Two members of the far-right group the Proud Boys were sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday, over their involvement in a Manhattan brawl last October. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman were convicted this summer of attempted gang assault, attempted assault, and riot during an attack on anti-fascists after a speech by the Proud Boys’ founder Gavin McInnes. Hare and Maxwell claimed they fought in self-defense, but security footage obtained by The New York Times revealed that Proud Boys initiated the attack. The footage shows Hare charging at and punching anti-fascists. A cellphone video from after the attack shows Hare and others boasting about attacking a “foreigner.”
The Proud Boys have been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its members have repeatedly pushed white supremacist and misogynistic talking points, as well as endorsed violence against the left. Its current leader, Enrique Tarrio, marched in 2017’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group valorizes street fights, especially against anti-fascists like the ones who protested McInnes’ speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club last year. Although McInnes publicly stepped down from the group late last year, he has remained a vocal advocate for them. Shortly after Hare and Kinsman’s sentencing on Tuesday, McInnes took to Telegram to blame individual members of the media for the conviction, and to push the debunked claim that Hare and Kinsman acted in self-defense.