Opening statements begin in ‘Proud Boys' trial

Opening statement and expert testimony have begun in the trial of two members of the right-wing group the "Proud Boys" for their attack on multiple members of the left-wing group "Antifa" following a talk by the Proud Boys founder in October 2018.

The defendants, Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, have been charged with attempted assault and riot. Proecutors are relying on vide of the street brawl because the four Antifa members who were attacked have not been identified or cooperated with authorities.

The Proud Boys describe themselves as a “Western Chauvinist” group, advocating the superiority of Western culture. Meanwhile, Antifa is short for antifascist, and is a left-wing group that believes in confronting those they deem fascist in the streets.  

The trial is about who started the fight between the two politically charged groups, both deemed extremists by the ADL. The defense is calling the attack a “schoolyard brawl,” painting Antifa members as more violent in general and priming the conditions for the attack by trying to intimidate attendees of the event. 

Ten Proud Boys in total have been indicted in connection to the fight, seven of whom have pleaded guilty.