The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan stands with all counter-protestors who participated in anti-racist work this weekend in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Proud Boys organized a march in which about 50 members attended on August 15th, and were met by about 150-200 counter-protestors. Two counter-protests were scheduled throughout the day, one of which was a peaceful vigil organized by the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo.
The Proud Boys, founded in 2016 in New York, is a far-right extremist organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC has also declared this hate group a white nationalist group that actively distributes hateful internet content against Muslism, BIPOC citizens, and women. This group instigated violence against both counter-protesters and homeless people in Arcadia Creek Festival Place in Kalamazoo, MI.
We stand with all protestors who are standing up against systemic racism within our country and at the state level. We understand that it is not our place to tell those who are fighting their own oppression how to fight back, though we recognize and salute the anti-violent and peaceful call to action from Reverend Dannison of the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo.
We thank all organizers involved in protesting against white supremacy, systemic racism, and unjust policing practices in Michigan.