George Floyd protests: Who are Boogaloo Bois, antifa and Proud Boys?

Author : AliHameen
Publish Date : 2020-10-29

George Floyd protests: Who are Boogaloo Bois, antifa and Proud Boys?

More than three weeks since the death of George Floyd, anti-racism protests are continuing across the US.

While in many cases peaceful, the protests have also featured scenes of police brutality, looting and violence.

Politicians, law enforcement and commentators on the left and right have accused a number of fringe groups of encouraging and participating in acts of violence.!KEMiSZpU:best-lawyer-in-lahore-pakistan-adv-jamila-

BBC News has been examining these groups on social media platforms.

Boogaloo Bois
This relatively new anti-government subculture is perhaps the most dangerous of the bunch. Steven Carrillo, a 32-year-old US Air Force sergeant from California, has been charged with the murder of two officers during the George Floyd protests, one in Oakland and another in Santa Cruz.

US Air Force sergeant charged in 'Boogaloo' murder
Before being arrested, he wrote in his own blood the terms "boog" and "I became unreasonable" on a car. Both terms are commonly used by the movement.

Rooted in a bulletin board dedicated to firearms on 4chan - called the /k/ board - Boogaloo Bois is a loose, leaderless movement.

A member of the far-right militia, Boogaloo Bois, walks next to protestors demonstrating outside Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Metro Division 2 just outside of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 29, 2020.

image captionMembers of the Boogaloo Bois often wear Hawaiian shirts and Boogaloo-patched military fatigues in public. "Alphabet" is a reference to US federal agencies that use acronyms, such as the FBI
The group's name is a reference to a poorly-reviewed 1984 film, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. The phrase "Electric Boogaloo" has since become an online meme meaning a low-quality sequel.

But Boogaloo Bois use it to refer to armed conflict with authorities, something akin to a second US Civil War.

Relatively small on 4chan in its early days, the movement has since considerably grown in size, notably helped by dozens of Facebook groups and pages with tens of thousands of members and followers. In order to evade Facebook restrictions on the word "Boogaloo", alternate terms like "Big Igloo", "Boog" and "Big Luau" are also frequently used.

Like other online movements born out of 4chan, Boogaloo Bois are steeped in the vernacular of internet memes and in-jokes.

BBC Trending: What is 4chan?
Some in the movement refer to themselves as "boojahideen", a parody of the term "mujahideen" which is frequently used to refer to radical Islamist militants.

Followers have a variety of views and levels of seriousness towards the movement, but most could be described as extreme libertarians and sign up to two fundamental beliefs: A desire for an armed overthrow of the government, and an unwavering commitment to gun ownership.

Boogaloo Bois were overwhelmingly opposed to coronavirus lockdowns, which they saw as an alarming sign of tyranny. When anti-lockdown gatherings were held in several states in April and May, some armed members of the Boogaloo movement were seen in the rallies, often wearing Hawaiian shirts - a tongue-in-cheek reference to Hawaiian luau celebrations.

Flag of the Boogaloo Bois
image captionBoogaloo Bois are often seen carrying this flag in the protests
Black Lives Matter protests have caused a divide in the group. While the majority of members support the protests and are anti-police, some in the movement's more radical circles are conflicted.

Facebook groups and pages post footage of armed members in Hawaiian shirts attending the protests carrying Boogaloo flags, claiming they are there to protect the protesters from police. Some even suggest that the demonstrations might trigger the "Boogaloo" that they've been waiting for.

Videos and hashtags sympathetic to the group have also appeared on TikTok in recent weeks. They are often posted by young men with firearms who call for an uprising. One video features captions such as "becoming more and more willing to die" and "cops showing at your door will be targeted first".

Some members are capitalising on the protests to engage in acts of violence against authorities. Three Boogaloo members were charged with terrorism offences in Nevada this month for alleged attempts to "spark violence" in protests.


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