COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Authorities arrested dozens of masked men near an Idaho pride event Saturday after they were found in the back of a U-Haul truck wearing clothes similar to members of a white supremacist group.
Local and Idaho State Police stopped the truck in downtown Coeur d’Alene and the back was filled with evidence bags from police. The men had what appeared to be a homemade riot shield and some protective equipment, KTVB reported. It was not immediately clear why the truck was stopped.
“It appears these people did not come here to engage in peaceful events,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris told a Coeur d’Alene Press reporter.
The clip was initially posted to Twitter by Syrian journalist Alissa Azar, who claimed that it showed numerous Patriot Front members being detained and arrested by police. According to her account bio, Azar covers right-wing violence in the Pacific Northwest. As of Saturday evening, the clip had been viewed over 290,000 times and been shared by prominent left-wing commentator Ron Filipkowski.
Patriot Front is, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a Neo-nazi group founded in Texas in 2017 in the aftermath of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group is described as “staunchly white nationalist” and committed to “the formation of a white ethnostate.” It is known for spreading its messages through theatrical public displays, such as hanging banners, or disrupting public events.
The individuals found in the truck were detained with zip ties and arrested one by one. KREM noted that homemade riot shields and other pieces of protective equipment could be seen amongst other evidence taken from the truck.
One of the goons from “Patriot” Front said, “If they want to have a war, let it begin here,” a Coeur d’Alene, Idaho “patriot” group promises to “go head-to-head” against Pride in the Park, claiming, “They are trying to take your children.”