Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right hate group with ties to neo-Nazis that was created by VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes, find themselves in legal jeopardy after numerous assaults of protesters in the streets of New York City last weekend.
The Manhattan brawl broke out following a speech by McInnes, who was hosted by the Metropolitan Republican Club. Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro told the New York Daily News he is “a bit ashamed” by the prominent conservative club’s decision to embrace McInnes.
Now another Republican has been connected to the Proud Boys. After an angry mob confronted and cursed at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a campaign event for Donna Shalala (D-FL) in Coral Gables on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported the Florida protest “appears to have been organized by Nelson Diaz, the chairman of the Republican Party in Miami-Dade County.”
When contacted by email about his ties to the Proud Boys, Diaz claimed, “Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of them.” However, Diaz posted a picture with a Proud Boy in August and was interviewed at Wednesday’s protest, confirming his participation.
The Miami Herald’s Jimena Tavel tweeted footage of the demonstration, in which Diaz can be seen.
The crowd has grown. They’re striking the door to the building where the event will take place. They’re also screaming “commie” and calling the Democrats “witches.” pic.twitter.com/08ZafRtxwp
— Jimena Tavel (@taveljimena) October 17, 2018
Diaz can also be seen participating in the protest in a video that was posted on the conservative site Big League Politics.
Politico’s Marc Caputo tweeted photographs showing Proud Boys paraphernalia in the crowd of protesters.
The Proud Boys, called a hate group by the SPLC, joined the Miami Dade GOP’s protest of Shalala’s office event with Pelosi yesterday
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 18, 2018
As a result of the angry mob’s conduct, the building reportedly had to be locked down by Secret Service and law enforcement. Ricky Junquera, Outreach Vice Chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, said, “I was on the other side of that door with the Capitol Police, helping to deadbolt the entrance from an angry mob. I’ve never seen anything like this in all of my years in Miami politics, or anywhere else for that matter.”
I don’t agree with Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, but this is absolutely the wrong way to express those disagreements. If you want to stop her policies, don’t threaten her, VOTE! That’s how we settle our differences. https://t.co/mr4sov7gSK
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 19, 2018
Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have warned of mob violence by the left in advance of next month’s midterms. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked “When will democrats condemn the violence?” on Twitter on Friday.
UPDATE: Diaz, the Miami-Dade County Republican Party chairman, is employed by the Southern Strategy Group, a government relations firm.
One of Diaz’s co-workers is Kevin Cabrera, who was formerly employed by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). This is an image of Cabrera from the Southern Strategy Group website: