You need to know that the Proud Boys are the same people as the Boogaloo Bois, are the same people as the NM Civil Guard- the people who protected their shooter buddy yesterday. The City of Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Gier said that APD will be holding the NM Civil Guard accountable “to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution” … but the Proud Boys are already designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center has done extensive pieces on the Boogaloo Bois– the armed militia group the showed up to “protect property” at a George Floyd Vigil in Las Cruces last week. These are the same people with the same ideals- to protect White Supremacy including the monuments that glorify it, like the Onate statue.
Last year, we covered the Proud Boys and the Hiwaymen’s “flag-waving” rally in support of Trump, where shortly after the “rally” they pulled a gun on a community member.
These are the same people who showed up to the 2nd Amendment Rally during the 2020 Legislative Session where several GOP State Representatives and Senators spoke to a group of hateful fear-mongering extremists. Birds of a feather, the Proud Boys were in good company with many toating their weapons on the Capitol grounds.
These are the same people who claim to be the “New Mexico Civil Guard” a self-appointed armed militia that created a new Facebook page to rebrand themselves as something other than Proud Boys and Boogaloo Bois. (You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.) These are the same folks that APD called “armed friendlies” on their scanner. They are the same people that showed up armed to a George Floyd memorial in Las Cruces as the “Boogaloo Bois” and proceeded to doxx and out ProgressNow NM staff on their NM Civil Guard Facebook Page. These are the same people that we at ProgressNow NM, alongside so many community activists like NM Right Wing Watch, and Albuquerque Community Defense have been calling out for years.
In their latest act of fascism, here is the New Mexico Civil Guard defending their buddy Steven Baca after Steven first throws a woman to the ground and then SHOOTS a protester at the Onate statue in front of the Albuquerque Museum.
Steven’s dad was a former Bernalillo County Sheriff and Steven ran for City Council last cycle. This information matters because people who are actual facists are trying to gain political office- although some would argue many who are fascists already hold political office (Trump, anyone?) but that’s for another blog.
The big takeaway here is that law enforcement- APD in particular- is watching, coordinating with and arresting the wrong people.
Instead of APD standing in front of community members to protect them from the Proud Boys at the flag rally, APD started encroaching on community members when tensions started rising between the two factions.
Instead of APD turning their eye to the NM Civil Guard wannabe law enforcement officers, seeing them as a threat to our community and tracking them, APD instead focused their efforts on tracking and arresting Clifton White, a community organizer, partner, father and friend who was helping lead our local Black Lives Matter movement.
Instead of APD figuring out whether other community members were shot at or hurt after Steven Baca fired a gun and shot someone yesterday, they came late, brought in tanks and tear gas and used them on unarmed, peaceful protesters.
In what world is this okay?
We’re joining the chorus of thousands by calling on all electeds- especially those who spoke out against the shooting yesterday evening- to defund the police as we know them today. And yes, we mean that. We’re in the middle of a budget crisis and we spend millions of dollars on things like tanks and tear gas that we’ve never seen used against anyone else here in New Mexico except peaceful protesters who are seeking racial justice.