Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Proud Boys' leader's jailing invites attention to dangers of far-right in US

Sunday 17/September/2023 - 03:19 PM
The Reference
Nahla Abdelmonem

A court in Washington DC has sentenced the leader of Proud Boys, a far-right neo-fascist militant organization that promotes and engages in political violence, Enrique Tarrio, to 22 years in prison.

Tarrio's indictment was made after he was found guilty of planning and inciting the storming of Capitol Hill, which left four people at least dead.

The judge looking into the case and passing the ruling described the storming of Congress as an attempt to break the established American tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.

Tarrio's trial took place on September 6. The sentence against him is the largest of its kind in terms of penalties against defendants in the same case.

The court considered the 39-year-old to be the main leader of the conspiracy the United States witnessed.

Rebellion and the reality of Congress

Far-right elements stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 to disrupt the course of a session on constitutional procedures for the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States.

The far-right activists did this in protest against Biden's election victory and to install Donald Trump, who lost the election, instead of the victor.

The mayhem created by their action opened the door for scenes of violence.

Proud Boys was accused of planning and mobilizing for that famous incident, a detrimental point in the US authorities' understanding of the far-right as a threat and the extent of its development at the level of communication and abilities.

As a result of this incident, on May 11, 2021, the Department of the Interior announced the launch of a new unit at its intelligence agency to combat domestic terrorism.

The new unit, it said, would give broader powers to law-enforcement authorities to counter violent extremism.

The department described the new unit as an 'important step' within a well-thought-out strategy to undermine the threat of the far-right.

Soon after taking the reins of power, President Biden called for assessing the activities of the far-right in the country and the extent of its danger and its ability to form militias.

This came in the wake of a marked growth in the activities of this movement.

On September 15, 2022, the White House organized the 'We are United' summit which was attended by President Biden and civil society activists to discuss the dangers posed by the far-right and the spread of hate speech and terrorism.