UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A violent scene erupted near the Manhattan GOP club on the Upper East Side Friday night following an appearance at the venue by Gavin McInnes, the controversial founder of Vice News and the self-described “western chauvinist” group “Proud Boys.”
The violence came just hours after the club on East 83rd Street, near Lexington Avenue, was vandalized. Anarchy symbols were spray painted on the front doors and several windows were broken.
Those responsible for the attack also left behind a note that read: “Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize.”
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McInnes, who left Vice News in 2008, founded the Proud Boys in 2016. He has described it as a right wing “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”
McInnes wrote on Instagram that he would be reenacting the 1960 assassination of the head of the Japanese Socialist Party that was apparently carried out using a Samurai sword. A video posted to Twitter showed McInnes leaving the club with a sword as protesters shouted at him.
The NYPD said in an emailed statement to Patch that it was assigned to a protest outside the club and that there were no incidents at that location.
Videos posted to YouTube and Twitter show a group of presumed Proud Boys members saying “come on,” “you ready?” before cornering two or three people and kicking them on the sidewalk as they lay on the ground. The group is also heard cursing and shouting gay slurs during the assault.
As the group disperses, they can be heard saying “Proud Boys, let’s go.”
(Warning: The video below contains graphic footage)
Videos obtained by Gothamist show the scene that unfolded in fuller details.
Shay Horse, a photojournalist at the scene, said a group of about 30 Proud Boys were involved in the fight with three others. Horse also snapped a photo of the group following the assault where they flashed white power symbols before leaving the area.
An NYPD spokesperson told Patch that three men were arrested at the corner of East 84th Street and Third Avenue. Two 20-year-old men are charged with robbery and assault. A 35-year-old man is charged with robbery, assault and resisting arrest. According to BuzzFeed News, those three arrests were made in relation to a separate assault.
Rebecca Kavanagh, an attorney with the NYC Legal Aid Society, tweeted that she had confirmed the three men arrested were anti-racist protesters, as Gothamist also noted.
The NYPD said it was reviewing additional video and other evidence from the events Friday night “to determine if other crimes were committed and, if so, identify those perpetrators and make further arrests as warranted.”
In its statement the NYPD said there was one victim who refused medical attention and is speaking with investigators.
The NYPD is encouraging anyone with additional video or information related to the events to contact police on their tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.
“There is no tolerance for violence anywhere in New York City, and the NYPD will do everything in its power to ensure public safety,” the NYPD said in the statement.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the three arrests were made in relation to a separate assault and not the one seen in the video.
Photo: Gavin McInnes takes part in an Alt Right protest of Muslim activist Linda Sarsour on April 25, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images News/Getty Images