The leaders of a violent neo-Nazi street fighting gang allegedly trained recruits to riot and beat people up during political rallies.
In 2018, Robert Rundo, Robert Boman and Tyler Laube were named in a federal criminal complaint that charges them of travelling to political rallies across California, where they violently attacked counter-protesters, journalists and a police officer.
However, a federal judge dismissed the charges the year after on the basis that they violated the First Amendment, a law that protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government.
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But now, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles has returned a new indictment against the founding trio after a judge ordered that prosecution could go ahead last March.
The US government describes the men's group, called the Rise Above Movement, as a “combat-ready, militant group of a new nationalist white supremacist and identity movement.”
The new idictment alleges that the three men committed assaults at rallies across California, in Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino, in early 2017.
The indictment cites a Facebook post made by Boman, wherein he shared a link to a far right website article with the headline “Trumpenkriegers Physically Remove Antifa Homos in Huntington Beach".
"We did it fam," he allegedly wrote alongside the post. Videos from the March 2017 Huntington Beach rally allegedly show the men beating up journalists and kicking protestors.
Rundo was reportedly seen holding down a protestor and punching him several times as his cronies cheered him on.
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Just weeks later at the Berkeley rally, similar scenes were observed. This time however, Rundo allegedly punched a Berkeley police officer twice in the head as they intervened in a separate assault meted out by the defendant.
The men were also allegedly present at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 where they had taped their hadns to protect from injury.
Three members of RAM, including Rundo, reportedly travelled Germany, Ukraine and Italy to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and meet with European white power groups.
Rundo is believed to be in Eastern Europe now, with some reports suggesting he was kicked out of Serbia and is now in Bulgaria.
However, he still presidees over “active clubs” from his European bolthole. He describes these as local groups that would “combine fitness and nationalist activism, building camaraderie, and developing team-building skills.”
"Rundo is a model for his brand of white supremacism that seeks to normalize fascism and focus on a clean lifestyle and appearance, and fitness and combat sports," Joshua Fisher-Birch, a researcher at the Counter Extremism Project, told Raw Story.
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