Cab Drivers Refuse To Pick Up Racists After Philly Rally With Proud Boys

Cab Drivers Refuse To Pick Up Racists After Philly Rally With Proud Boys
Proud Boys Faced Off With Protesters Holding Signs Praising Hockey Mascot Gritty
A conservative rally being held in Philadelphia on Saturday is drawing counter-protesters amid fears that more extreme right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys could make an appearance. The “We the People” rally was scheduled to start late morning and take place at Philadelphias Independence Mall through the early afternoon.

The events Facebook page describes it as a rally for the “silent majority,” comprised of “Patriots, Militia, 3%, constitution loving Americans, pro good cop, pro ICE, pro law and order, pro life, pro American value, pro gun and anti illegal immigration.” The event description adds, “ITS [sic] TIME TO SHOW PHILLY WHAT PATRIOTISM REALLY IS!!”

At one point, Philadelphia police had to pull the Proud Boys out of a confrontation with with the counterprotesters after they waded into the crowd. One of the rallygoers who had to be pulled out of the fight was David Kuriakose, who is facing riot and assault charges over a fight he was involved with in New York.

Although the Facebook page said that “any violence, racism, or display of hate by any group or individual is extremely prohibited,” some are concerned that the rally could turn violent if any violent right-wing groups show up. The Proud Boys, an all-men white nationalist group whose members often attend white supremacist rallies such as the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017, may make an appearance at the rally.

Those opposing the We the People rally stood across from the Proud Boys, separated by a police barricade, and chanted and plated musical instruments to cover up the sounds of the conservative demonstration, the Daily Beast reported.

Far-right Philadelphia rally draws hundreds of counterprotesters

A few counter-protests have been organized, including one by the progressive PushBack Campaign. The Facebook event for the counter-protest said “the residents and allies of Philadelphia must stand in opposition to this escalation of the far-rights push into the citys culture and politics.”

Gritty-inspired protesters just chased a right-wing rally out of Philly

On Saturday morning, some counter-protesters arrived well ahead of the rally itself. Police have arrested at least one person.

Gritty used as symbol to protest far-right rally in Philadelphia

Several counter-protesters were holding signs with images of Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot who has been co-opted as an antifa symbol by some on the left. Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer tweeted pictures of a homemade sign. There were around a dozen protesters who showed up for the “We the People,” and they were far outnumbered by the counter-protesters.

Max M. Marin, a political editor and reporter for Billy Penn, posted a video to Twitter showing an alleged “proud boy” head-butted as he was led away from the protest. The attacker was detained and more riot police were sent to Independence Mall, according to Marin.

Leaving, as it turned out, was harder than expected for some of the fascist attendees. The day came to an end outside the Roundhouse, which is Philadelphia polices former headquarters. There, three fascists, including key organizer Rehl and another in a We are all Dreamers t-shirt stood behind a row of police, surrounded by seemingly weary protesters, some of who were sitting on the ground.

Racists in Philadelphia were apparently denied a quick escape Saturday after cab drivers refused them service following a far-right rally that met with emphatic opposition from anti-racist protesters.

Protesters vastly outnumbered the poorly-attended rally, organized by a coalition of fascists, far-right agitators, and MAGA faithful under the banner We the People. Zachary Rehl, a key member of the Proud Boys – a fascist street-gang linked to recent violence in New York City – was one of the lead organizers of the event, and yet they comprised just a handful of roughly 40 attendees.

Roughly two dozen people showed up to attend the We the People Rally, which aimed to gather what organizers called the silent majority to take a stand against the left. The event included alt-righters and at least two Proud Boys, a violent gang of fascists led by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, and members of the Three Percenters, a nativist anti-government militia. (McInnes is no longer affiliated with Vice.)

Protesters vastly outnumbered the poorly-attended rally, organized by a coalition of fascists, far-right agitators, and MAGA faithful under the banner We the People. Zachary Rehl, a key member of the Proud Boys – a fascist street-gang linked to recent violence in New York City – was one of the lead organizers of the event, and yet they comprised just a handful of roughly 40 attendees.

This event is for all Patriots, Militia, 3%, constitution loving Americans, pro good cop, pro ICE, pro law and order, pro life, pro American value, pro gun and anti illegal immigration, the events description on Facebook reads. Will you stand with us? ITS TIME TO SHOW PHILLY WHAT PATRIOTISM REALLY IS!!

WATCH: Right-wing Proud Boys forced to walk home from Philadelphia rally after taxi drivers refuse them

While the alt-righters held their rally, on the other side of a police barricade were hundreds of anti-racist protesters who chanted Go home assholes and held signs that read Make Racists Afraid Again. 

