The city of Washington files a complaint against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers

The financial pressure may become difficult for these extreme right groups to bear. The city of Washington filed a complaint Tuesday against the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, and against about thirty of their officials, accused of having “planned, promoted and participated” in the assault on the Capitol on January 6.

This civil complaint aims “to discourage future acts of violence” and to compensate the victims, including the police officers of the American capital, declared at a press conference its attorney general Karl Racine. Most of the individuals named in the complaint are already the subject of federal criminal proceedings and could face trial in the spring.

The civil complaint is based on a law enacted in 1871 to protect the rights of African Americans after the abolition of slavery in 1865, notably against extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

Former groups brought to their knees financially

In the 1980s and 1990s, complaints lodged in this context by anti-racist activists brought several extremist organizations to their knees, forced to cede their property to pay the compensation set by the courts.

In November, American far-right figures and organizations were ordered to pay more than $ 25 million to victims of a protest they organized in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, which had turned into drama.

In February, Congressman Democrat Bennie Thompson had already filed a civil lawsuit against the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, as well as against former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani for their role in the attack on the January 6 against the seat of Congress.

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But “this is the first time that a local government” tries to obtain redress, said Karl Racine. “It is a question of withdrawing its means to hatred”, he launched.

According to his complaint, “the January 6 attack was a coordinated act of domestic terrorism” and the city of Washington then found itself obliged “to deal with the consequences” of this coup.

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