Patriot Front U-Haul at Pride Event
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The Patriot Front U-Haul at Pride Event refers to an incident that occurred in June 2022 involving the neo-Nazi, alt-right and white supremacist group Patriot Front arriving with riot gear in a U-Haul truck to an LGBTQ+ Pride Month event in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. In total, 31 men were arrested at the scene, inspiring a viral discussion and controversy that occurred on social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit in the following days.
Patriot Front was founded in 2017 after it split from the neo-Nazi organization Vanguard America in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which protested the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and became notable predominantly due to the car attack that killed a 32-year-old woman, as well as the use of tiki torches in the rally's march. Patriot Front was founded by Thomas Ryan Rousseau, a teenager at the time in 2017. Due to Vanguard America's negative publicity after the "Unite the Right" rally, Rousseau organized Patriot Front, attempting to mask Vanguard America under a new name.
Since 2017, Patriot Front has organized itself within Discord servers, published a manifesto and distributed propaganda through flyers and memetic content. They've also held counter-protests and individual protests going into 2022, like in 2018 when they counter-protested at an Occupy ICE protest and in 2022 when they marched at an anti-abortion rally in Washington D.C.
On June 11th, 2022, the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding a Pride in the Park event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where 31 members of the Patriot Front group, including its founder Thomas Ryan Rousseau, were detained and then arrested after they were found packed into the back of a U-Haul truck with riot gear.
Police learned about the U-Haul from an anonymous witness who reported that “it looked like a little army was loading up into the vehicle” in the parking lot of a hotel. Police spotted the truck soon after and pulled it over, opening up the back of the truck that had the men inside. Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia and Arkansas, with only one from Idaho. All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot and a misdemeanor.
A video of the men being discovered standing in the back of the U-Haul was recorded and submitted to North Idaho News by a homeowner and witness named Oliver Dingman on June 11th, 2022. The video was posted by North Idaho News on Facebook on June 11th, where it received roughly 183,000 views and 1,600 reactions in two days (shown below).
The clip shown above was also posted to Twitter where other videos from the event surfaced. For instance, on June 11th, Twitter user AlissaAzar posted a video of the Patriot Front members being detained, earning roughly 11.8 million views and 82,800 likes in two days (shown below).
holy shit. patriot front detained pic.twitter.com/uIIZeXn6Ci
— alissa azar (@AlissaAzar) June 11, 2022
Pictures of the men being detained also surfaced on Twitter, like on June 11th when Twitter user aleximenez posted a photo of the "First one," earning roughly 23,100 likes for the tweet in two days (shown below, left). The next day, all the men were identified and their mugshots and names were made public by North Idaho News on Facebook. Compilation images of all the mugshots were created and shared online (shown below, center and right).
Many reactions to the event surfaced online going into the remainder of June 2022. For instance, on June 11th, 2022, Twitter user MichaelEHayden posted a tweet that joked about one of the Patriot Front members getting his hood taken off, "Scooby Doo style," earning roughly 103,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). On June 12th, 2022, Twitter user sullivem posted a tweet about how each Patriot Front member looked like, "a paleontologist made a 3D reconstruction of the first ever human," earning roughly 109,900 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).
Patriot Front Fails are always what makes a good day. pic.twitter.com/xBnfaX5pwB
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) June 12, 2022
Patriot Front FBI Agents Conspiracy Theory
Additionally, conspiracies theories surfaced on platforms like 4chan related to the Patriot Front members supposedly being federal agents as part of the FBI. For instance, on June 12th, 2022, an anon started a thread on /pol/  that discussed this theory, later including a meme made using the Two Soyjaks Pointing template (shown below).
Discussion regarding this theory originally surfaced in December 2021 amid Patriot Front protests at that time. The YouTube channel of The Rubin Report posted a Newsmax segment that talked about it on December 10th, 2021, earning roughly 33,000 views in six months (shown below).
 Wikipedia – Patriot Front
 San Antonio Current – Texas Neo-Nazi Group Attacks San Antonio's Occupy ICE Encampment
 NBC – Patriot Front's anti-abortion advocacy at March for Life sends a clear message
 The Hill – 31 Patriot Front members arrested near Idaho pride event
 Facebook – North Idaho News
 Twitter – @NorthIdahoNews1
 Twitter – @AlissaAzar
 Twitter – @aleximenez
 Facebook – North Idaho News
 Twitter – @MichaelEHayden
Jun 13, 2022 at 11:29AM EDT
Jun 15, 2022 at 12:26PM EDT
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