We are urging that people recognize the seriousness and danger of this situation and come out to oppose them on November 17th at the Independence Visitor Center (6th & Market) in Center City Philadelphia. There is safety in numbers, so to ensure the protection of vulnerable individuals and communities, it is imperative that as many people as possible show up in opposition. To get involved, please contact the #pushback campaign at the address below [pushbackcampaign@protonmail.com].

Following the rally, attendees of the We the People rally attempted to leave the gathering using cabs and Ubers. But as Vices Tess Owen documented, they werent well received: 

Some people painted Gritty on signs, some dressed up in Flyers’ gear, and others crocheted Gritty hats. According to Twitter user Delibrarian, it seemed like there were “About 5 times as many gritty signs as nazis” present.

This is completely surreal. Fascists are trying to take taxis , but the drivers keep leaving whenever they realize whats happening. pic.twitter.com/lcwPucpSPf

Parker Higgins, director of special projects at Freedom of the Press, tweeted that he’s “spent a lot of times around both protests and fandom communities, and the caliber of Gritty art here is exceptional.”

Repost of Uber driver turning down fascists but trimmed so license plate not visible pic.twitter.com/sGJmYcXQYr

Rehl told Philadelphias WHYY that Proud Boys had expressed interest in attending the Nov. 17 gathering, before waving away the question. Last Ive heard, they were told to stand down due to recent events in New York, he told the station. Im not aware if any at all will be there. Which, again, is the kind of things one must say publicly in order to avoid legal trouble, an absolve oneself from the actions of a known hate group. Holly Delcampo, who has been running communications for the event, has been helping interested, out-of-state parties plan their travel—and as Rewire reports, that includes Proud Boy Alan Swinney. Also looking to get a good group together for We the People, according to Rewire? Robert Gaus, co-founder of Keystone United (formerly the Keystone State Skinheads), a Pennsylvania white supremacist outfit.

Gwen Snyder, a Philadelphia activist, claimed on Twitter that cab and Uber drivers were refusing service to the We the People attendees because anti-racist protesters were informing the drivers of their would-be fares politics.

And indeed, the Facebook page toes that same line, noting that the organizers do not condone the use of violence by any party at this event, and that any violence, racism, or display of hate by any group or individual is extremely prohibited. Any group or party violating these conditions will be removed from this event immediately. To me, that proviso sounds equal parts Trumpian and obligatory: As Rewire notes, Rehls previous rallies in support of the president have attracted participants decked out in alt-right paraphernalia, and Sports, Beer, and Politics has previously hosted Blue Lives Matter events intended to directly contradict the notion that Black Lives Matter.

Fascists tried to take off in two ubers and a taxi but no one will take them, because we keep telling the drivers who they are. This cab driver just kicked them out of his car. A cop threatened to cite us all if we keep telling drivers that their fares are nazis #pushback pic.twitter.com/4XCC1x0UQ9

Eagle-eyed readers will likely have alarm bells ringing in their heads right about now: The Anti-Defamation League identifies the Three Percenters as an anti-government extremist movement who draw their name from an obscure statistic about the percentage of colonist participation in Revolutionary War combat. The group denies being a militia, however striking the resemblance, and is rabidly pro-gun, aggressively xenophobic, and inherently nationalist in sentiment. And thats the subtext of pretty much every adjective mentioned in the event invitation.

A cop threatened to cite us all if we keep telling drivers that their fares are nazis, Snyder tweeted.

We the people—im/migrants, people of color, LGBTQ folks, women, Muslims, Jews, and all the workers who oppose racism and bigotry—say NO to the planned gathering of white supremacist and alt-right forces in Philadelphia on November 17, it reads, demanding that the city and Park Service rescind the rallys permits and issue a statement in support of groups recently targeted by white supremacists and alt-right figures, and their rhetoric. (At the time of writing, the petition had nearly 1,000 signatures.)

Its not clear whether any anti-racist protesters were attempting to get taxi or Uber rides at Saturdays event. Philadelphia police did not immediately respond to HuffPosts request for comment about Snyders claim that anti-racists were threatened with a citation.

The Proud Boys were dealt a blow earlier this week when member Andrew Kovalic was fired from his decade-long job at Comcast after it was revealed he was part of the white supremacist movement. 

Theres no place for disrespectful, offensive behavior in our culture, the company told Philadelphia magazine. The individual is no longer employed by Comcast.


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