Proud Boys Regroup, Focusing on School Boards and Town Councils

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“Tell me where I need to be and I am there,” one member of a Proud Boys group in Wisconsin wrote final month about protests of masks mandates. “I can drive 5-6 hours in any direction.”

“Think local, act local,” wrote one other member.

At some native conferences the place the Proud Boys have proven up, they’ve spoken and threatened group leaders, in accordance with information reviews. At others, they’ve merely stood silently and watched. In the Telegram teams, some boasted that that they had handed out their cellphone numbers to these involved in becoming a member of them.

While the Proud Boys’ membership just isn’t public, Mr. Holt mentioned the group seemed to be rising in small cities and counties.

Often, their presence has been sufficient to disrupt occasions. Last month, the college board in Beloit, Wis., mentioned it canceled courses as a result of a few of the Proud Boys had been at a neighborhood protest over masks necessities. In Orange County, Calif., the college board mentioned in September that it could set up steel detectors and rent further safety after a number of Proud Boys attended a gathering and threatened its members.

In New Hanover County, N.C., which has roughly 220,000 folks and is 2 hours southeast of Charlotte, Stefanie Adams, the college board president, mentioned she had learn concerning the group’s rising appearances and started monitoring the reviews intently.

Ms. Adams mentioned she had an inkling that the Proud Boys may present up in her college district, which has 25,000 college students. Because North Carolina regulation requires the county college board to vote on whether or not to proceed a masks mandate for college students every month, the district had dealt with many contentious conferences over the problem, she mentioned.

“I figured we were on their radar, and that we might be next,” Ms. Adams mentioned. “We knew we had to prepare for them coming to our town, too.”

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