Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” blasted from a car in the parking lot surrounded by flags emblazoned with “Trump 2020” and “Don’t Tread on Me” waving from their cars. Their probable owners crowded on one side of Jones Street holding some signs for Trump, and some against Governor Roy Cooper. On the other side, counter-protesters held signs reminding everyone that Trump, in fact, lost the election.

Reopen NC supporters were joined by Latinos for Freedom and members of the far-right Proud Boys on Saturday for their “Pilgrims and Patriots Thanksgiving in Raleigh” event, saying that they were protesting Cooper’s restrictions on indoor gatherings. At the same time, anti-racist and anti-fascist activists gathered to counter-protest for an event called “Racists Out Of Raleigh.”

The groups stood on opposite sides of the street for hours, screaming chants and insults through megaphones. The protesters mostly stayed on their respective sides, partly due to the Raleigh police officers standing between the groups in the street. If a counter-protester crossed to confront those on the other sidewalk, the pro-Trump mob moved closer to the potential pressure point.

The right-wing protest vastly outnumbered the counter-protesters, but the Raleigh police kept their eyes on the smaller group; at one point, around 19 officers faced the group of counter-protesters, while 10 faced the Reopen NC group. Police nationwide have repeatedly been accused of being too cozy with the far right, including extremist groups like the Proud Boys, while overreacting to left-wing protestors.

Organizers from Reopen NC said they notified the Raleigh police department of the demonstration. The crowd marched freely around the block to the Governor’s Mansion chanting “No more masks!” 

At the Governor’s Mansion, the grab-bag group of conservatives stopped to make remarks and wave their flags. Several attendees repeatedly antagonized the press and tried to interfere with reporters covering the demonstration.

A man in a Proud Boys bandana kept the INDY reporter from recording speeches by putting his hand in front of the camera, while others around pretended to sneeze. A woman in a white tank top and MAGA hat also told the reporter to leave. This happened a second time once the group was back at the Jones Street corner; this time, the man who had been blocking the camera told the reporter, “we can ask you to leave, or we can make you leave.”

Across the street, counter-protesters continued to yell into megaphones. While no fights broke out, the groups continued their standoffs until around 5 p.m. Saturday.

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One reply on “Proud Boys and Anti-Racists Stand Off in Raleigh”

  1. People aren’t buying the lies anymore, sorry.
    Proud boys are constitutionalists, not ‘far right’ extremists as much as wikipedia wants to claim.

    This article is propaganda

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