Proud Boys Member on Trial for Assault Says He Was Acting in Self Defense

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Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News
Maxwell Hare in Manhattan Criminal Court on Aug. 8, 2019 in New York. (Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)

Proud Boys member Maxwell Hare, 27, is on trial in New York City for allegedly assaulting gang members of the leftist group, Antifa.

Prosecutors say he and co-defendant John Kinsman pummeled several Antifa protesters after the far-leftist group followed them to a speaking event at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side on Oct. 12, 2018. Eight other Proud Boys members were also indicted.

Testifying in his own defense, Hare said his organization stands for patriotism, not hate. He accused Antifa members of being the real aggressors that day and presenting a threat to their rally.

He said the Proud Boys are “a group of blue-collar men that love America.”

To become a member of the Proud Boys, men take an oath saying, “I’m a Western chauvinist and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, which is simply Western meaning America.”

Hare painted Antifa as “a violent, militant anarchist group … They’re individuals that show up to events in black masks and black hoods to disrupt the event.”

Defending his actions that day, Hare said, “I had to protect me and my friends … because they were attacking us.”

As the Proud Boys headed towards E. 82nd St. on October 12, several Antifa protesters wearing black masks approached them.

Hare said he clapped his hands to alert his friends, saying he heard Antifa members saying, “You’re dead.”

As he walked toward the counter-protesters, “something whizzed by my head,” he said, not knowing it was a plastic bottle.

Immediately, the two groups entered into a wild brawl that involved stomping, kicking and slugging each other.

The Antifa members refused medical treatment, and police were never able to identify them.

The trial will resume next Tuesday, August 13.

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