Two Marines claimed in court that they were violently attacked by a mob of antifa protesters in Philadelphia. Apparently, the antifa protesters wrongly thought that the two were “Proud Boys,” an alt-right group. Despite serving and protecting their country, the antifa protesters kicked, maced, and struck the two soldiers, who had no idea who the Proud Boys even were or why they were being attacked.
Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres had traveled with members of their helicopter unit to attend a Marine event at a local hotel ballroom. Torres and Godinez decided to make good use of their time by touring the local historical sites. Unbeknownst to them, the alt-right Proud Boys group was holding a “We the People” rally in the city, which in turn drew antifa counter-protesters.
While touring Philadelphia, an antifa protester, allegedly Thomas Keenan, approached the two Marines and asked if they were “proud.” Godinez, not understanding the question or implication, simply replied that they were Marines. When members of the group next asked Torres if they were Proud Boys, he replied that he had no idea what that even meant.
Regardless, approximately a dozen antifa protesters began attacking the two Marines, calling them Nazis and white supremacists. Godinez shouted that he was Mexican, after which members of the antifa mob reportedly started calling them “wetbacks” and “spics.”
Godinez claimed in court that he had been maced at least six times, kicked in the ribs, stomped, and struck in the head. Torres claimed that one suspect, Thomas Massey, struck him in the face several times even as he offered no resistance. Both had to seek treatment at a hospital afterward.
In his courtroom testimony, Godinez said the following: “The best way I can describe it is the sound of people chanting in a soccer stadium.” He also explained to the court that Keenan was “laughing, smiling, and having a good time, while I could have died that day.”
Now, two alleged antifa members, Thomas Massey, and Tom Keenan, are facing felony charges for aggravated assault and conspiracy. Both are also facing several misdemeanor charges. Keenan is facing an additional charge for ethnic intimidation.
Who Are the Proud Boys?
As for the Proud Boys, many believe that the all-male group is essentially a white supremacist group. Antifa protesters have likened the group to Nazis in the past. The FBI has described the group as “extremist” with alleged ties to white nationalism.
The Proud Boys describe themselves as Western chauvinists and claim that “we do not discriminate based upon race or sexual orientation/preference. We are not an ‘ism,’ ‘ist,’ or ‘phobic’ that fits the Left’s narrative.”
The Proud Boys also claim that they do not support white supremacist views; however, many of its members have been seen attending white supremacist rallies. The group is also known for supporting anti-Islamic views.
What’s Up With Antifa?
The assault on Torres and Godinez marks one of many dust-ups between antifa protesters and Marines. However, it’s important to understand that antifa is not an organized group that espouses any one single view or official policy platform. Some claim that the violence is actually being perpetuated by more extremist “black bloc” members.
Nevertheless, the FBI has been cracking down on antifa and multiple law enforcement agencies have stepped up efforts to prevent violence. American security officials have also declared the group to be “domestic terrorists.”
The attack on the Marines is far from the first time apparent antifa members had engaged in violence. This past August, 16 antifa members were arrested after clashing with the police during a “Blue Lives Matter” rally, also in Philadelphia.