Fred Perry Cancels Proud Boys Prior to Portland Rally
The Proud Boys, a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes and engages in political violence, will be holding another rally in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, but they’re going to have to give themselves a bit of a makeover now that the British clothing company Fred Perry has told them to stop wearing his shirts.
Fred Perry’s iconic black polo with yellow tips has become the unofficial uniform of the Proud Boys, and the label could not be less thrilled. “It is incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our … twin tipped shirt and subverted our Laurel Wreath to their own ends,” the company said in a statement on its website. “[We] do not support and [are] in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys,” the British heritage brand added, distancing itself from the self-declared “Western chauvinist” outfit.
In its application for a city permit, the Proud Boys stated that the group is demonstrating in support of Aaron J. Danielson, a Trump supporter killed by a Portland anti-fascist (who was later killed by police when they went to his home to arrest him), and Kyle Rittenhouse, the suspect in a Kenosha, Wis., double homicide. The group’s language suggests it seeks revenge.
“Portland leadership is unwilling to stop the violence,” organizer Enrique Tarrio wrote. “They have been blinded by their hatred of our President and will not allow outside help stopping [sic] the violence. We the People are going to gather at Delta Park against Antifa Terrorists.”
Delta Park, in North Portland, is a large area comprising of soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and the nearby Portland International Raceway. Oregon Governor Kate Brown, concerned about the possibility of violence, declared a state of emergency on Friday ahead of the gathering.
Fred Perry isn’t alone in their disdain for the extremist group; thirty local unions and organizations in Oregon (including Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Service Employees International Union Locals 49 and 503, Oregon AFCSME Women’s Committee, Oregon Justice Resource Center, and Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education) have called on government officials to denounce hate ahead of Saturday’s rally, anticipating more of the violence that has marked their previous rallies.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler responded to the letter by agreeing with its sentiment. “While espousing patriotism and a commitment to peaceful protest, some in these groups and many who associate with them have a record of racism, intolerance, and hate,” Wheeler wrote. “Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome. Hate has no home in Portland. Violence has no home in Portland. Anyone intending to intimidate, create fear, commit violence, or spread hate is not welcome here.”