New Zealand has declared the Proud Boys, the far-right US group that played a key role in the deadly storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, a terrorist organization, making it illegal for New Zealanders to participate in or its activities support.
There was no evidence that the group was operating in New Zealand, but its activities have been observed in Australia and Canada, which labeled the group a terrorist organization last year.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand can designate groups of terrorist entities if they have committed at least one terrorist act, and the government believed the Proud Boys’ involvement in the January 6 attack “was in line with the definition of a terrorist act,” it said in a statement dated June 20. It stated that the group’s “far-right ideology was based on racist and fascist principles” and that it had shown a consistent penchant for violence.
The New Zealand government also classified the Base, a separate American white supremacist group, as a terrorist organization in a statement dated June 20. on the collapse of the US government” and said it had tried to expand into Australia.
“These are white racist terrorist groups, and we don’t believe, and I don’t think New Zealanders believe, that a New Zealander should engage and support them,” Police Minister Chris Hipkins said Thursday, according to Stuff. , a news broadcast in New Zealand.
While the groups were not known to be active in New Zealand, the country has been on high alert for extremism since a man who harbored white nationalist hatred shot 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. specific group, but the shooter was steeped in the language of online extremism.
The New Zealand government described the Proud Boys’ techniques as “cryptofascist,” shrouding white nationalist tropes in veil, humor and irony to provide plausible deniability to its members and increase appeal to “ordinary” or “normal” people. . Beneath the layers of disguise, the group embraces violence against its alleged political enemies, the government said.
White nationalist groups have increasingly been identified as threats by governments in recent years. In 2020, the Trump administration designated the Russian Imperial Movement, an ultra-nationalist group in Russia, a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has applied the label to a white supremacist group.
The United States has not classified the Proud Boys of the Base as terrorist organizations. But more than 40 members of the Proud Boys have been charged in connection with the January 6 attack, including several leaders accused of seditious conspiracy.
A DailyExpertNews investigation found that members of the group moved in a coordinated manner, inciting other protesters and directly participating in the violence, playing an aggressive role in several raids on the Capitol. Prosecutors have said the Proud Boys began planning the attack as early as December 19, 2020; Attorneys for the Proud Boys have denied colluding to attack the Capitol.