Patriot Front / Vanguard America

Introduction

The Patriot Front is a white nationalist group that grew out of Vanguard America (VA), a white nationalist, neo-Nazi group opposed to the idea of a multicultural America.*“Patriot Front,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed December 27, 2017, https://www.adl.org/education/resources/backgrounders/patriot-front.x Like its predecessor, the Patriot Front has propagated an extremist, incendiary platform targeting African Americans, immigrants, Jews, and other minorities.*Isabel Martins, “What is Patriot Front? Everything We Know About the White Supremacist Group,” Newsweek, June 13, 2022, https://www.newsweek.com/patriot-front-pride-riot-1715106.x U.S. authorities have described the Patriot Front as “white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone.”*“Former Atomwaffen Division Member Sentenced to Prison,” U.S. Department of Justice, February 28, 2020, https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/former-atomwaffen-division-member-sentenced-prison.x In its manifesto, the Front links the American national identity to a “pan-European identity” that is under attack.*“Manifesto,” Patriot Front, accessed June 16, 2022, https://patriotfront.us/manifesto/.x The group presents itself as a patriotic organization striving to save what it considers to be an endangered America through a “hard reset” to build a “new America” to replace “its current dilapidated, shameful iteration.”*“Manifesto,” Patriot Front, accessed June 16, 2022, https://patriotfront.us/manifesto/.x

The Patriot Front emerged in 2017 when Thomas Ryan Rousseau, leader of VA’s Texas chapter, broke away. The Front’s goals align with those of its predecessor, Vanguard America. Founded in 2014, VA primarily operated online, though its website was suspended in August 2017 by its Internet service provider.* The site later returned, but now redirects to the online home of the Patriot Front.* As exemplified by its slogan of "blood and soil," VA tied national identity with racial identity. The group believed that the United States was meant exclusively for the white nation.* Rousseau was arrested in June 2022 alongside 30 other Front members who were allegedly planning to riot at an Idaho pride event.*Martha Bellisle, “31 Patriot Front members arrested near Idaho pride event,” Associated Press, June 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coeur-dalene-idaho-government-and-politics-arrests-01fd15f6d3b3bcab9404106c85f673c3; MacKenzie Belley, “‘Patriot Front’ Founder among those arrested for riot conspiracy in Coeur d’Alene,” KREM2 CBS, June 12, 2022, https://www.krem.com/article/news/local/patriot-front-founder-among-those-arrested-for-riot-conspiracy-in-coeur-dalene/293-36b6ea29-5063-4306-89b7-106b8a6e6e28.x

Like the Patriot Front, VA distributed its propaganda on university campuses around the country. In December 2016, for example, authorities discovered VA flyers posted on the University of Maryland campus.* The group also organized public rallies in conjunction with other white supremacist groups. Rousseau, then leader of VA's Texas chapter, brought a contingent of VA members to the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.* Alex Fields, who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one, was photographed wearing VA's uniform during the rally. However, VA later denied that Fields belonged to the movement and condemned the use of violence, reiterating its claim to be a political movement.* In late August 2017, Rousseau broke from VA to form the Patriot Front after disagreements with its leaders. Rousseau reportedly seized control of VA's servers and repurposed its website and social media accounts. * Several of those social media accounts have since been banned, while the Front has sought out new platforms. The Patriot Front continues to hold rallies and demonstrations across the country, while distributing its propaganda through flyers, banners, and graffiti.*

Leadership

Francisco Rivera

Francisco Rivera claims to be the group's public relations liaison.*

Base of Operations

New Mexico (VA),*
Texas (Patriot Front)*

Website

bloodandsoil.org (suspended under VA and repurposed for Patriot Front), https://patriotfront.us/

Membership Size and Relevance

The exact size of the Patriot Front is undetermined. As of June 11, 2020, the Patriot Front’s YouTube channel had just more than 1,300 subscribers but no content.* As of June 16, 2022, the channel had increased to 1,400 subscribers but still had no content.* Created in September 2017, the Patriot Front’s Twitter account had 1,005 followers as of January 2, 2018, but was suspended soon after.* The Patriot Front created a new Twitter account in February 2018, which had 589 followers as of April 2, 2018.* Repurposed from VA's Texas chapter, the Twitter account of the Patriot Front's Texas chapter had 765 followers as of April 2, 2018.* Also repurposed from VA’s Washington chapter, the Twitter account of the Patriot Front’s Washington chapter had 805 followers as of April 2, 2018.* All of these Twitter accounts have since been suspended. The Patriot Front launched a new Twitter account in January 2019, which 424 followers as of March 19 that year.* That account has also since been suspended.

