I-TEAM: Proud Boys pledge to return to San Francisco after weekend's free speech rally interrupted

Dan Noyes Image
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
I-TEAM: Proud Boys pledge to return after SF free speech rally
A leader of the far-right extremist group "The Proud Boys" says they will return to San Francisco after the event dubbed as a 'free speech' rally on Saturday faced overwhelming opposition and the organizer of that event had his front teeth knocked out.

SAN FRANCISO (KGO) -- A leader of the far-right extremist group "The Proud Boys" says they will return to San Francisco after a rally on Saturday faced overwhelming opposition and the organizer of the event had his front teeth knocked out.

Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs posted a video on Telegram saying, "You know what we're going to do? Enrique and I are going to hold a rally and properly plan it. We're going to hold another rally in San Francisco. We're going to call it the 'Demand Free Teeth Rally'."

RELATED: Tensions rise after free speech rally, protest against Twitter turns violent in San Francisco

The event Saturday was supposed to be a march to Twitter headquarters, to protest the company banning some far-right accounts. But, the police had to shut down the rally just minutes after it began.

The I-Team's Dan Noyes interviewed Philip Anderson at the Daly City Airbnb where he was staying, just hours after a sucker punch knocked out his two front teeth at the rally he organized for this past Saturday.

Anderson said, "What are we becoming now to where people are going to come and knock the teeth out of my mouth and punch me in the face and then yell 'Black Lives Matter' at me? White people? Okay. That doesn't make any sense to me, but that's what happened."

Anderson is a 25-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, adopted as a child by a Texas family. Over the past year, his far-right activism and his support for President Trump brought him to the White House and the Portland riots. He posted a video of himself shouting at the protesters there: "I'm not going home, I'm not going to be intimidated, it must stop."

He planned a march for this past Saturday from UN Plaza to Twitter headquarters.

Anderson explained, "The entire event was literally just about big tech and their racism and oppression against me banning me over 14 times, shadow-banning my current account."

But, his flier for the event featured prominent leaders of the Proud Boys, a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and mentioned in the first presidential debate.

Donald Trump: "What do you want me to call 'em? Give me a name, give me a name."

Chris Wallace: "White supremacists."

Joe Biden: "White supremacists, Proud Boys."

Donald Trump: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by."

RELATED: Who are the Proud Boys? Trump's debate callout bolsters far-right group

President Donald told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by," but experts say far-right extremism is a threat on the rise in America.

Anderson's flier drew the attention of the Bay Area's Antifa movement. Social media posts called for an aggressive response to the rally.

Dan Noyes: "Why did you come here?"

Philip Anderson: "The whole point, right here (points at a gap in his mouth), we don't have the right to peacefully protest, obviously. Okay, we don't have the right free speech."

San Francisco public school teacher Max Raynard tells us he is not Antifa, was not part of Saturday's violence, but he was there for the counter-protest.

Dan Noyes: "You weren't buying that it was just about free speech?"

Max Raynard: "Well, yeah, he can say what he wants, and I can come say what I want. So that's what free speech is. And I want to say, 'You're not welcome here, please leave.'"

Raynard added, "What I saw when I was there was individuals from the fascist side, instigating and coming in, and, and inciting so they could be portrayed as victims."

Before the event -- in response to a wave of criticism online and deaths threats, according to Anderson -- he announced on social media that the Proud Boys would not attend.

Anderson told the I-Team, "I'm not like, the -- no one here is a proud boy, no one at the event was a proud boy."

But, just two weeks ago, Anderson described himself as a member of the Proud Boys on Twitter: "Explain to me how we're racist when the Proud Boys have dozens and dozens of Black members including myself by the way," Anderson said in a video.

The counter-protesters vastly outnumbered Anderson's small group in San Francisco Saturday; he was attacked before the rally even began.

Anderson took the stage still bleeding and told the counter-protesters, "You're trying to kill me, you knocked my teeth out for no reason, you're not even willing to listen to me, you call me a white supremacist when I'm black, you're making no sense."

The crowd pushed against the barricades, and the police ordered the rally to stop after less than ten minutes. They escorted Anderson and the others and kept the crowd at bay until their van arrived.

From inside the crowd, Dan Noyes reported, "This is wrapping up, but they're walking down Market Street right now."

WATCH: ABC7 I-Team reporter Dan Noyes went to San Francisco to cover the "Free Speech" rally at United Nations Plaza. A lot happened shortly after it started.

An event billed as a free speech rally and a protest against Twitter turned violent Saturday and organizers were forced to cancel the rally minutes after it started. ABC7 News' Dan Noyes was on the ground at the rally and captured footage of the event.

We saw people in black spraying anti-Proud Boys graffiti, and chasing an Asian man in a red shirt; he was able to make it around the block to the police. They attacked this Trump supporter, dousing him with pepper spray; he suffered a leg injury. The SFPD reports that three officers had to be treated after being sprayed with caustic agents.

The crowd chanted, "No good cops in a fascist system."

Counter protestors shut down Market Street, and now, Philip Anderson is being criticized by the Proud Boys leadership.

Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs said, "So, I hear you're running your mouth, Philip, and that's cool, I got it."

Biggs blasted Anderson for poor planning and pledged a full Proud Boys rally for San Francisco.

"You had no attendance, you had nobody show up, and the few that did were sorely outnumbered by the enemy."

Once again, Philip Anderson has been suspended from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for violating their standards in promoting his event in San Francisco. On Sunday, the SFPD made an arrest in this attack, charging 35-year-old Adora Anderson of Watsonville with mayhem and a hate-crime enhancement.

A Gofundme account to help Anderson get his teeth fixed is now nearing $30,000. He says he'll use the extra money to plan another rally.