In late August, another two members of the Proud Boys received prison sentences for their activities on January 6. ISD’s Senior Research Manager Katherine Keneally spoke to BBC about these sentences, noting that while they are an important step to countering extremism, more needs to be done as the group continues to shift their tactics to focus their activity at the local level.
“This is a huge step in accountability for the actions that occurred on January 6, it’s a huge step for accountability for extremist activities. But what we have seen is that while the Proud Boys are being held accountable and it has deterred another January 6-like action, it has not deterred the group from existing.”
She added, “What we have actually seen since January 6 is an increase in the number of people who were joining the Proud Boys. Rather than attacking the US government at the federal level, what we are now seeing is the Proud Boys are engaged in local activities. They are protesting at school boards, they are protesting LGBTQ+ people, and they are threatening our elected officials. […] They have certainly not gone away.”
“There are a concerning number of Americans who not only believe that the election was stolen, but that believe violence is an acceptable solution. […] This combination is creating a very volatile environment to the lead-up to another presidential election in the US next year.”
The podcast interview is available on BBC’s website.