31 suspected members of white supremacist group arrested at Idaho Pride parade
A group of 31 people, suspected to be members of the white supremacist neo-Nazi group Patriot Front, have been arrested at a Pride parade in Idaho.
On Saturday (11 June), North Idaho Pride Alliance held the Coeur d’Alene Pride in the Park event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a “family-friendly, community event celebrating diversity and building a stronger and more unified community for all”.
There was a large police presence at the Pride event, as Coeur d’Alene police had received tips that there were plans to disrupt it, officials said at a news conference.
Just after 1.30pm, police received a call from a “concerned citizen” who had seen a group of people who “looked like a little army” jump into the back of a U-Haul truck with masks and shields.
Officers made a traffic stop, and arrested the 31 people inside the truck for conspiracy to riot. The group, made up of individuals from states across the US, was found with riot gear and at least one smoke grenade.
“They appeared to be affiliated with the group Patriot Front,” Coeur d’Alene police chief Lee White said at the news conference.
The individuals arrested have not yet been named, and it is unclear whether they will face any further charges.
Patriot Front was formed when Vanguard America rebranded after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. It is a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated white nationalist hate group, and is one of the most active white supremacist groups in America today.
Luckily, after the arrests were made, the Coeur d’Alene Pride in the Park event was a resounding success.
Organisers posted to social media on Sunday (12 June): “As a small community nonprofit, North Idaho Pride Alliance is taking a much-needed day of rest after successfully organizing a momentous, joyful, and SAFE Pride in the Park community celebration under the most challenging of circumstances… We are deeply grateful to law enforcement agencies who were present and professionally responded throughout the day to keep our community safe.
“We thank the many Pride in the Park vendors, volunteers, performers, partners, supporters, sponsors, and event attendees for their role in ensuring a safe event for ALL by joining us yesterday in the spirit of love, kindness, and inclusion.”