The Twitter account for New York Antifa just published what appears to be confirmation that the “Proud Boys” street gang has ties to the GOP establishment in New York.

On Sunday, @NYCAntifa published another blog post along with a series of tweets showing photos of several Metropolitan Republican Club members associating with the Proud Boys, and even joining in on their beatdown of anti-fascist protesters in Manhattan.

The Metropolitan Republican Club is considered to be a hallmark of the GOP establishment in New York, and has occupied the same building in Manhattan since 1930, according to its website. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro uses the club’s building as his campaign headquarters.

“The Metropolitan Republican Club continues to serve as headquarters for many Republican campaigns and the New York Republican State Committee as well as host of many social and educational events,” its website states. “Ann Coulter, Monica Crowley, Steve Forbes, and Mike Huckabee are among the speakers who have recently appeared at the Met Club.”

The longstanding reputation of the Metropolitan Republican Club makes the alleged ties the New York GOP establishment has to the Proud Boys all the more noteworthy. As Grit Post previously reported, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has repeatedly called for members to carry out acts of political violence on his various podcasts, and has described his organization as a “gang.”

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

Ian Reilly, who is the chairman of the Metropolitan Republican Club, was the one who invited McInnes to speak the night of the clash between Antifa and the Proud Boys. Reilly is, according to Brooklyn-based outlet Bklyner, a paid campaign staffer for New York state senator Marty Golden (R), who has held office for nearly two decades.

Reilly is also listed as a partner at The Yorkville Group — an NYC-based political consulting firm — along with Gavin Wax. In addition to his work at the Yorkville Group, Gavin Wax is publisher of a site called The Schpiel — which tweeted a lynching threat at Black Lives Matter activist and journalist Shaun King — and defended members of the Rise Above Movement, which had several of its members indicted on federal charges for attacking counter-protesters at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Screenshot of tweet sent by Gavin Wax’s newsletter, The Schpiel, threatening Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King with lynching.

In addition to Wax and Reilly, New York Antifa found photos of Brooklyn real estate agent Jake Freijo working the door at the Metropolitan Republican Club’s McInnes event. Freijo is seen in several photos alongside Gavin Wax and Ian Reilly, and at one point, attacking an Antifa protester in the street brawl that broke out following the event’s conclusion.

Jake Freijo (left) and Gavin Wax (right) working the door at the Metropolitan Republican Club’s event featuring Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes (Photo: New York Antifa)
Jake Freijo attacking an Antifa protester on surveillance camera video

“Gavin Wax … is publisher of The Schpiel, an online blog calling for violence against antifascists and well-known activists. Ian Reilly also works for the local GOP, and approved the decision to bring Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys to his club,” New York Antifa wrote in the blog post. “Ian Reilly’s associate, Jake Freijo, was involved in the gang beating after the McInnes event.”

“There are only two to three degrees of separation between an establishment Republican in political office and someone curb stomping leftist protesters in service of the Proud Boys,” the post continued.

Sen. Golden has resisted calls to fire Reilly in the wake of the brawl. Andrew Gounardes, a staffer for Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams who is running against Golden in November, accused his opponent of enabling hate by continuing to keep Reilly on his campaign.

“Ian Reilly’s presence on Marty Golden’s staff and in our community sends a dangerous message to those who perpetuate hate,” Gounardes said in a public statement. “Just two weeks ago, there was a swastika found in Bay Ridge, and over the weekend a Jewish man was brutally beaten in a hate crime. You cannot simultaneously condemn those attacks while also employing Ian Reilly, a defender of white nationalist hate groups like the Proud Boys.”


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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