31 white supremacists were arrested for planning a riot near an Idaho Pride event.
On 11 June, the North Idaho Pride Alliance hosted an LGBTQ+ inclusive event at a park in the city of Coeur d’Alene.
However, the joyous celebration was almost interrupted after a local resident spotted a “little army” of suspicious men packed into a U-Haul truck a couple of blocks away.
Shortly after receiving the tip, authorities approached the truck and apprehended the group, who were part of the far-right group Patriot Front.
The men were found wearing khakis, navy blue shirts, beige hats, and white balaclavas – which covered their faces. They also wore patches highlighting their association with the white supremacist group.
“It is clear based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White.
Some of the gear found at the scene varied from a smoke grenade, shields and shin guards.
According to numerous reports, the members of the group came from 11 states, including Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, Utah and Illinois.
holy shit. patriot front detained pic.twitter.com/uIIZeXn6Ci
— alissa azar (@AlissaAzar) June 11, 2022
White also revealed that the group planned to riot in several other areas across downtown Coeur d’Alene.
After the LGBTQ+ event ended, the North Idaho Pride Alliance released a statement and thanked law enforcement for stopping the potential riot.
“As a small community nonprofit, North Idaho Pride Alliance is taking a much-needed day of rest after successfully organizing a momentous, joyful, and SAFE Pride in the Park community celebration under the most challenging of circumstances,” they said via CNN.
“We are deeply grateful to law enforcement agencies who were present and professionally responded throughout the day to keep our community safe.”
In a Southern Poverty Law Center report, the Patriot Front is described as “an image-obsessed organization” with an “explicitly fascist agenda.”
They also say that the group was created after the deadly aftermath of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in one person being killed.
“Patriot Front focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said.
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