by Submission – Views and Analysis
Those of us in the progressive community throughout Albany and the Capital District are alarmed by the news of the existence of a violent Alt-right gang in the area.
We thank the team at Love and Rage for having the courage to publish this material, despite recognizing how severe the backlash has been from right-wing extremists in the past when their activities have been exposed. Love and Rage has done valuable work reporting on a host of under-reported issues that affect marginalized voices within our community, from ICE raids and deportations to Islamophobic rallies. They routinely cover issues that for-profit outlets won’t cover. Now that the public has been informed of this issue, it is time for the community to formulate a response.
This violent gang, known as the “Proud Boys,” represents everything our community stands against — it is anti-woman, anti-Islamic, transphobic, homophobic, racist, anti-semitic, anti-progressive, and uses brute violence to intimidate activists into abandoning their work. The vast amount of information publicly available online about this group’s activities and hate-filled sentiments — including provoking street-fights at rallies across the country, denigrating and attacking feminists while praising male-chauvinism, engaging in violent hazing rituals of their own members, disparaging and threatening refugees and those who follow Islamic teachings, encouraging its members to physically attack progressives in public as part of their gang-initiation rites, and endorsing a regressive ideology known as “Radical Traditionalism” — prove that this gang has nothing constructive to offer our community, and directly threatens its well-being.
We urge all members of the community, whether politically engaged or not, to take a collective stand against this dangerous fringe group. The existence of any violent gang should never be tolerated in our community —especially one that seeks to force our society onto a regressive path, and reverse the work of generations in winning civil rights for women, religious minorities, and other oppressed groups in our society. That said, we will not stoop to their level. We do not advocate violence against these individuals, or their places of employment. However, we must make clear that we will not step back from the progress that has been made in this country through decades of struggle. We will not allow refugees, Muslims, women, immigrants,members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those deriving from non-Christian, non-European backgrounds to feel unsafe or denigrated in our community. Let us stand together, rebuke the right-wing violence this group advocates, and protect the most vulnerable among us.
Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia, Capital District Showing Up for Racial Justice, ICE-Free Capital District, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration, Hampton Institute, Albany Ueshiro Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo, The Albany Social Justice Center, Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network (QPEN), Holding Our Own Inc., Literature for Anarchafeminism (Lit AF), Capital District Socialist Party (CDSP), Albany Democratic Socialists of America, Food Not Bombs Albany Doula & Placenta Encapsulation, Healey Institute for Healers, Soul Fire Farm
This statement was submitted to Love and Rage in response to the impact of a previous submission we published on the presence of members of the Proud Boys organizing in New York’s Capital District.