Some 20 members of a group associated with the far-right movement — the so-called “Proud Boys” — were spotted at Southern Pacific Brewing Co. on Friday night.
Customers said some of the 20 or so men were wearing black Fred Perry polos with yellow piping — the the group’s unofficial uniform. The Proud Boys are a far-right men’s group with pro-West, anti-immigration views.
Southern Pacific Brewing Co., located on 19th Street and Treat Avenue, took a hammering on Yelp over the weekend following revelations that it served the group, even after staff figured out who they were.
“I will never support a business that plays host to small-minded bigots and their friends,” wrote Sarah H. on Yelp. “Boycott this place.”
One customer, who asked to remain anonymous out of safety concerns, said they decided to leave because they weren’t comfortable with the group’s presence and weren’t confident the brewery’s staff would kick the group out.
“If I’m at Southern Pacific Brewing in the future and there’s an obvious gathering for a specifically racist organization like The Proud Boys, would they be kicked out or is this a crowd the bar is happy to cater to?” the customer wrote in an email to the brewery.
Southern Pacific posted on its Facebook page that it was aware of the seriousness of the problem, but that its security staff decided against engaging with the group “to ensure the safety of everyone here.”
“By no means does Southern Pacific support this group, and they are not welcome on the premise (sic),” the Facebook post continued.
Some didn’t buy it.
“When this bar realized they were hosting a group of white nationalists, they didn’t kick them out,” wrote Josh W. on Yelp. “Now they claim the racists aren’t welcome to return but proudly refer to their own business as unaffiliated. Which side are you on?”
On April 15, the Proud Boys sponsored a protest in Berkeley that resulted in 11 injuries and 20 arrests.
Later in April, Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes, who also co-founded Vice Media, announced that the Proud Boys were teaming up with Kyle Chapman, who was charged with a felony for brandishing a leaded stick during a March 4 protest in Berkeley. They created an offshoot group called “Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights,” or FOAK.
McInnes formed the Proud Boys in 2016. In August 2017, he wrote an article trying to distance the Proud Boys from the alt-right and white nationalism after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the article, titled “We Are Not Alt-Right,” McInnes explains his group differs from alt-right followers over the “the JQ and racial identity politics” and asked members not to admit people with alt-right views.
Before the article was published, Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler had been initiated as a member of the group.
In an email to Mission Local after the publication of this article, a lawyer of the Proud Boys, Jason Van Dyke, said Kessler was never a member of the group.
“The truth is that Mr. Kessler attempted to infiltrate the fraternity for his own reasons and, once these motivations were discovered, he was immediately expelled from the organization,” Van Dyke wrote. “This expulsion occurred well before Mr. Kessler’s rally in Charlottesville. The Proud Boys had absolutely nothing to do with ‘Unite The Right.'”
The Proud Boys describe themselves as a “pro-Western fraternal organization” whose core beliefs include minimal government, maximum freedom, anti-political correctness, anti-racial guilt, pro-gun rights, anti-Drug War, anti-immigration, anti-masturbation, venerating entrepreneurs, venerating housewives and Western chauvinism.