According to ABC10, a group of individuals suspected to be affiliated with the Proud Boys showed up at a protest of a Trump-aligned youth organization's event at the University of California, Davis — where, counterprotesters say, they instigated violence.
"Will Alpers, a recent UC Davis graduate, said he was at the campus as an attendee and protester against the Turning Point USA event Tuesday," said the report.
"I did not expect anything violent to happen at all," Alpers told the local news station. "I thought it would just be a protest of the event and it would just be us students outside the building and then things really took a turn for the worst and escalated when the Proud Boys arrived.. They were yelling awful things at us, and very quickly, they turned to violence like right when they got there. There really was no time at all between when they stepped foot close to us and when they started throwing things."
Turning Point USA is a right-wing student group that has itself been the subject of several controversies. Key members have been outed for white supremacist remarks, and one of its members was a fake elector in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. According to TPUSA member David Kirker, however, "it was a speaking event headlined by Stephen Davis, bodybuilder and community activist," and the Proud Boys are not affiliated with the group and showed up of their own volition.
The Proud Boys are a self-described "Western Chauvinist" group with ties to the white supremacist movement. They are notorious for instigating street brawls, and were involved in planning the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, for which one of its leaders has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy.
Despite their extremist activities, the Proud Boys have managed to infiltrate local politics around the country. Last year, the Republican Party of Clark County, Nevada was thrown into chaos over a hostile takeover attempt of their leadership by the Proud Boys, and in August, a Proud Boy named Nowell Salgueiro was found to be working polls in Miami-Dade County, Florida.