November 30, 2022

INSURRECTIONIST AXED: Proud Boys poll worker GETS THE CAN in Miami

INSURRECTIONIST AXED: Proud Boys poll worker GETS THE CAN in Miami

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A former Proud Boys member awaiting trial for his role in the January 6th insurrection was fired from his job as a Miami-Dade poll worker. Gabriel Garcia is charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors for his role in the violent Capitol riot.

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The former member of the right-wing goon squad was captured on audio yelling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “come out and play,” after the Capitol was breached, a disturbing echo of the “Where’s Nancy?” cries of the man who invaded the House Speaker’s San Francisco home and assaulted her husband.

Gabriel Garcia during the Capitol riot on January 6th, 2021

Garcia, who currently wears an ankle monitor, was removed from the poll worker database after Elections Supervisor Christina White learned of the charges.

Miami-Dade’s deputy supervisor of elections, Suzie Trutie told The Miami Herald:

“The Supervisor of Elections learned about Mr. Garcia’s indictment [on Oct. 11] and made the decision not to assign him work on Election Day. The supervisor of elections made the judgment call based on the indictment and list of charges, to not assign him [Garcia] to a polling place.”

Miami-Dade Department of Elections has rules against partisanship, yet that didn’t stop the 37-year-old from bragging on social media about his new “job.” Wearing a “F*** Biden: baseball cap, the former U.S. Army Captain posted on the Telegram channel Florida First:

“That’s right, you heard it right, I’m working the poll. Cry some more, liberals. Enjoy your day.”

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The Department of Justice argued against the veteran’s motion to relax the constraints of his pre-trial release, telling the court that the defendant had “prepared for violence.”

In text messages obtained by the DOJ, Garcia said he was wearing a vest, and, though he was leaving his guns at home, he was taking a knife, the Miami Herald reported.

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“Not for defense, DOJ said Garcia texted, for “offense.”

Poll workers are required to take an oath to engage with the public inside a precinct on Election Day, “I further swear that I am not an opposed candidate for any office; and I will conduct myself with the highest degree of integrity and effort in all aspects of election day activities.”

Yet Garcia was a member of the same group whose leader, Enrique Tarrio, has been charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the violent attack on democracy and who was present at a clandestine meeting the night before with fellow seditionist, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes.

Designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys had at least 75 members at the Capitol on January 6th, including poll worker, Christopher Barcenas. Hired along with Garcia, Barcenas didn’t breach the Capitol and posted about testifying before the Select Committee investigating the insurrection.

When asked by the Herald if he accepted the results of the 2020 election, Barcenas vowed impartiality with voters, saying:

“I think there were statistical anomalies that are questionable. But there have been multiple questionable elections, including George Bush’s. But I’m 100 percent impartial [with voters]. It’s about keeping the integrity of the election.”

Members of far-right militia groups like the Proud Boys have infiltrated Florida’s GOP at an alarming rate. From working polls to infiltrating school boards, the group that is known for inciting violence and being agents of chaos has planted itself firmly in positions of political power across the state. Just three years ago Tarrio worked as a poll watcher in Doral, Florida.

Some aren’t convinced by Garcia’s claims of non-partisanship, especially after he recently appeared at a “fundraiser” for GOP canvasser Christopher Monzon – a chaos agent with ties to White supremacist and White nationalist groups who found himself hospitalized after being on the losing end of a fight.

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Former Proud Boy Nowell Salgueiro is also scheduled to work the polls on Election Day. He wasn’t present at the Capitol on January 6th.

While the supervisor of elections made the right call in this instance, Miami Against Fascism founder Diego F. (name withheld out of safety concerns) is skeptical that members of an organization told to “Stand back, and stand by” by ex-President Donald Trump — and integral in the conspiracy to foment a coup — is able to uphold the integrity of the voting process.

“One of their rallying cries is that the election was stolen in 2020. How do you reconcile that? The intent on what they were there for [on Jan. 6] is very, very clear,” Diego F. told The Miami Herald.

So clear that it makes sense to bar any of the insurrectionists and election deniers the right to supervise our electoral process.

Original reporting by Charles Rabin at The Miami Herald

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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