Sports Beer & Politics II, a cringe-worthy alt-right facebook page based in Philadelphia, held a Blue Lives Matter Rally in Center City Philadelphia this past weekend, and Bryan Leib, the former treasurer for the Philadelphia Young Republicans and the Republican candidate challenging Dwight Evans, was in attendance. The rally was attended by twenty people and resulted in the arrests of 16 anti-fascist counter-protesters. Sports Beer & Politics II is using the same tactics that the alt-right Patriot Prayer Group has been using in Portland, Oregon. Organize a rally that draws counter-protesters and anti-fascists and causes conflict between the anti-fascists and rally goers or the anti-fascists and the police.
Prior to last week’s event, Philadelphia anti-fascists dumped oppo research on the event’s organizers, Zachary Rehl and Sonny Sullivan, but that was quickly taken down by Medium. Thankfully an archived version this post exists. According to the blog, Zach Rehl:
… is a New York Life Insurance Agent, a company which ironically bears the motto “The Company you Keep”. Zach keeps some interesting company it turns out. He is one of the lead organizers and one of the coufounders of SBP, and he was responsible for the July 2nd rally that attracted so many unsavory characters. (https://billypenn.com/2017/07/01/philly-trump-supporters-will-rally-against-those-calling-for-impeachment/) (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/heavy-police-oversight-at-trump-impeachment-rally-pro-trump-march-20170702.html?). He can be seen happily posing with many of these unsavory characters at that rally, who will be detailed later in this piece. He went out for drinks with the “Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights” core group after the march and he also stood in happy solidarity with SPLC designated hate group ACT for America.
Another organizer for SBP, he helped lead the march on July 2nd, passing the megaphone back and forth with Zach Rehl. He also joined the Alt-Knight crew for drinks afterwards, and counterprotesters who confronted the group claimed he was one of the angriest and most violent among them and had to be restrained by other members of the group. He also was briefly standing with ACT for America at their rally in Philadelphia before fleeing when the group was confronted.
This is Bertogli asking @realScottWagner about George Soros “funding” @Krasner4DA campaign in Glenside. Wagner responds by pointing out a tracker in the room claiming he works for Soros. This is the same tracker who Wagner attacked at the York CC. #PAGov #bluelivesmatter pic.twitter.com/l5OVofKiEG
— Sean Kitchen 🌹 (@RCPress_Sean) August 25, 2018
At the rally, one of the organizers was live streaming the event from their phone and approached Bryan Leib asking “do you have anything to say?” Leib responded by saying “Oh, we support the police. It’s unquestionable, we have to support the police.” He then goes on to say, “my name is Bryan Leib. I’m running for Congress here in Philadelphia for the third congressional district. I’m out here today supporting the police because police support us. There’s a couple of things I hear when I walk around the city and campaign with people. I hear two things. I hear: one, the police don’t feel supported by Mayor Kenney and District Attorney Krasner, and, secondly, they just want to do their job and give back to the community that we all love. That’s why I’m a proud supporter and thank you for organizing this.” Philadelphia Mayoral Republican candidate Billy Ciancaglini was also in attendance.
This is yet another example of how the fringes of the far right is becoming the face of the modern Republican Party. Below is a response from Bryan Leib.