Proud Boys’ Conviction Important for All Sarasota

Statement by Sarasota County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Kuether

Yesterday’s conviction by a federal court jury of four Proud Boys on charges of seditious conspiracy in the attack on the U.S. Capitol should resonate with every parent, student, teacher, voter, and citizen in Sarasota County.

Three Republican members of the current Sarasota School Board ran for election last August, with the visible and vocal support of the Proud Boys, now revealed for what they are: a domestic terrorist organization and one of the country’s most notorious far-right extremist groups.

We should note that the sedition charge is rarely used and harks back to the Union’s efforts to protect the federal government against secessionist rebels during the Civil War. The four defendants, including their former leader Enrique Tarrio, were also convicted of conspiring to obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election. They, alongside a fifth defendant, were further convicted of a third conspiracy count. They could face a maximum of nearly 50 years on the conspiracy counts alone.

Every Sarasotan who believes in our democracy, the rule of law, and the importance of our public schools should demand that School Board Chair Bridget Ziegler and members Tim Enos and Robyn Marinelli publicly denounce the Proud Boys. We demand they reject any future cooperation or support from the Proud Boys and assure the citizens of this county that they will no longer have any influence or role in their deliberations.