Extremist Alt-Right Group ‘Proud Boys’ Growing in Albany

Albany Residents United Against Misogyny

by Submission – NY

ALBANY – Various social media accounts in New York State’s Capital District Region centered around anarchist and anti-capitalist causes have reported a growing alt-right presence in the area. This presence has been noted through comments and messages placed on leftist social media accounts and the creation of rapidly growing alt-right fan pages. Although most of the posts found in these places had, up to now, not appeared to be an immediate threat, more recently comments have taken on an increasingly physically threatening tone.

In the interest of community defense, several community members have worked to monitor this threat. Through this process, they have been able to identify several social media accounts claiming local chartership of the Proud Boys, as well as identifying individual members of the group. The Proud Boys are a nationwide fraternal organization that tasks its members with physically defending “the Western way of life”. The group embraces male chauvinism, getting into street fights with leftists, and denigrating feminism and Non-christian religions. If you’ve seen any of the videos from the confrontations in Berkeley, you’ve probably seen the Proud Boys in action, wildly throwing punches at Antifa members (and anyone nearby), and pepper spraying protesters.

Who are the Proud Boys?

Misogony and Anti-LGBTQ+

The Proud Boys cloak themselves in a chauvinistic patriotism based in idealized nostalgia. They endorse what is referred to as “radical traditionalism,” an ideology based in subjugating women and returning men to bread winner status. In support of this chauvinism they support anything perceived to counter feminism, including fat shaming and rape denialism. To give you a taste of the sort of fringe ideas espoused by the group, the movement’s founder Gavin McInnes has penned articles such as “Hey, Ladies! Short Hair Is Rape,”, “Feminist Witch Hunts are Rape”, “When Is It OK To Hit A Woman?”,” and “Having Kids Turns You Into A Complete F*g.”” While the group claims to support “Gays,” their disdain for anything in opposition to heteronormitve masculinity is readily apparent as is their opposition to the trans rights movement. A current popular trend among members of the Proud Boys on social media is to denigrate women (typically those identifying as on the left) by saying how many beers or what types of drugs they would have to consume to have sex with them.

Islamophobia and Racism

The alt-right group also promotes the idea that the “West is the best.” The perpetuation of this ideal directly translates into disparaging Muslims and any individual or movement trying to achieve racial justice. Their social media accounts are filled with content denigrating Islam and the Proud Boys were vocal supporters of the series of islamaphobic “Against Sharia Law” rallies hosted by racist organization ACT for America. For an example of the Proud Boys’ underlying ethos concerning people of color, one only has to look at founder Gavin McInnes, who titled a piece of writing “I’m Not a Racist, Sexist, or a Homophobe, You N*gger Sl*t F*gg*t”, for an example of the Proud Boys underlying ethos concerning people of color.


The manifestation of these ideals corresponds to the usual rabid Trump support, but more uniquely the Proud Boys demonstrate a fetishism and penchant for violence. The Proud Boys have a hierarchy of membership, denoted by “degrees.” This ranges from first degree to fourth. Getting these degrees requires pretty standard gang initiation rituals – including getting a “Proud Boy” tattoo and getting hazed by other members through a gang beating. The fourth, and most sought-after, degree is the one which presents the most immediate security concern. It requires that a member seek out an antifascist/leftist and physically beat them in public. This is not unlike the skinhead distinction of red-laced boots, which designate the wearer as having shed blood for the skinhead movement. Racist skinheads will often randomly attack non-whites to “earn” their red laces. In the Proud Boys’ cultish hierarchy this is referred to as “getting your fourth,” and Berkeley was a field day for Proud Boys trying to win this designation. To put the seriousness of this into perspective, several months ago an antifascist in California was hospitalized due to injuries she sustained after being attacked by Neo-Nazi and Proud Boy affiliate Nathan Domingo.

Growth in Albany

Online Presence

Neo Nazi Symbolism: White laced boots associated with white power

The local Albany Proud Boy chapter’s activities have appeared to pick up recently, with the group travelling to demonstrations around the country including New York City in May and June and Washington DC last week. These events included an islamophobic rally in NYC hosted by ACT and a so-called “anti-political violence” rally in DC. Another affiliated account has more overtly racist content, such as a post with white laced boots— symbolism that identifies a skinhead as being supportive of “…’white power,’ as opposed to a non-racist (‘traditional’) or anti-racist skin.”


Individuals Involved

Individuals’ membership to the group has been verified through their social media presence. Disturbingly, several of these individuals’ social media accounts claim employment or association with the same tattoo shop in Albany. These include receptionist Erica Christine Cocca, and tattooers “Kirby”(alternatively listed as both Kyle Kirby and Kirby Kyle) and Richie Van. The latter two publicly display their status as 3rd Degree Proud Boys on their social media accounts.

Kirby center, Van to the right.

Van, a popular tattoo artist in the Albany area, has a particularly visible presence. While his original Twitter account has been permanently suspended, his new account has received shout outs from Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and alt-right figure Kyle Chapman AKA “Based Stickman”. Tweets from his old account have also been featured on former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos’ website. His Twitter account claims he is the co-founder of the New Hampshire Proud Boys.

Erica Cocca also has a large Twitter presence attached to the affiliated Proud Boys’ Girls, whose Twitter account claims it as the only auxiliary group “associated with and recognized by the Proud Boys & PB Magazine.” It claims to represent “the wives/girlfriends/cheerleaders of the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of the Alt Knights.” Her image has been retweeted by both the official Proud Boy and Proud Boys’ Girls account. Par for the course her social media is filled with retweets of Islamophobic content.

Cocca in a Proud Boys’ Girl shirt.

