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PICTURED: Members of the Patriot Front hate group arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride

Thomas Ryan Rousseau, 23, of Grapevine, Texa s, was among those facing misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot and possibly additional offenses over the disruption by Patriot Front in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday

The alleged founder of a white supremacist group and 30 other members who were arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride have been pictured.

Thomas Ryan Rousseau, 23, of Grapevine, Texas, was among those facing misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot and possibly additional offenses over the disruption by Patriot Front in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday.

The men, arrested on Saturday after the U-Haul rental truck they were riding in was pulled over, were expected to appear in court in the state later on Monday.

The group was rumbled when a local resident called cops after spotting the men, all wearing white masks and carrying shields, loading themselves into the vehicle ‘like a little army’.

They were stopped by police about 10 minutes after the call a short distance from the ‘Pride in the Park’ event in Coeur d’Alene, an Idaho Panhandle city about 380 miles north of the capital, Boise.

But the lawyer representing some of the alleged white supremacists said Patriot Front did not have a reputation for violence and the case could be a First Amendment issue.

He said: ‘Even if you don’t like the speech, they have the right to make it.’

Video taken at the scene of the arrest and posted online showed a group of men in police custody, kneeling next to the truck with their hands bound, wearing similar khaki pants, blue shirts, white masks and baseball caps.

Police officers seized at least one smoke grenade, a collection of shields and shin guards and documents that included an ‘operations plan’ from the truck, all of which made their intentions clear, White said.

The men, arrested on Saturday after the U-Haul rental truck they were riding in was pulled over, were expected to appear in court in the state later on Monday

The men, arrested on Saturday after the U-Haul rental truck they were riding in was pulled over, were expected to appear in court in the state later on Monday

The group was rumbled when a local resident called cops after spotting the men, all wearing white masks and carrying shields, loading themselves into the vehicle 'like a little army'

The group was rumbled when a local resident called cops after spotting the men, all wearing white masks and carrying shields, loading themselves into the vehicle ‘like a little army’

‘They came to riot downtown,’ he said. The men had come from at least 11 states across the country, White said, including Texas, Colorado and Virginia.

The Patriot Front formed in the aftermath of the 2017 white nationalist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, breaking off from another extremist group, Vanguard America, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

LGBTQ advocates said Sunday that polarization and a fraught political climate are putting their community increasingly at risk.

Among those booked into jail on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot was Rousseau, who has been identified as the 23-year-old who founded the group after the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Also among the arrestees was Mitchell F. Wagner, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, who was previously charged with defacing a mural of famous black Americans on a college campus in St. Louis last year

Also among the arrestees was Mitchell F. Wagner, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, who was previously charged with defacing a mural of famous black Americans on a college campus in St. Louis last year

No attorney was immediately listed for him and phone numbers associated with him went unanswered Sunday.

Also among the arrestees was Mitchell F. Wagner, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, who was previously charged with defacing a mural of famous black Americans on a college campus in St. Louis last year.

Michael Kielty, Wagner’s attorney, said Sunday that he had not been provided information about the charges.

All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, after police received reports from residents who spotted the ‘little army’ getting inside the vehicle around 1.38 p.m., local news station KREM2 reported. 

Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, White said. Only one was from Idaho.

Patriot Front is a white supremacist neo-Nazi group whose members perceive black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, said Jon Lewis, a George Washington University researcher who specializes in homegrown violent extremism.

All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, after police received reports from residents who spotted the 'little army' getting inside the vehicle around 1.38pm

All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, after police received reports from residents who spotted the ‘little army’ getting inside the vehicle around 1.38pm

Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, White said. Only one was from Idaho

Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, White said. Only one was from Idaho

The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces

The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces

Patriot Front is a white supremacist neo-Nazi group whose members perceive black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, said Jon Lewis, a George Washington University researcher who specializes in homegrown violent extremism

Patriot Front is a white supremacist neo-Nazi group whose members perceive black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, said Jon Lewis, a George Washington University researcher who specializes in homegrown violent extremism

Their playbook, Lewis said, involves identifying local grievances to exploit, organizing on platforms like the messaging app Telegram and ultimately showing up to events marching in neat columns, in blue- or white-collared-shirt uniforms, in a display of strength. 

