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The Patriot Front is an American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist group which utilizes imagery of patriotism, liberty, and other widely accepted American values to promote its ideology. Part of the broader alt-right movement, the group split off from Vanguard America in August 2017 in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally.
Patriot Front is led by Thomas Ryan Rousseau, a teenager living in the United States. Rousseau had previously taken control of Vanguard's web server and Discord channel several weeks prior to the Unite the Right rally, which Rousseau had participated in as the leader of Vanguard America's contingent. Following bad press associated with the rally, Rousseau left Vanguard and used the group's domain name to form Patriot Front as an ostensibly new group, although most members were former Vanguard members and rally participants.
As with Vanguard America, Patriot Front supports white supremacy, antisemitism, fascism, and a white supremacist version of American nationalism. It also promotes the Zionist Occupied Government conspiracy theory. The group uses a combination of patriotic and fascist imagery, such as a fasces surrounded by thirteen stars, and attention-grabbing techniques such as setting off smoke bombs during demonstrations and protests and chanting slogans, such as "blood and soil", and "Strong Borders, Strong Nations".
Patriot Front's activities, such as putting up posters, distributing flyers, hanging banners, organizing demonstrations, or "doing miscellaneous acts of public service", have been seen in at least 25 states. Members have also been known to hand out flyers at Trump rallies and leave them in books.
In 2017, the organization planned to attend an alt-right "March Against Communism" in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 28 alongside members of Anti-Communist Action (the main organizers of the event), Richard B. Spencer, Billy Roper of The Shield Wall Network and Augustus Sol Invictus but the march was cancelled due to "security concerns".
On July 10, 2018, a local anti-white supremacist group in Tacoma, Washington, "Tacoma Against Nazis", erected a billboard reading "There are NAZIS in our neighborhood". On July 19, Patriot Front members "climbed up the structure at Pacific Avenue and South 72nd Street and pasted over 'Nazis' with 'Illegal Aliens.'"
On January 21, 2019, Patriot Front flyers were found on home driveways in Edmonds, Washington, sparking a small demonstration of around 50 citizens and a statement by the mayor which condemned the flyers and their message of intolerance and exclusion.
On February 13, 2019, Patriot Front flyers were spotted in Boston, Massachusetts in the Eastern section of the city. The flyers said "Keep America American", "Better Dead Than Red", and "Will Your Speech Be Hate Speech?" The flyers were denounced by Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston. Two days later on February 15, three Patriot Front members were arrested for putting up the flyers and one of the men slapped a police officer's hand when the officer was reaching for his identification via wallet. One was found to have a spring-loaded 5-inch knife and another was found to have a wood handled trowel and brass knuckles. A lawyer for one of the men stated that this was an incident of "youthful stupidity" and he also stated that the three men met while playing Xbox and other video games. The three men later appeared in court.
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Patriot Front's current website is patriotfront.us.
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- Tempera, Jacqueline (February 19, 2019). "Attorney for one of the men accused of posting propaganda for white nationalist group Patriot Front around East Boston says it was just 'youthful stupidity'". Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Official website
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