Since the suspension of the Patriot Front’s social media accounts on Twitter, the group has created accounts on Gab, Telegram, Minds, and BitChute. Patriot Front’s primary Telegram channel had approximately 2,500 members as of June 11, 2020, while its videos Telegram channel had 797 members.* As of April 13, 2021, Patriot Front’s main Telegram channel had increased to 7,659, while its videos Telegram channel had increased to 2,600.* By April 29, 2022, the main Telegram channel had doubled to 14,328 subscribers while the videos Telegram channel had increased to 4,899 subscribers.*Patriot Front, Telegram channel, accessed April 29, 2022; Patriot Front Videos, Telegram channel, accessed April 29, 2022.x A third Telegram channel specifically for Patriot Front promotional materials launched in March 2022 and had more than 1,200 subscribers by that June.*Patriot Front Promotional Materials, Telegram channel, accessed June 16, 2022.x

Its Gab account had approximately 2,400 followers as of June 11, 2020, * which increased to 4,100 as of April 13, 2021.* By April 29, 2022, the account had decreased to 3,500 followers.*Patriot Front, Gab account, accessed April 29, 2022, https://gab.com/PatriotFront.x As of June 11, 2020, the Front’s main BitChute account had 1,195 subscribers, while its BitChute Newsclips account had 80 subscribers.* As of April 13, 2021, those numbers increased, respectively, to 2,957 and 235.* By April 29, 2022, the main BitChute account had grown to 3,398 subscribers, while its BitChute Newsclips account had grown to 296 subscribers.*Patriot Front, BitChute account, accessed April 29, 2022, https://www.bitchute.com/channel/patriot-front/; PatriotFrontNewsClips, BitChute account, accessed April 29, 2022, https://www.bitchute.com/channel/patriotfrontnewsclips/.x The Front had 141 subscribers on Minds as of June 20, 2020,* and increased to 246 as of April 13, 2021.* As of April 29, 2022, the Minds account had grown to 365 subscribers.*Patriot Front, Minds account, accessed April 29, 2022, https://www.minds.com/PatriotFront/.x Patriot Front launched an Odysee channel in June 2022 that had only 119 followers as of the middle of that month.*Patriot Front, Odysee account, accessed June 16, 2022, https://odysee.com/@PatriotFront:a?view=about.x

As of August 2017, the VA had active chapters in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Irizarry claimed the group was active in 20 states and had a membership of at least 200. VA formed a women's division in 2017.* VA primarily targeted 18- to 24-year-olds.*

Recruitment and Propaganda

The Patriot Front has embraced imagery that is both patriotic American and traditional fascist. The Front has imbued its manifesto with patriotic language that paints the organization as the savior of an America that, "as we know it, is already dead or will not survive. This age of our people will instead be seen as an era of rebirth, and the beginning of a new chapter in history." The Front is dedicated to creating a "nation within a nation" that it claims will be a "hard reset" of the current America and "a return to the traditions and virtues of our forefathers."* During its demonstrations, the Front has employed anti-immigrant, antisemitic, and racist language that calls for the deportation and/or the marginalization of non-whites.* Patriot Front propaganda employs nationalist messages such as “America First,”* “ Better dead than red,”* “Not Stolen, Conquered”—emblazoned above a map of the United States, * “One Nation Against Invasion,”* “America Is Not For Sale,”* and “Life, Liberty, Victory.”*

The Patriot Front initially seized control of and repurposed Vanguard America’s BloodandSoil website. That repurposed BloodandSoil website remains online but the Front has also launched its own website mirroring the content on BloodandSoil with some minor changes in the group’s manifesto. Notably, the Front’s site and BloodandSoil have removed references to fascism from their manifesto. Both sites continue to receive the same content updates.*“Manifesto,” Patriot Front, accessed June 16, 2022, http://bloodandsoil.org/manifesto/; “Manifesto,” Patriot Front, accessed June 16, 2022, https://patriotfront.us/manifesto/.x

VA required its members to be at least 80 percent European ancestry, while banning felons, addicts, “homosexuals, transsexual, adulterers, or any other form of sexual degeneracy.”*Terence Cullen, “Vanguard America, group Charlottesville driver James Fields Jr. marched with, has increasingly become a neo-Nazi voice,” Daily News, August 13, 2017, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/vanguard-america-increasingly-neo-nazi-voice-article-1.3408117.x The Patriot Front has not advertised such restrictions on its website but its membership form does require applicants to declare their religious and political beliefs.*“Join,” Patriot Front, accessed June 16, 2022, https://patriotfront.us/join/x

Violent Activities

Neither the VA nor the Patriot Front have directly engaged in violent activity. Nonetheless, the VA insignia was displayed by a person who engaged in a violent attack. Patriot Front propaganda features members sparring with one another.* Members of the Patriot Front have also been arrested for planning to riot.*

