The state lead for a Telegram group organizing support for the upcoming trucker convoy to Washington DC is a member of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter, Raw Story has confirmed.
“We’ve been tasked with collecting supplies, having people ready for the sides of the road when they do come through our territory, and if they stay in our territory to supply them,” the Maryland DC chapter member wrote under the handle “Peter Venkmen” in the Peoples Maryland/Virginia Convoy chat on Telegram last night.
The username for the “Peter Venkman” account is @GTHaze, the same username as an account that posted a comment last month in the Official MDC Proudboys channel after the chapter chronicled its participation in the Jan. 23 Defeat the Mandates rally in DC. The handle for the @GTHaze account was previously “Ghost MDC,” consistent with the name on a patch worn by a Carroll County member of the chapter on his tactical vest at the rally.
In addition to changing the handle from “Ghost MDC” to “Peter Venkman,” the owner of the @GTHaze account also removed a bio which previously read “4º PB,” indicating a Proud Boy who has taken part in “a major fight for the cause.” The owner of the account also updated their profile photo with an image of actor Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. But the @GTHaze account still shows an archival image of what appears to be a gold-colored cannabis sativa bud with the words “Ghost Train Haze” that was previously featured as the profile photo by the “Ghost MDC” Proud Boy account.
A number of dates have been tossed around by organizers of the American version of the “Freedom Convoy,” and chatter in the People’s Convoy (OFFICIAL) Telegram channel — the largest of many forums dedicated to the cause, with more than 45,000 members — reflects confusion about the start date and paranoia about infiltrators planting disinformation. But a group called OC Conservative Action has announced a convoy to DC that is departing from Barstow, Calif. on Feb. 23, while distributing a map that features Pepe the Frog, an alt-right icon that is considered a white supremacist dog whistle.
In the People’s Maryland/Virginia Convoy chat on Telegram on Tuesday evening, “Ghost” emphasized that the group, currently with 122 members, holds a specific and important responsibility to supply the convoy for a planned occupation of DC.
“We are unique,” he wrote, highlighting the words in bold and italic. “They are going to be in our territory the entire time once they arrive. Everywhere else they’re only going to be for a short moment in time. We need to collect everything we can and continue collecting even after they arrive because they are going to need supplies the entire time and we are not going to be able to provide it just from that little bit of time before hand. It’s going to take concerted effort; it doesn’t stop.”
In a subsequent message in the channel, which has been reviewed by Raw Story, “Ghost” described a military-style effort in which information would be shared with other participants on a need-to-know basis.
“I am treating this, in many ways, like a military operation,” “Ghost” wrote. “I definitely have to be flexible with a lot of it because man here are not used to how that operates, but it’s efficient and it works.
“So, I was given my job and I’m going to do it whether or not I agree with my superior’s methods,” he continued. “If I fail them, they are certain to fail. And that is what I am asking of those in this room; have faith that I am working for the best and safest possible outcomes, and I will explain what I can, when I can. Yet there may be times when I may ask something of you guys — I just need you to please do it.”
Leigh Dundas, a California anti-vaccination activist who has been actively promoting the trucker convoys on both sides of the border, used similarly militaristic language to talk about the campaign in a Jan. 17 Facebook Live broadcast on Jan. 17, as the Canadian convoy was gearing up. Dundas discussed witnessing a military coup in Thailand as a personal epiphany in understanding how large vehicles and heavy equipment could be used to overthrow a government.
“The good Thai people in the rural countryside — the farmers — decided they had had enough,” she said. “And they were going to get their large equipment, their earth movers, their large tractors, fire those puppies up, and bounce across the Thai countryside, and threaten to encircle the Thailand international airport there in Bangkok. And that was their checkmate move. And I realize as I watched this unfold two things. That you had a unique weapon in large equipment, because if the drivers of those large equipment-type vehicles decided they were going to deploy those pieces of equipment, they had quite the move they could make, either defensively or offensively.”
Dundas met with organizers of the American convoy on a Zoom call earlier this month, according to Jeremy Johnson, one of the organizers. In a Facebook Live video on Feb. 4, prior to the Zoom meeting, Dundas said, “US convoy coming soon. Sit tight, guys. I don’t want to rush to judgement ono this one. I’m working with a lot of different trucking factions over the next 48 hours here.”
Previously, Dundas said she had joined a conference call with lawyers from the Trump campaign, and then used her Facebook account to urge her followers to go to DC on Jan. 6, 2021. Likewise, members of the Proud Boys provided the spearpoint for the attack on the Capitol, with several currently facing conspiracy charges.
A photo of "Ghost" at the Washington Monument was posted on the Telegram channel for the Maryland DC chapter of the Proud Boys to signal the group's return to Washington, DC last month.Telegram screengrab
The Proud Boys used their appearance last month at the Defeat the Mandates rally to signal their willingness to return to the nation’s capital, after largely avoiding DC for the duration of 2021 after the Jan. 6 attack due to fear of law enforcement repression. But on Jan. 23, the Official MDC Proudboys channel posted a photo of “Ghost” wearing a tactical vest and smoking a cigar, accompanied by the text, “We’re back!”
Posts on the Official MDC Proudboys channel reflect an unapologetic white nationalist stance that departs from the Proud Boys’ typical efforts to promote its ideology through more politically palatable language about “Western chauvinism.”
One post on the chapter’s Telegram channel from late December reads, “Special place in hell for these people. Day of the rope mutha fucka.” The phrase “day of the rope” is a direct reference to The Turner Diaries, a novel written by neo-Nazi William Pierce that functions as a manual for race war.
The channel has also forwarded posts from white nationalist accounts like Media2Rise, Western Chauvinism, Greyson Arnold and Lauren Witzke
The channel has also called for the death of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. The Official MDC Proudboys channel shared a TikTok video of Hogan discussing COVID control measures under the headline “Military state is beginning.” In the commentary accompanying the video, the Proud Boys channel launched a fusillade of accusations against Hogan, ending with the hashtag #bringbackpublichanging.
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