“Fighting solves everything. We need more violence from the Trump people. Trump supporters: choke a motherfucker. Choke a bitch. Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe.”

Those are the words of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.

“If some guy with a slightly punk demeanor comes up to you and says ‘Hey are you Sal? Are you pro-Trump?’ Choke him. Trust your instincts, don’t listen to what he has to say, choke him.”

McInnes is hardly alone in inciting Trump supporters to violent action. In fact, Trump himself has been known to do it. Trump even offered to pay legal fees resulting from violence committed at his request. The NRA, also, tends toward extremely violent rhetoric, though with slightly less brazen display as the Proud Boys and Trump.

18 U.S.C. 373 states that incitement to commit a crime, particularly a violent crime, is in itself a criminal act. McInnes appears to be aware of this statute, as he’s on video splitting hairs on the subject on his Compound Media show.

“If I do a video where I say ‘how about we start throwing bricks’, is that legal? You can’t call for violence on a specific person … Can you call for violence generally?” he asked. “‘Cause I am.”

The answer to his question is not really. In the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court established a test of where free speech rights end when it concerns incitement to violence. In Brandenburg, an Ohio Ku Klux Klan leader made a speech implying that there might need to be violent action against people of color.

The Court established a two prong test – was the statement a call to imminent illegal action and was it likely to produce such action. While Brandenburg, the Klansman, wasn’t likely to cause real violence with his rhetoric, McInnes is.

Take McInnes’s quotes about choking. He is calling clearly for a measurable and specific crime to occur. He is making a statement to his followers that they ought to take an unlawful action and commit violence against “a motherfucker”, “a bitch” or “a tranny”.

This can reasonably be seen as an incitement that will actually translate into unlawful action. How? Because McInnes’s rhetoric has been specifically linked to threats of violence before. Just last weekend, Proud Boys were involved in street violence nationwide. The group then took to social media in a justification-slash-victory-lap campaign.

McInnes is speaking to people known for a tendency of violent action and is telling them to choke people. He is both advocating for imminent illegal activity and doing so with a reasonable certainty that that violence will actually transpire.

While his “throwing bricks” remark is not criminal, his choking remark is. He is intending to incite a specific crime (the assault of people the Proud Boys dislike, specifically by choking) in the indefinite future. This is technically considered “solicitation” to commit a crime.

That doesn’t mean McInnes will be arrested for that charge. Lest we forget that when a Presidential candidate, Trump committed both solicitation and incitement to criminal activity, and was arrested for neither. McInnes’s political nature might shield him from this particular crime.

But only for so long. After all, he’s not just there to tell people to attack.

“‘We will kill you’,” said McInnes. “That’s the Proud Boys in a nutshell.”


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.


  1. I do hope he realizes its a two way street. Violence begets violence and some of us anti trump people have been restraint ourselves trust me.

    1. Copy that, cowards like this idiot are tough behind a microphone. He would fold like a little bitch in front of anyone in person. This poor excuse of a little man is the same type who cry’s about getting harassed at a restaurant who recognizes him. Typical Self-Serving at any cost to make more money.
      His clown show and all his followers are the cancer In our American Society.

      1. All we sane smart progressives are talking about is defending ourselves from these idiots. I for one won’t let ANYONE attack me without repercussions.

  2. McInnes is a typical insecure, xenophobic, confused, white mama’s boy, whining because the world is changing around him, and he can’t cope with change. Good luck, you pathetic little blustering weakling. You had may as well go stand on the tracks and try to stop a freight train. In fact, why don’t you do just that.

    1. Good comment Jeff ( richard spence has just been done for domestic abuse…)

  3. Remember that time McInnes was upset about people being gay and so he shoved a butt plug up his ass on live tv. Good times.

  4. What is the “Proud Boys” if not an angry mob, yet they say Liberals are the mob. Trump learned his lesson well from Mein Kampf …accuse your enemies of that which you do …repeat it enough and they believe it.

  5. My thoughts exactly. Why does he assume because we don’t agree with Trump that we don’t know how to respond to Violence in a very effective way. We don’t choose that but don’t assume we are going to cower because his hateful retoric, some of us have been very passive and he may not want to see the true rage that we keep like a sleeping dragon.

  6. McInnis is slightly below pond scum. This lil prick wont stop whining with his lil squeaky voice until he gets back brain kicked to 2018. I bet you him and his lil followers have tiny dicks. F the proud boys. Bunch of sissies

  7. In the early 1990s fascist skinheads came to San Francisco for “white worker’s day” in Union Square. Hundreds of anarchists showed up with projectiles, mostly D cell batteries in our pockets. The moment that calls for our genocide came out of their mouths, we pelted them in a hail of missiles. They had to be taken away by the cops, bloodied and we saw neither hide nor hair of them until Trump’s political rise.

    We fought wars that decisively defeated this crap. If people attempt to relitigate matters decisively resolved by war in civilian politics, and do so using violence, then they are reigniting that military conflict and we have no choice but to respond in kind. Is gun control looking good to liberals now?

    1. Unfortunately yes. The left is hoping the”blye wave” will bring “common sense gun laws”. They will leave us naked before the fascists in the streets.

  8. I am tired of the right wing saying that the Democrats are the violent ones when people like this are allowed to exist!!! I have never talked like this and don’t know anyone who has !!! VOTE BLUE TO STOP THESE FREAKS !!!

  9. The criminality of his incitement seems clearest in its identification of specific targets. While “motherfucker(s)” and “bitch(es)” may be argued to be too euphemistic to constitute a direction to violence against an identifiable other, (ie hate crime), the call to, “Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe.” is neither vague in its intent, nor in identifying its target. That is, in my view, a verifiable hate crime whose prosecution should be obvious.

  10. Yeah, I agree, his gang-name does sound like a dance group of gay men. Probably giving himself away without realizing it lol!!!! Classic homophobe– beat them up to convince us you have no homosexual leanings. Also, he is a textbook example of brawn over brains. He needs to be arrested for inciting violence.

  11. Sounds like he’s tough on a mic but is really a weak bitch in real life. Saying that stupid stuff will get him killed soon enough

  12. Marcos,
    They’ve already succeeded in getting the police in Portland emergency powers to put down any counter protest And you know the fix was already in when members of Patriot Prayer (A local fascist outfit/Proud Boy crossover group) were photographed reaching into the uniforms of on duty Portland Police to get zip ties to subdue their opponents.

  13. Sad and pathetic little boy. I’m sure this group is INCEL, too. Poor white little boys blaming the world because no one will sleep with them.

  14. Putting your hands around this tranny’s throat is the best way I know to catch a bullet in yours. Dumbass thinks we don’t own guns… Lol.

  15. Wait until a few of these brain-dead, scumbag wimps get their spineless, worthless carcasses whooped by some liberals. They’ll go running home crying to their mommies (who did a horrible job raising these pieces-of-shit).

  16. It’s really basic Psychology 1. Remember the chapter about divide and conquer ? I fell for it at first but my 92 year old Dad told me to stay calm. You see he was in a war back in 43-45 and he saw firsthand the results of another racist butcher named Hitler. This is the time when we that are loyal to those from the greatest generation use our intellect. Stand firm brothers and sisters.Keep your faith .Do not let false Gods confuse you. Trump will fall if you do one simple thing. VOTE !

  17. I worry that extroverted dingbats like the Proud Boys distract us from more clandestine and dangerous groups like the Atomwaffen Division.

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