Rhetoric

  • Patriot Front website, undated: “Recognition: Americans will fully recognize themselves as a people, not merely citizens or residents of a country, but a people bearing a unique national interest rooted in our heritage on this continent. Our people, born to this nation of our European race, must reforge themselves as a new collective capable of asserting our right to cultural independence. The LIFE of this nation, unique among all others, will be defended.”*
  • Patriot Front website, February 2, 2021: “Democracy wears the feathers of a dove, yet is delivered at the tip of a bayonet. It would be cause for mass revelation and understanding alone if the powerful simply retired the façade of democracy in their words as they have done in their actions. It is an insidious and inhuman system that so adeptly maneuvers and exploits the bedlam of public discord it has created.”*
  • Patriot Front website, March 27, 2020: “America’s interests have been sold to the hands of the international Zionist mob, and they cannot simply be purchased back. What must take place is a complete reorganization of the nation’s voice into an entity which can expunge the foreign entanglements that threaten it’s sovereignty.”*
  • Patriot Front website, March 27, 2020: “The further that the state goes on its path away from the nation, the more entrenched the alien and vested powers will become in its functioning. Zionist entrapment and monied interests form one of the sturdy, yet rotten, pillars of the International State’s vile agenda.”*
  • Patriot Front website, February 8, 2020: “The International State governs over the American people. It is a vast collection of competing nationalities squabbling in their impoverished squalor for the vapid attention of the favored few, dolling out meager pittance whenever one collective grows excessively troublesome. This is the most nightmarish form of tyranny. The tyranny of imperialism and misrepresentative governance.”*
  • Patriot Front website, February 8, 2020: “The national government is dead, and the International State killed it. Through the importation of foreign masses, to the destruction of the nation’s social and economic defenses, to the expansion of materialistic ideologies and the attacks on the American family, the International State has sought to dilute and dissolve the nation into a boiling pot of alien peoples for the sake of political profiteering.”*
  • Patriot Front website, July 31, 2019: “Long gone are the days of weak-willed opposition to those who wish nothing less than the complete destruction of America, and its erasure from history. The American people deserve a voice which will meet those decrying their existence in the public space. The nation’s future is not to be ground beneath the boot of materialistic production in service of some global delusion.”*
  • Patriot Front website, July 6, 2019: “Lies and slander erupt from the corrupted voices in the false press, and the financial puppets in the Boston government unworthy of the blood-stained soil they desecrate with their unrighteous governance. Bureaucrats masquerading as legitimate officials preside over a nearly identical tyranny to that which first stirred the hearts of patriots in defiance, yet mistakenly claim to protect the lineage they disrespect with every day that passes. Patriotism is loyalty to the nation and its people, and without exception presents absolute opposition to the dictations of an international tyranny such as the one facing Americans today.”*
  • Patriot Front website, June 27, 2019: “International Zionism has intimidated, coerced, and bribed the once-American government into an all-too-willing lapdog of Israel’s corrupting influences. While American politicians vow allegiance to a people most foreign from those of the nation, American interests are forgotten or suppressed. The revolutionary revival of America’s spirit must shatter the careless, degrading loyalties of America’s forlorn representatives, and hold accountable those who have spent the lives of Americans as if they were currency in their foreign conflicts for foreign peoples and lands.”*
  • Patriot Front manifesto: “Our mission is a hard reset on the nation we see today, and a return to the traditions and virtues of our forefathers. The same spirit that urged our ancestors onward to create this nation will once again be brought to light, and a new America will be built within its current dilapidated, shameful iteration. Generation after generation lived in war and strife so that their descendants may know peace. It was their duty to give their lives in such a way. It is now our duty to make their sacrifices mean something.”*
  • Patriot Front manifesto: “When the American nation sees the thin veneer of civilization begin to wane as resources are diverted from them to the replacement population that has been imported to supersede and then be enslaved on their ashes, they will reasonably turn to the only force whose vision of the future includes them.”*
  • Patriot Front manifesto: “America is a bleeding carcass, bereft of the moral foundations which made it powerful. The America of modernity is little more than an economic zone in which the dollar is used. A unified culture no longer exists due to replacement migration. Ethical standards no longer exist due to the steady erosion of the history of the American nation. The State has situated itself on an ever growing pile of parasitic rules and regulations. Bloated to the point of breaking by bureaucracy, each action taken to solve any problem is done so as a means to delay the inevitable. Nothing about the current system is sustainable. The hard truth of the coming struggle is that America, as we know it, is already dead or will not survive. This age of our people will instead be seen as an era of rebirth, and the beginning of a new chapter in history.”*
  • Patriot Front Texas chapter Twitter account, December 22, 2017: “From February 23 – March 6, 1836 Texas Patriots fought and died against a Mexican invasion. Today Patriot Front stands up against an ongoing Mexican invasion.”*
  • Patriot Front Washington chapter Twitter account, December 22, 2017: “Stand up and defend your nation whiteman. Get off the sidelines.”*
  • Patriot Front Twitter account, December 18, 2017: “#PatriotFront activists in Maryland did a banner drop. Those that are, and have been, incompatible with the American way of life have forfeited any right to this soil. Our nationhood is not worth gambling on a multicultural experiment.”*
  • Patriot Front Twitter account, December 12, 2017: “The vermin at the SPLC and their “Hatewatch” have turned their beady-eyed gaze towards us. Their slanderous statements are a resounding endorsement to our “nationwide white-nationalist network”. #PatriotFront#FakeNews”*
  • Vanguard America Michigan chapter Twitter account, July 14, 2017: “Our ancestors built this country. Be proud and honor their struggle. Stand up White Man and defend your lands.”*
  • Francisco Rivera, June 2017: “I don’t believe in having Muslims in the United States. Their culture is incompatible with ours.”*

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