Directory of White Supremacist Events

Introduction

White supremacist and far right organizations used former President Obama’s election and and administration to swell the ranks of their organizations. Enveloping the 2016 election season, the alt-right in particular became an increasingly visible element of an energized white supremacist and fascist movement.

In this context, well publicized, public far right and white supremacist demonstrations have become more frequent. In Greater Boston, this trend can be dated back to early 2017 and continues to today. We count well over 40 medium or large scale far right demonstrations in the Boston area since January 2017.

The events profiled below outline significant events that demonstrate:

  • Patterns in specific white supremacists’ and fascists’ and/or their organizations’ attendance at such events
  • Highlight the prevalence and instances of violence they, or the police who defend them, commit against ordinary people working for justice and liberation, specifically Black, brown, and indigenous people; women, specifically Black trans women; and LGBTQ people.
  • Developments in alt-right organizing in Greater Boston

Especially since the exponential growth of the “Back the Blue” movement and the Trump re-election campaign, we cannot realistically count every public, white supremacist organized in Greater Boston. For an incomplete roster of public events we know about, check out this directory.

Highlighted Events 2017-2020

May 13, 2017 – Boston Free Speech Rally
August 19, 2017 –The Second Boston Free Speech Rally
June 2, 2018 – June 2nd for the Second Amendment
October 6, 2018 – Providence Freedom Rally
August 31, 2019 – Straight Pride Parade
May 4, 2020 – Liberty Rally at the State House
June 27, 2020 – Restore Sanity
January 6, 2021 – Capitol Riot (Washington, DC)

Boston Free Speech Rally

Event Date: May 13, 2017

Organized by: Boston Free Speech

Organizations Present:

White supremacists/fascists present:

  • Gabriel Brown
  • Stewart Rhodes
  • Kyle “Based Stick Man” Chapman
  • Steven Verrette
  • Sal Cipolla
  • Augustus Invictus
  • Michael Lindskog
  • Shiva Ayyadurai

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • Sal Cipolla attacked a young person in the counterdemonstration, punching them in the face. Another counterprotester came to their aid, and the Boston Police Department arrested the person helping the victim and Cipolla.
  • Leading up to the action, Boston Free Speech invaded a counterdemonstration planning meeting, verbally harassed and physically intimidated community members, stole documents, and took recordings without permission
  • Recordings released online on white supremacist forums to encourage the doxxing and harassment of Black, East Asian, Jewish, and white organizers present. There was a further attempt to identify and harass all medics at the counterprotest.
  • Proud Boys conducted a violent hazing ritual of one of their members during the action
  • At least one openly Holocaust-denying speaker given a platform

Impact:

  • The outcome was an uneasy draw: greater resistance than anticipated meant that Boston was not repeatedly targeted in the same way other cities were. But fascists/white supremacists were sufficiently emboldened to move forward with the follow up rally to Unite the Right in August 2017
  • Fault lines within the Boston fascist movement exposed: 
    • Younger “alt lite” attendees referencing jokes and conversations online clash with older, hardened militia-affiliated attendees 
    • These schisms are well documented from 8chan chat archives

Media Coverage:

Table of Contents


The Second Boston Free Speech Rally

Event Date: August 19, 2017

Organized by: Boston Free Speech

Organizations Present:

  • Proud Boys and Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights
  • Anti-Communist Action (Anticom)
  • National Anarchist Tribal Alliance – New York
  • Three Percenters
  • Ku Klux Klan (rumored)

White supremacists/fascists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • Popular reaction to the white supremacist/fascist violence in Charlottesville the preceding weekend brought out 40,000 people between two organized counter demonstrations, one from Roxbury to the Common and one stationary on the Common
  • New England area fascists’ fractures further deepened: many speakers drop out at the last minute
  • Boston Police Department consistently and violently protected white supremacists/fascists by maintaining perimeter around the stage, providing escorts in and out of the event, as well as tear gassing, bludgeoning, and arresting many counter protesters and passersby, including shoppers in Downtown Crossing, after the rally
  • Boston Police Department arrested 33 people, only 3 (one of whom was Trevor Carey, who became part of the Boston Free Speech blue bloc and then MarxWatch) were later identified as fascists

Impact:

  • Several dozen fascist events planned nationwide cancel and/or draw a fraction of the expected numbers
  • With its momentum slowed, Boston Free Speech stopped being the main coalition fascist organization in Boston, and instead became a coalition member of a new such organization, Resist Marxism.
  • Fascist organizing in Boston was slowed for months.