Though Kirby’s social media presence is comparatively diminutive, his Twitter posts are no less disturbing. As with other Proud Boys, much of the content focuses on the glorification of violence, anti-Islamic comments, and misogynistic imagery.

In addition to the previous Proud Boys associated with, another prominent member of the local branch has been identified: Todd Clark. Clark’s Facebook account prominently displays his affiliation with the group and shares many of the same images as the official Albany Proud Boys’ account. He has worked with a local plumbing company.

Kirby and Cocca.

We hope this information can help protect the community. As noted above, the Proud Boys glorify violence as a part of their aesthetic, especially against those on the left (both real and perceived). Because of this, our community and others should continue discussions about community safety – namely self-defense preparedness, first-aid response, and public event security. In the short term, community members should consider practicing basic safety protocols and be prepared to protect themselves either through carrying defense/preventive safety measures such as pepper spray or enrolling in some form of personal defense training. Local activists should make sure other organizers are aware of this going forward.

Clark seen here with the Fred Perry uniform.

With all of this said, it’s very important to encourage everyone to KEEP SHOWING UP. The point of the Proud Boys’ tactics is to scare leftists into staying home, so if any community member fears for their safety, make sure to contact your fellow organizers and community leaders so they can organize a response. The more eyes on this problem, and the more hands working to fix it, the better. Don’t let these fuckers win.


Proud Boys Albany

Richie Van

Kyle Kirby


Todd Clark


Editor’s note: Due to the unprecedented volume of views, we have decided to remove the information surrounding employment. Two owners have contacted us and expressly stated that they do not condone the actions of the Proud Boys, but also felt it was not fair to other employees to have to endure harassment on their behalf. We agree and do not condone the harassment of innocent people. To that point, we do not publish, nor have we ever published, personal information such as addresses or phone numbers. As we reviewed this piece, we felt that the authors’ stated goal of promoting community safety and self-defense was clear. Our goal is to report news and information in the public interest so that communities can decide what the best course of action is with accurate, relevant information.


  1. Awww poor snowflake Sean is really really triggered now. Dude do yourself a favor and find a cousin to put out for you, maybe you’ll be less angry. Stop playing dress up with other virgin losers who also masterbate together and have cereal fettishes, and maybe you’ll put that community college education to good use!


  2. If you’re gonna wear Fred Perry button it up. Also, don’t ruin the brand for people who enjoy their clothing. Amateurs. Black and gold polos are a favorite to non-idiots too.


  3. So then that means berben and Wolfe should also be boycotted because joey berben has several profile picture’s of himself in that Perry polo and states he lives the skinhead lifestyle.


  4. Oh lord this is SO tedious. The story, while occasionally well cited doesn’t display any new knowledge regarding the Capital Region. Historically, it has always been an area where people of differing lives/beliefs/backgrounds work to make the community and their families better. Sadly, no one cares anymore, about anything other than hearing their own voice and feeling important. Not left or right here, just someone who has yet to be shocked by anything coming out of the region.


  5. This website is the exact thing wrong with the media, it won’t post my comments defending a good hearted person that this article falsely labeled and ruined his job. But the comments that perpetuate negativity and hate make the cut.
    So disgusted in humanity and the media


  6. Lmao at these guys calling themselves proud boys and crying about their rights, 1st amendments, and privacy, as soon as it’s publicly released they are all involved in a glorified white supremacist group.

    What a bunch of fucking cowards, they hate gays, woman, and diversity, yet work in most diverse neighborhoods in the capital region.


  7. This is the most ludicrous article I’ve ever read. I don’t know anyone but Rich Van, and from what I know about him, this article is seriously incorrect. The picture you posted doesn’t look anything like the current Rich. You may be presenting facts, but they are very old in nature as don’t represent the Rich that I have gotten to know over the last three years. Do some fact checking before you start slandering people.


  8. Total bs article. Everything they are accusing these guys of Liberals are guilty of themselves. I’m glad to know there are people in this country willing to defend the US from the rot residing within.


  9. This is just about the most biased, unprincipled, disingenuous piece of “journalism” I have ever read. Who is the author? Who can tell? There is no name anywhere. And why should there be? Anyone with half a brain would not want their name on such drivel.



  10. We’re organizing to have multiple Shitlibs fired from their jobs, starting tomorrow, and a lot of what we say to their employers will be outright lies. We’ve organized approximately 50 people to call and email random Leftists employers in order to achieve this.

    For every Rightwinger we hear about being fired from their jobs due to one of you subhuman Marxists, we’re going to have 5 of your people fired.

    We’re playing by your rules now. Let’s see who continues to win.


  11. wow nobody likes you trash. A nobody butthurt article and everyone’s roasting your ass on it.
    Must suck being a nobody dumb shit article writer nobody takes seriously.
    I actually came here to find the page and sign up with the proud boys, great guys.
    Thanks for the links contacting them = )
    This is the part where you reply with crying and projecting by saying ‘snowflake’ out of context.


  12. I would really like the authors name to be published, this article is unfurtnately a display of one of the negatives of having increased technology in journalism.

    I think the proud group is hiliarious its like the people who couldnt go to frats when they were in college formed one and its really weird. But their beliefs are not hateful tou just disgree with them. To call them alt right is hysterical youre just spitting off democratic bs from the campaign trail with clearly no political science knowledge of your own.

    I knew this would be trash when it said found alt right presence from anti-capitalist and antifa pages ( both disgusting organizations that are more violent than proud boys) and then said you could see the violence on youtube at berklee.. are you dumb? Google that and youll come up with more blm and antifa videos of violence but you arent condemning then? As long as its not a hate group i understand people have different opinions, instead of letting my own ego and bias gi why dont you do some real research? This article wouldnt make it past a freshman journalism class. Whoever wrote this is whats wrong with this country.


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