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Patriot Front Targets Young Recruits With Media Focus

The mass arrests in June of 31 members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front revealed all the names of the group, insight on how the group strategically planned demonstrations at public diversity events, and how the group tailored its video content to attract young recruits, the Guardian reports. Patriot Front’s fundraising and mobilizing efforts showed a corporate-style organization that more resembles a media production company with satellite offices than a classic neo-Nazi group. Several camera operators circulate at the group's demonstrations to shoot video while members wear body-worn cameras. Then the media team edits the footage and circulates a video package. Afterward, Patriot Front’s social media team monitors the group’s mentions, shares news coverage on private servers, and tells members which social media accounts to harass.

The video packages are specifically designed to attract a younger audience, says Stephen Piggot, program analyst with Western States Center, a Portland-based non-profit that promotes inclusive democracy. While other far-right and white nationalist groups are engaging in meme culture and recruiting people online, the group has been effective at attracting young radicals and getting them off their laptops and into the streets, he adds. Throughout its propaganda, the group is careful to craft an image that will appeal to younger users, promoting the “idea of a young warrior” and becoming the “warrior elite." The group emphasizes fitness, diet and training and often holds paramilitary drills before demonstrations. Under the direction of network directors, Patriot Front members defaced 29 murals honoring Black history, LGBTQ+ pride, migrant history and police shooting victims.


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