Woman charged in Capitol riot says Proud Boys recruited her

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. — An Arizona girl charged in reference to the Jan. 6 onslaught of the U.S. Capitol bragged in a Snapchat video that she was not too long ago recruited by a Kansas Metropolis chapter of the Proud Boys, a neofascist group that describes itself as “Western chauvinists” and has lengthy forbidden feminine members.

Felicia Konold’s declare that the chapter recruited her and she or he was “with them now,” though she’s not from the Kansas Metropolis space, has intrigued consultants who research extremist right-wing actions.

“It’s ironic that such a deeply misogynistic group has attracted somebody who’s a lady to affix their group,” stated Eric Ward, a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart. “It tells us there’s dissention within the ranks of Proud Boys proper now.”

Particulars of the video surfaced final week in a possible trigger affidavit in opposition to Konold, 26, of Tucson, who’s charged with conspiracy, civil dysfunction and different federal prices stemming from the melee.

Konold sounded virtually euphoric within the Snapchat video she posted after the Capitol assault, saying she by no means might have imagined having such an affect on the occasions that unfolded that day. She laughingly references “all my boys, behind me, holding me up within the air, pushing again. We (expletive) did it!”

So as to seemingly show her level that she had simply been “recruited right into a (expletive) chapter from Kansas Metropolis,” she displayed on the video a two-sided “problem coin” that seems to have markings that designate it as belonging to the Kansas Metropolis Proud Boys.

The problem coin denotes membership, one thing that appears to go in opposition to the rhetoric about ladies from the group’s nationwide management, Ward stated.

“The very fact she has that coin, the problem coin, tells me there’s something taking place round gender within the Proud Boys — and it’s one thing value taking note of,” stated Ward, who can be the chief director of the Western States Heart, a civil rights advocacy group that works to advance gender fairness.

Specialists who monitor right-wing extremist teams level to the controversy that erupted when former combined martial arts fighter Tara LaRosa tried in December to determine a Proud Women offshoot on the social media app Telegram.

The Proud Boys’ social media channels rapidly responded, calling auxiliary teams comparable to Proud Boy’s Women or Proud Women “ridiculous concepts.” “Do not trip our coattails,” one publish learn. “Need to assist us? Get married, have infants, and maintain your loved ones.”

Alex DiBranco, government director of the Institute for Analysis on Male Supremacism, stated there are variations amongst Proud Boys chapters over whether or not to embrace ladies as Proud Women, even because the group as a complete has grow to be extra hostile to ladies’s auxiliaries in recent times. Moms of Proud Boys have posted about Proud Boys gatherings they hosted for his or her sons.

However DiBranco stated the individuals in her group who’ve labored on this matter are nonetheless unaware of a scenario the place a lady was really recruited to be a member of a Proud Boys’ chapter itself, which is strictly in opposition to the Proud Boys guidelines.

Cassie Miller, a senior analysis analyst for the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart, stated that for a time frame there have been auxiliary teams of Proud Boys’ Women made up of the wives and girlfriends of members, however they weren’t allowed full membership throughout the group. She stated so far as she is aware of, none of these auxiliary teams are lively proper now.

“The group has been very clear from the start it is a company for males solely and so they maintain misogynistic believes and consider that girls are greatest suited to home labor and may act as moms and homemakers,” Miller stated.

Prosecutors allege in a courtroom submitting that William Chrestman, who they described because the chief of Kansas Metropolis Proud Boys cell, “readily recruited” Felicia Konold and her brother, Cory Konold, from Arizona to affix the group of Kansas Metropolis Proud Boys.

Neither her protection lawyer nor her father instantly responded to messages Tuesday looking for remark.

The Proud Boys have been recognized to incite road violence with counter-protesters. The group gained widespread consideration throughout a presidential debate in September when then-President Donald Trump famously instructed them to “stand again and stand by.”

Prosecutors allege that that starting in December, the Proud Boys inspired its members to attend the Jan. 6 demonstration in Washington, D.C. A big group of them, together with Felicia Konold and different members of its Kansas Metropolis cell, was captured on video marching collectively and later getting into the U.S. Capitol.

Whereas there have been loads of white ladies on the Jan. 6 protests, white supremacists teams usually are typically dominated by white males, DiBranco stated. Teams like QAnon are typically fashionable with ladies, however Proud Boys supporters and QAnon supporters come collectively at some of these protests. The anti-vaxxer motion in opposition to vaccinations is dominated by ladies.

“These lockdown protests uncovered their members to those components of a far-right coalition that these ladies won’t in any other case be part of,” DiBranco stated. “Ladies might have moved from anti-vaxxer into QAnon and different kinds of conspiracies.”

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