The public was shocked when over one hundred members of a white nationalist group known as the Patriot Front paraded through the streets of Washington D.C. on Saturday, December 4.
The Patriot Front was formerly known as a group called Vanguard America. However, the group quickly changed its name after a member killed a woman at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Many members of the group have military experience and reportedly train each other in everything from basic tactics to hand-to-hand combat.
The masked members were all dressed similarly in tan hats, tan pants, and navy blue jackets. They were armed with American flags and some carried plastic shields. Their faces were covered by sunglasses and masks to obscure their identity as they chanted “Reclaim America.”
Bystanders booed as the Patriot Front leader, Thomas Rousseau, spoke in front of the Capitol building.
“Our demonstrations are an exhibition of our unified capability to organize, to show our strength—not as brawlers or public nuisances, but as men capable of illustrating a message and seeking an America that more closely resembles the interests of its true people,” he said.
Members of the police, some dressed in riot gear, were on hand to make sure that the demonstration did not turn violent and the night ended without any arrests.
Patriot Front Marches Through Philadelphia On July 4th Weekend
This is not the first time that Patriot March has demonstrated in their signature ensemble. The group paraded through Center City Philadelphia over the July 4th weekend, drawing public concern.
Private security officer Shaune Bass told ABC6 about the frightening scene.
“I was scared,” Bass said at the time. “I didn’t know what the h— was going on. I felt like we were back in the 60s.”
As he watched the group march around Independence Mall, he described the scene saying, “They were walking in a standard military operation saying, ‘The cadence ‘take back what’s ours, reclaim America.”
Cassie Miller of the Southern Poverty Law Center said that there are 42 chapters of the Patriot Front, which she called the “leading white supremacist group in the country.”
She explained that “they believe the country must go through a chaotic rebirth to be restored to a mythical racially pure path” and often try to recruit on college campuses through flyers and flash protests.
Ron Filipkowski Shares Series Of Tweets Documenting The Rally
Fascist ‘Patriot Front’ tonight, Washington, DC. pic.twitter.com/Yqs0SK1Jrd
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 5, 2021
On his Twitter page, Ron Filipkowski posted a series of videos from inside the crowded truck that brought the members to the demonstration. He documented the heavy DC police presence and even recorded video of the group carrying a banner saying “Victory or Death” with the Washington Monument hovering in the distance.
He ended the video series after the speech at the Capitol building, saying, “I’m not going to show the speech past these couple seconds. They got the fascist imagery down. I’m done with this thread unless they end up getting arrested.”
Many members of the public commented on the thread to either mock the group or express their concerns.
One person wrote, “I’m all for your right to protest. However, with the Rittenhouse case and the recent school shooting, this feels entirely inappropriate. My fear? That they will influence unstable, impressionable kids.”
“They’ve already done that,” another replied.