When John Turano showed up to a few major pro-Trump rallies last year in body armor and a Spartan helmet—brawling with Antifa protestors and confronting anyone who got in his way—he quickly became an icon of the alt-right "Patriot" movement. But after Turano, a.k.a. Based Spartan, realized that some of the people he’d aligned himself with were neo-Nazis, homophobes, and racists, he turned against the movement—going from alt-right celebrity to pariah overnight.
VICE met up with Turano at his home in Los Angeles to hear why he joined the alt-right in the first place, what it was like to rally with them, and why he decided to go his own way.
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