It has been a rough few weeks for the Proud Boys.
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the far-right, neo-fascist hate group has seen several of its chapters declare autonomy, its organization labeled a terrorist entity in Canada, and a handful of its key members arrested for their role in the Capitol siege. Even Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested shortly before the insurrection, has been ordered to attend a court hearing after allegedly violating “conditions of release.”
Despite the onslaught of problems facing the infamous neo-fascist group, the Proud Boys released a defiant statement last week rebuking claims of division within its ranks.
“You will never be able to ‘splinter’ the bonds that have been created by men that have shared their joy, their sweat, their blood and their tears,” Tarrio wrote on his Telegram channel. “Journalists can write about it…our enemies can wish for it…but I won’t make it a reality. We have been through many storms throughout our history and have ALWAYS come back stronger than before.”
“We are not fucking leaving. Proud Boys are here forever,” Tarrio continued. “I suggest you start figuring that out. We’re your plumbers…your mailmen…your police officers…your neighbors…your carpenters…we serve your food…we trim your trees…we are even your elected officials. We are western chauvinist and we will never fucking apologize for shit. We’re here to stay.”
Tarrio’s comments come in the wake of several Proud Boys chapters declaring autonomy from the group’s leadership after reports that Tarrio was a “prolific” informant for the FBI and local law enforcement following his arrest in 2012 for rebranding and reselling stolen medical devices. Among those who separated from the nationalist group currently under Tarrio’s leadership are the Tulsa Proud Boys in Oklahoma, the four chapters of the Indiana Proud Boys, and the St. Louis Proud Boys in Missouri.
While several of the splintered Proud Boys chapters separated due to Tarrio’s history as an informant, others shared concerns about the group’s overall direction and questioned the Proud Boys’ commitment to showing up at political rallies instead of focusing on “brotherhood.” In his statement, Tarrio acknowledged the separated groups and declared that they are “still my brothers and I am my brother’s keeper.”
“We will one day share a beer and settle our differences,” Tarrio added.
Beyond the infighting, the Proud Boys are facing a crisis north of the border after the Canadian government designated the group as a terrorist organization. The Proud Boys faction in Manitoba reportedly disbanded while the rest of the Proud Boys chapters in Canada face imminent disillusion.
Undeterred by the institutional pressure facing his group, Tarrio remained obstinate in his commitment to Proud Boys unity.
“To think that this can be ‘splintered’ by your fake news outlets is something we find joy in,” Tarrio said in a statement directed at naysayers. “You’ve underestimated us before…do it again. I dare you.”