Patriot Front members arrested

Thomas Ryan Rousseau,

Mitchell F. Wagner, 

Jared M. Boyce, 

Nathan D. Brenner, 

Colton M. Brown, 

Josiah D. Buster, 

Mishael J. Buster, 

Devin W. Center, 

Dylan C. Corio, 

Winston W. Durham, 

Garret J. Garland, 

Branden M. Haney, 

Richard J. Jessop, 

James M. Johnson, 

James J. Johnson, 

Kieran P. Morris, 

Lawrence A. Norman, 

Justin M. Oleary, 

Cameron K. Pruitt, 

Forrest C. Rankin, 

Conor J. Ryan, 

Spencer T. Simpson, 

Alexander N. Sisenstein, 

Derek J. Smith, 

Dakota R. Tabler, 

Steven D. Tucker, 

Wesley E. Van Horn, 

Nathaniel T. Whitfield, 

Robert B. Whitted, 

Graham J. Whitsom, 

Connor P. Moran

Though Pride celebrations have long been picketed by counter-protesters citing religious objections, they haven’t historically been a major focus for armed extremist groups. 

Still, it isn’t surprising, given how anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has increasingly become a potent rallying cry in the far-right online ecosystem, Lewis said.

‘That set of grievances fits into their broader narratives and shows their ability to mobilize the same folks against `the enemy´ over and over and over again,’ he said.

The arrests come amid a surge of charged rhetoric around LGBTQ issues and a wave of state legislation aimed at transgender youth, said John McCrostie, the first openly gay man elected to the Idaho Legislature.

In Boise this week, dozens of Pride flags were stolen from city streets.

‘Whenever we are confronted with attacks of hate, we must respond with the message from the community that we embrace all people with all of our differences,’ McCrostie said in a text message.

Sunday also marked six years since the mass shooting that killed 49 people at the Orlando LGBTQ club Pulse, said Troy Williams with Equality Utah in Salt Lake City.

‘Our nation is growing increasingly polarized, and the result has been tragic and deadly,’ he said.

Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area are investigating a possible hate crime after a group of men allegedly shouted homophobic and anti-LGBTQ slurs during a weekend Drag Queen Story Hour at the San Lorenzo Library on Saturday. 

No arrests have been made, no one was physically harmed, and authorities are investigating the incident as possible harassment of children.

In Coeur d´Alene on Saturday, police found riot gear, one smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van after pulling it over near a park where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding a Pride in the Park event, Coeur d´Alene Police Chief Lee White said.

The group came to riot around the small northern Idaho city wearing Patriot Front patches and logos on their hats and some T-shirts reading ‘Reclaim America’ according to police and videos of the arrests posted on social media.

Though there is a history of far-right extremism dating back decades in northern Idaho, White said only one of those arrested Saturday was from the state.

The six-hour Pride event generally went on as scheduled, including booths, food, live music, a drag show and a march of more than 50 people, the Idaho Statesman reported.

‘We have been through so much, so much,’ Jessica Mahuron of the North Idaho Pride Alliance, which organized the event, told KREM-TV. ‘Harassment, and attempts to intimidate on the psychological level, and the truth is if you allow yourself to be intimidated you let them win and what we have shown today is that you will not win.’

The group is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. 

Video taken at the scene of the arrest and posted online showed a group of men in police custody, kneeling next to the truck with their hands bound, wearing similar khaki pants, blue shirts, white masks and baseball caps

Video taken at the scene of the arrest and posted online showed a group of men in police custody, kneeling next to the truck with their hands bound, wearing similar khaki pants, blue shirts, white masks and baseball caps

They also found documents that included an 'operations plan' from the truck, as well as shields and shin guards, all of which made their intentions clear

They also found documents that included an ‘operations plan’ from the truck, as well as shields and shin guards, all of which made their intentions clear

Patriot Front is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as 'a white nationalist hate group' that formed after the deadly 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017

Patriot Front is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘a white nationalist hate group’ that formed after the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017

PICTURED: Members of the Patriot Front hate group arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride Source link PICTURED: Members of the Patriot Front hate group arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride

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