Videos: White supremacist Patriot Front group marches through city (2024)

Videos posted to social media on Saturday showed members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front marching through Charleston, West Virginia.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Patriot Front is a white supremacist group formed by disaffected members of another white supremacist group, Vanguard America, in September 2017, following the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Members "maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone. They define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists who are focused on preserving America's identity as a European-American nation."

Videos of the group marching towards the state Capitol in downtown Charleston on Saturday have been shared to X, formerly Twitter, where viewers can see the men wearing matching khaki pants, hats and dark colored polo shirts with masks over their faces. The group also can be seen marching as they carry a banner that read "America is not for sale" and chanted slogans.

Videos: White supremacist Patriot Front group marches through city (1)

"So these a******* from Patriot Front just marched through our beautiful town. While I support their 1st amendment right to PEACEFUL assembly...I also support our right to flip them off!" Mike Pushkin, the chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party and a Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates representing District 37, wrote on X.

Although it is unclear what prompted the group to march, the YWCA Charleston held its 8th annual Race to End Racism, which aims to raise funds for community engagement and racial equity and inclusion programming. The race took place during the same time the group of men began to march.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, the YWCA Charleston said the race was joined by hundreds of people celebrating racial equity and inclusion, adding that they will not let hate or fear slow them down from creating an inclusive community.

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"Our mission is eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all," said Jennifer Goddard, chief executive officer at the YWCA Charleston.

"More than 700 people joined us with love in their hearts and a passion for our mission to celebrate racial equity and inclusion. We will not let hate or fear slow our pace or divert us from making our community a place where all people are welcome and all feel safe."

In a statement, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin condemned the Patriot Front group for spreading hate.

"First, I want to thank the organizers and supporters of the YWCA's Race to End Racism today in Charleston. It is important for our community to celebrate coming together and stand up against hate. When our City team learned of a national hate group demonstrating earlier today, we acted quickly and appropriately to make sure all in our community remained safe," Goodwin said.

She added: "They want us to share their propaganda - and repost their photos on social media - I will not. We cannot let voices that want to spread hate be louder than the voices of those of us who want to celebrate our community."

According to WV Public Broadcasting, the Charleston City Police stayed close to the march to avoid any trouble. However, it is unclear if the group had a permit for the march.

Newsweek has reached out to Charleston City Police and the Patriot Front via email for comment.

Meanwhile, other X users noted the ongoing student protests across college campuses in response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war as a possible reason the Patriot Front group began marching.

College students have been at the forefront of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protests since the Israel-Hamas war began. On October 7, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, led its deadliest attack on Israel in history. Israel subsequently launched its heaviest airstrikes against Gaza. As of Sunday, at least 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, the Associated Press reported, per the Israeli government. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, per the Gaza Health Ministry, according to the AP.

Protests have since erupted across the nation as tensions escalate, with many calling for a lasting ceasefire amid the rising death toll, particularly among civilians.

X user and non-partisan group Veterans For Responsible Leader wrote on X, "Angry at student protesters? White supremacists are marching in Charleston, WV. No police. Keep your eye on the ball."

Angry at student protesters?

White supremacists are marching in Charleston, WV. No police.

Keep your eye on the ball.

— Veterans For Responsible Leadership (@VetsForRL) April 27, 2024

In addition, journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin wrote, "Right now about 90-150 WHITE SUPREMACISTS identified as the "Patriot Front, are advancing towards the state capital located in Charleston, West Virginia. 'Merica, where white supremacist anti-semites classified as a hate group can march freely, and students calling for an end to genocide and for freedom and equality are brutally arrested, suspended and evicted. Wonder why cops aren't arresting them?"

This isn't the first time members of the Patriot Front have been found at the center of controversy as five members of the group have been previously sentenced to several days in jail for conspiring to riot at a Pride event in Idaho in 2022. The men were accused of planning to riot at the Coeur d'Alene LGBTQ+ Pride event.

A total of 31 Patriot Front members, including one identified as its founder, were arrested after someone reported seeing people loading into a U-Haul van like "a little army" at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d'Alene, police said.

Update 4/30/24, 9:37 a.m. ET: This article was updated with a comment from the YWCA Charleston.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Videos: White supremacist Patriot Front group marches through city (2024)


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