Two members of the far-right group Proud Boys were convicted of a gang attack on four Antifa activists in Manhattan.
The State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday convicted 27-year-old Maxwell Hare and 32-year-old John Kinsman of attempted gang assault, attempted assault and riot after they took part in the beating of four Antifa activists following a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes last year in Manhattan, The New York Times reports.
The two face up to 15 years in prison for the attempted gang assault charge. They are scheduled to be sentenced in October.
“As violent extremism rises in America, a Manhattan jury has declared in one voice that New Yorkers will not tolerate mob violence in our own backyard,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.
Prosecutors called McInnes a ‘hatemonger’:
Prosecutors repeatedly cited McInnes during the trial, referring to him as a “hatemonger” and describing violence as an innate part of the group’s ideology.
“Their attack was vicious, disproportionate and most important, unnecessary,” said prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.
Both men claimed that their actions came in self-defense.
“McInnes departed the club brandishing his plastic sword. Shortly after, 10 members and associates of the Proud Boys punched, kicked and stomped four people wearing black clothes and masks, who the police said had circled the block to intercept them,” The Times reported. “Later, Mr. McInnes said Antifa members had ambushed the Proud Boys. But security camera footage obtained by The New York Times showed that a Proud Boys member initiated the encounter by charging at protesters.”
Other Proud Boys members have been convicted of attacks:
“Seven other members of Proud Boys have been convicted on various charges in connection with the brawl, including disorderly conduct and riot, and have been sentenced to five days of community service to 10 months in jail. One other case is pending,” HuffPost reported. “The all-male Proud Boys organization— which describes its members as 'Western chauvinists' — has been characterized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its spread of white nationalism, misogyny and Islamophobia.”