Well-known far right men’s group The Proud Boys managed to host a meet-up in Los Angeles earlier this month. A West Coast chapter of the group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels as an extremist organization, got together at Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown. The brewery did not know about the meeting beforehand and did not approve of it after the fact.
Local daily news site L.A. Taco confirmed that the meeting did indeed take place on June 1. According to multiple witnesses and sources, The Proud Boys showed up for drinks around 9 p.m. and stayed nearly until closing, with many sporting pro-Trump outfits including the ubiquitous bright red “Make America Great Again” hats. Many also wore black Fred Perry polo shirts, the unofficial outfit of choice for the group.
In all, L.A. Taco reports that 14 members of The Proud Boys attended the meet up, though the group officially declined to confirm that the group outing even took place, saying such details were “for members only.” Others who were there say the group hung around at or near the front door, and were passively attempting to intimidate anyone who entered the bar. At one point, a worker even called a manager to see what the brewery could do about their presence.
Co-owner and head brewery Bob Kunz said in an email response that he “did not know” that the group had planned to meet at the bar in Chinatown, adding:
Rest assured chauvinism and far right views are not values we align with. We live and carry on business in Los Angeles because we love the diversity the city has offer. It is what makes this such a great city. We celebrate equality. We absolutely would refuse to serve any organized gathering of a group harboring hate, bigotry, racism, or anything of the sort.
The Proud Boys is an internationally-known organization begun under VICE co-founder Gavin McInness. They promote a far right pro-Western ideology, including traditional roles for men and women in the workplace and at home, Islamophobia, anti-immigration policies, outright chauvinism, and the Second Amendment.