Patriot Prayer is a far-right activist group founded in 2016 and based outside of Portland, Oregon. The group frequently hosts rallies—often with a pro-Trump message—in progressive cities around the U.S., ready to incite confrontations with its political opponents. Members of the Proud Boys have frequently appeared at Patriot Prayer rallies in the Pacific Northwest.
Joey Gibson, the Vancouver native who founded Patriot Prayer, considers himself a libertarian and conservative activist but attracts white supremacists and white nationalists to the group’s events and regularly encourages its members to commit acts of violence. “Everyone should be carrying around guns at all times,” he said about an August 2018 rally, “especially people in our situation.”
Gibson is a prominent Trump supporter who spoke at a Washington state rally during the former president’s 2016 campaign. He also attempted a run for Senate in 2018 on a platform of limiting the influence of big pharma and auditing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while also calling for a national sales tax and abolishing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gibson was one of six individuals charged with inciting a riot in Portland on May Day 2019, but after his trial was delayed because of Covid, he was acquitted in July 2022.
January 6, 2021
- On Jan. 6, 2021, Patriot Prayer members led an occupation of the Washington state Capitol in Olympia at the same time as a separate pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. “We cannot allow these criminals to run this country,” Gibson told his followers. Several fringe Trump supporters attending the occupation at the Capitol in Olympia also breached the gates at the Governor’s Mansion where Gov. Jay Inslee (D) lives with his wife.
- Patriot Prayer has been credited with helping to justify attacks on Antifa, which led to GOP leaders and spokespeople such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Fox News host Tucker Carlson initially blaming the violence at the Jan. 6 insurrection on Antifa rather than the pro-Trump mob.
- Patriot Prayer maintains close ties to the Proud Boys, an extremist militia group that helped organize and facilitate the Jan. 6 insurrection. Kyle Chapman is a prominent Patriot Prayer member who also previously led the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, a “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys.
The Big Lie
- During his speech at the Washington state Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Gibson read more than 300 charges of alleged election fraud as grounds for preventing the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win.
- In September 2021, Gibson was among more than 28 plaintiffs who filed lawsuits in three counties in Washington state—Clark, Snohomish and Whatcom—claiming fraud by local auditors. He alleged that auditors in those counties committed a plethora of illegal actions, including that they “flipped votes,” kept illegal records of voters by political party, broke public records laws, and used unverified election equipment during the 2020 presidential election.