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A rift appears to have developed in the Miami chapter of the Proud Boys, evidenced in Telegram posts circulated by at least two chapters and the far right MurderTheMedia channel. On August 1, the Seattle and American Redoubt (Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, Western Montana) Proud Boys circulated a MurderTheMedia post claiming that Tarrio had been “disavowed” by the Miami chapter of the far right group by a 95% to 5% vote “in favor of his dismissal…with four members that chose to abstain from voting.”[1]

The statement, attributed to an “anonymous source,” claims that “Enrique Tarrio is no longer a member of the Miami Proud Boys.” MurderTheMedia was “seeking comment from Mr. Tarrio.”[2]

In the wake of multiple arrests of Proud Boys for their involvement in the January 6 nationalist insurrection, Tarrio had announced in June that he was stepping down as national chair to focus on local politics.[3] To date, at least 37 members of the far right, racist group have been arrested in connection to the violent assault on the Capitol, including at least 15 Proud Boy members or associates charged in four separate conspiracy cases.[4]

In recent months, the Proud Boys have indeed shifted their focus to local activism, including recent mobilizations at school board meetings in New Hampshire and Utah to protest teaching facts about racism under the guise of assailing “critical race theory;” engaging in an unpermitted march in Creswell, Oregon; acting as security at an anti-choice rally outside a Planned Parenthood in Salem, Oregon; and a Proud Boy running for school board in Kansas.[5]

Some participants in the MurderTheMedia discussion about the Miami Proud Boys conflict accused Tarrio of failing to adequately support North Carolina Proud Boy Charles Joseph Donahue (nicknamed “Yut”), arrested in April for his role in the insurrection.[6]

Others referenced the January revelation that Tarrio had become an informant for federal and local police after pleading guilty in 2012 to fraud charges related to selling stolen diabetes test kits – one critic of Tarrio giving him the name “Fedrique.”[7]

Indianapolis Proud Boys figure and American Guard leader Brien James joined the fray, urging that Proud Boys “Don’t pay that f****** snitch. Snitches don’t get paid.” On July 29 Brien James had declared that, “All truly proud and honorable individuals have to expel Enrique Tarrio. Get with chapter President. Demand that your chapter publicly disavow this federal informant and remove themselves from any involvement with him.”

The rift also comes as some Proud Boys have moved from their roots in reactionary racism and in the direction of white nationalism and antisemitism, a tendency reflected in one commenter’s statement that, “Once a Fed LARP; always a Fed LARP. Named Groups are Gay. Meatgrinder Nationalism doesn’t work in the age of ZOG” – ZOG referring to the “Zionist Occupation Government” that hardcore antisemites and national socialists say rules the U.S.

Others defended Tarrio, including citing long-standing dissension in the Miami chapter and saying Tarrio was still the leader.

Other commenters simply bemoaned that internal organizational conflicts were being aired in a public discussion, at times expressed in the vernacular of anti-LGBTQ bigotry common among Proud Boys:

For his part, Tarrio, under his online alias, Noble Lead, responded in Proud Boy fashion – that is, with bigotry and vulgarity, stating “Tell the new f*** they can lick my f****** balls.”

One individual coming to Tarrio’s defense was Chris Nelson, a Florida leader in People’s Rights, the far right group led by paramilitary figure Ammon Bundy. Nelson responded “Yes” to Tarrio’s bigoted self-defense. Chris Nelson, an active anti-mask activist and anti-Muslim bigot in his own right, has for some time been an ardent supporter of Enrique Tarrio and the Proud Boys.[8] Other People’s Rights activists have also allied with the far right group.

People’s Rights Florida Leader Chris Nelson mugs with Enrique Tarrio (left), displays his anti-Muslim bigoty by burning burkas (right)

Most recently, Nelson has promoted Tarrio’s upcoming appearance at an August 7 “Free the Political Prisoners” rally in North Fort Myers – ironically, given criticism of Tarrio for not supporting Proud Boys arrested in the January 6 insurrections, an event apparently aimed at supporting January 6 insurrectionists.[9]

As splits in the Proud Boys continue in the fallout from January 6, we can expect a continuation of alliances with other far right groups, local activism and the ongoing evolution of some chapters into fascist organizations.



[1] Proud Boys of the American Redoubt. Telegram. August 1, 2021.; Seattle Proud Boys. Telegram.  August 1, 2021.

[2] MurderTheMedia. Telegram. August 1, 2021.

[3] McEvoy, Jemima. Proud Boys Leader to Step Down as Embattled Group Plans Pivot to Local Politics. Forbes. June 29, 2021.

[4] Temple-Raston, Dina and Tim Mak. The Justice Department is Struggling to Bring Capitol Riot Charges To Trial: Here’s Why. NPR. July 27, 2021.; Hsu, Spencer S. Current, former police officers charged in new Proud Boys indictment in Captiol riot. Washington Post. July 16, 2021.; Hymes, Clare, McDonald, Cassidy and Eleanor Watson. 550 charged so far in Capitol riot case, while 17 have pleaded guilty. CBS News. August 2, 2021.

[5] Owen, Tess. Proud Boys Crashed School Board Meetings to Protest Critical Race Theory. Vice. July 29, 2021.; Sanders, Connor. Proud Boys and Black Lives Matter Utah state dueling protests at Granite schools meeting. Salt Lake Tribune. July 6, 2021.; Krauss, Louis. Creswell Fourth of July Parade fined, including one affiliated with Proud Boys. The Register-Guard. July 21, 2021.; Harrell, Saphara. Church at Planned Parenthood in Salem draws Proud Boys, ends in two arrests. Spokane Spokesman-Review. July 15, 2021.; Spicer, Sarah and Riley Gutierrez McDermid. Proud Boy says beliefs irrelevant to service, won’t drop out of school board race. The Wichita Eagle. July 20, 2021.

[6] Hewlett, Michael. Kernersville Proud Boy leader still in custody – but in Oklahoma attorney says. Winston-Salem Journal. April 21, 2021.; comments about the conflict are from MurderTheMedia. Telegram. August 1, 2021. 

[7] Roston, Aram. Exclusive: Proud Boys leader was ‘prolific’ informer for law enforcement. Reuters. January 27, 2021.

[8] Chris Nelson Uncensored. Telegram. July 2, 2021.

[9] Chris Nelson Uncensored. Telegram. August 2, 2021.


Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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