city of about 50,000 near the border with Washington. Local and state law enforcement pulled over the truck about 10 minutes later, White said at a news conference.
Many of those arrested were wearing logos representing Patriot Front, which rebranded after one of its members plowed his car into a crowd of people protesting a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens.
The Associated Press reports:
The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces when Coeur d’Alene police stopped the U-Haul and began arresting them on the side of the road.
“They came to riot downtown,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said at a news conference. All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, White said. The men were going through the booking process Saturday afternoon and are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, he said.
Police led the men, one by one, to the front of patrol cars, took off their masks and then brought them to a police van. The group’s manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnostate in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.
Right wingers and Trump cultists are flooding social media with their usual claims that Patriot Front is a secret FBI operation to make them look bad.
Patriot Front first appeared on JMG in February 2020 when over 150 members chanted “reclaim America” as they marched through Washington DC.
We heard from them again last summer when they were chased back to their U-Haul by counter-protesters in downtown Philadelphia.
They marched again in Washington DC in December 2021before crashing January 2022 anti-abortion rallies in Chicago and Washington DC.