New Zealand Bans Trump-Supporting Organisation ‘The Proud Boys’

New Zealand has designated the American pro-Trump organisation the ‘Proud Boys’ a terrorist organisation, meaning anyone funding it is liable for criminal charges and up to 7 years in prison.

The Proud Boys are a neo-fascist, all-male group, set up to defend ‘western’ values. It is fiercely supportive of former US president Donal Trump and has been described as violent, racist, and an organisation that supports chauvinism and xenophobia.

Another neo-fascist organisation banned in New Zealand under the new legislation is ‘The Base’, which has been linked to violent attacks and is regarded as neo-Nazi in nature, with a particular focus on Antisemitism.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said of the new laws:

“Those groups are respectively neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, white supremacist groups who have been responsible for some key unlawful events overseas, and so police supported the designation. It’s ultimately a matter for each jurisdiction to decide, but I would note that these groups have been designated in Australia and obviously they’re one of our closest partners in assessing the terrorism threat. It’s a preventative, deterrent mechanism for those groups not to operate here.”

In 2019 a far-right extremist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people and injuring dozens more. It was later revealed that the shooter had been inspired by online far-right groups and propaganda, much of which originated in the United States.

Byron Clark, an expert on the far-right, said:

“It’s aligned I guess with what intelligence agencies are saying, that this is the biggest risk now is far-right terrorism – it’s a higher likelihood of a far-right terrorist attack than an Islamic terrorist attack in the current climate. There are some small groups here who share a lot of the ideology of the Christchurch shooter, and I think perhaps we’re still not paying enough attention to those.”

Fight Against Conspiracy Theories (FACT) Aotearoa spokesperson Stephen Judd added:

“There are legitimate concerns about groups along the lines of the Proud Boys or The Base forming and operating here … you can see the same ideologies and some of the same conspiracy theories circulating online and in real life between people here.”

[Based on reporting by: RNZ]

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