Media Coverage:

Table of Contents


June 2nd for the Second Amendment

Event Date: June 2, 2018

Organized by: June 2nd for the Second Amendment

Organizations Present:

White supremacists/fascists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • Fascists and white supremacists counter-protested the March for Our Lives Boston march, and followed that action with this rally as part of national day of action, supposedly around gun rights.
  • ThinkProgress’ reporting on Resist Marxism revealed their organization had direct ties to Unite the Right and the subsequent “free speech” rally on August 17, 2019. These organizations include Vanguard America, Patriot Front, and more.
  • Speakers at the rally incited violence against counter demonstrators and deployed racist arguments around “illegal immigration” and couched their defense of gun rights in terms of defending against a liberal government.
  • A fascist rally attendee rushed counterprotesters and choked counter demonstrator. 
  • Boston Police Department maintained a perimeter around the rally and provided safe passage, while repeatedly harassing counterdemonstrators. Ultimately, 3 total arrests occurred.

Impact:

  • Investigative reporting from ThinkProgress before the rally popularized the information about the real intentions of Resist Marxism and other groups organizing the rally, leading to strain on Resist Marxism’s coalition and dampening turnout
  • Resist Marxism’s momentum subsequently continued to falter. Turnout and coalition-building in their later rallies declined – indeed, the next attempt at a standalone mass rally in Boston, in August 2018, was organized by Boston Free Speech, not Resist Marxism – and for several months they focused energy on rallies in Providence and to a lesser extent New York City.

Media Coverage:

Table of Contents


Providence Freedom Rally

Event Date: October 6, 2018

Organized by: Resist Marxism

Organizations Present:

White supremacists/fascists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • While at the time, this rally was largely ignored outside of local and antifascist circles, six days later, a Proud Boy mob attacked people outside of a NYC event at the Metropolitan Republican Club featuring Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes. That attack got a tremendous amount of press and multiple Proud Boys have been sentenced to prison for it. Max Hare, a Proud Boy who was filmed attacking people at the Providence rally as part of the “security” squad, was identified by antifascist Twitter account AntiFashGordon as having attacked people in Providence and as a threat to public safety at the NYC event, a few hours before the NYC attack. Max Hare was demonstrated in video footage to have initiated the NYC attack, and is one of the Proud Boys who was sent to prison for it.
  • Resist Marxism planned 2 actions in Providence, possibly due to increasingly negative media response, and increasingly larger and more-organized counterprotests, in Boston. RM invited fascist, misogynist, and Christian supremacist/Western chauvinist organizations such as Patriot Prayer and founder, Joey Gibson, as well as “Tiny” Toese of the Proud Boys.
  • “Tiny” Toese and the Proud Boys, ostensibly acting as “security,” confronted counterprotesters on the counterprotest side of barricades, and initiated a brawl where one counterprotester suffered a concussion and seizure, and many counter protesters sustained minor injuries.
  • RI State Police in riot gear declared the rally an unlawful assembly and ordered all attendees to disperse 

Impact:

  • Resist Marxism temporarily left Providence and refocused on Boston, with its next attempt at a Providence rally being the planned April 6, 2019 rally that imploded before it happened. Their next few events were smaller. However, the Proud-Boy-initiated brawl made Proud Boy and American Guard brawlers excited to return, before the April 6, 2019 rally imploded.
  • RM organizers would eventually rebrand as Super Happy Fun America in the spring of 2019 to start planning the Straight Pride Parade

Media Coverage:

