- by theguardian
- 01 Apr 2023
Students at the prestigious US university Penn State are outraged that Gavin McInnes, founder of the far-right group the Proud Boys, is coming to speak at their Pennsylvania college on Monday.
The Proud Boys, an often violent US extremist group, have been labeled a terrorist organization by New Zealand and Canada. Many of its members align with white supremacist, antisemitic or Islamophobic ideologies. And five of its members were charged for their actions during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Ajah, a 21-year-old geography major and president of the Penn State College Democrats club, is one of many students who feel strongly about the university hosting McInnes. Although organized by Uncensored America, a conservative student-led group at the cost of roughly $7,000, Penn State is holding out against pleas to cancel or ban the event.
McInnes established the Proud Boys during the 2016 presidential elections. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalists and neo-Nazis cite him as a gateway to the far right.
Since then, members of his organization have been regulars at Make America Great Again rallies, recognizable for wearing black and yellow clothing, and they are frequent participants in street riots across the country.
Ajah and many of his peers will not attend the protest against the talk scheduled for 24 October, partly out of fear of violence. They feel this is the best message to send. Ajah wants students to think twice about their safety.
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