Social Media Coverage

Table of Contents


Straight Pride Parade

Event Date: August 31, 2019

Organized by: Super Happy Fun America

Organizations Present:

  • Super Happy Fun America

White supremacists/present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • Super Happy Fun America emerged as a re-brand of Resist Marxism, which had been extensively reported upon for its openly white supremacist and fascist associations
  • Thousands of counterprotesters dwarfed the comparatively small straight pride parade
  • Boston Police Department (BPD) launched a police riot against counterprotesters, injuring dozens of people, deploying pepper spray and teargas, using sirens as sonic weapons, and driving motorbikes into crowds, and attacking medic stations.
  • BPD arrested 36 individuals, 34 counter-protesters. Judges Sinnot and Horgan refused to allow district attorneys to drop charges against protesters at first.
  • Straight Pride Parade was a media spectacle more than a coalition effort, representing a shift in local fascist organizing strategies

Impact:

  • The event cost Super Happy Fun America enormous amount of money and due to the chaos instigated by the police, they were unable to carry off a successful event
  • As of this writing, they have not attempted to muster a large demonstration in Boston since then. However, 

Media Coverage:

Table of Contents


Liberty Rally at the State House

Event Date: May 4, 2020

Organized by: Super Happy Fun America

Organizations Present:

White supremacists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

Impact:

  • This action solidified in Massachusetts the national trend of white supremacists, alt-right types, and neo-fascists opposing pandemic response measures, actively using these rallies to promote the idea that “weaker” people should die.

Media Coverage:

Table of Contents


Restore Sanity

Event Date: June 27, 2020

Organized by: Super Happy Fun America

Organizations Present:

  • Nationalist Social Club

White supremacists/fascists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • The event was billed as pro-police and anti-Black Lives Matter protests, deploying fear mongering rhetoric about escalated protests happening around the country.
  • The event emphasized “blue lives matter” – a racist position that exists only as a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • SHFA’s event once again attracted multiple overt Nazis, white supremacists, and so forth. There were scuffles on their side, but ultimately they sided with eachother. They were once again vastly outnumbered and protected by the police.

Impact:

  • NSC’s use of the Sonnenrad flag, a Nazi flag, attracted mainstream media press attention and brought into public view their fascist/white supremacist affiliations
  • The second “Back the Blue” type event hosted by SHFA in 2020, it is an early example of such “Back the Blue” protests throughout Greater Boston in summer and fall 2020

Media Coverage:


Capitol Riot (Washington, DC)

Event Date: January 6, 2021

Note: Our coverage primarily deals with the presence of New England based white supremacists, given the extensive coverage given to these events as a whole. 

Organizations Present:

White supremacists/fascists present:

Key Takeaways/Facts:

  • Hardened white supremacists and mainline Trump supporters, mostly middle and owning class, descended upon the Capitol on January 6 in protest of the certification of election results confirmed Joe Biden’s victory. They broke into the Capitol building, vandalized it, and 5 people ultimately died, 1 at the hands of police, 3 related to self injury and medical issues, and 1 police officer.
  • Sue Ianni organized the 11 charter buses from MA to DC for this on behalf of Super Happy Fun America, Crystal Transport rented them the buses and lied to community members about cancelling the reservations.
  • Ianni’s role highlights the key role white women play in organizing white supremacist movements.
  • Ianni and Sahady were arrested by FBI Boston agents on Tuesday, 1/19/21 and as of this writing both have been released on personal recognizance (without a bail being imposed) while their cases proceed. Both are banned from the MA State House, and Sahady is banned from organizing demonstrations.

Impact:

  • So far, the impact of these events and the unprecedented attention on them by people unfamiliar with antifascist organizing and the mainstream press and FBI is that SHFA members have lost their jobs and social credibility, while some face federal charges.
  • It is too early to say whether this will drive them further underground or if it will truly take the wind out of their sails, their absence at Inauguration week protests in Boston area is notable.
  • As of this writing, the riot at the capitol has invigorated the far right as a propoganda stunt.

Media Coverage:

Social Media Coverage

Table of Contents