The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
With cries of “Second Amendment remedies” to “government tyranny” ringing in their ears, a crowd of several hundred people gathered near the state Capitol in Olympia, Wa., on Saturday, to voice their defiance of Initiative 594, the new state law requiring background checks on most gun sales.
Most people in the gathering carried firearms of one kind or another, and a number of them openly exchanged weapons as a way to make a statement supporting the “We Will Not Comply” rally. There was even a table marked “I-594 Violation Station,” where attendees could openly swap or sell firearms.
The focus of the event, though, was the parade of speakers who encouraged the audience to defy the new law on the grounds that it violated the Constitution. Many of them were longstanding antigovernment figures, including former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, whose fame on the radical right has much to do with his own challenge of federal gun laws and “III Percent” movement provocateur Mike Vanderboegh.
Accordingly, many of them referenced violent action in defense of their gun rights as the ultimate response to what they see as tyranny.
“Make no mistake: If we do not stand up, America, our children and our grandchildren will take back liberty at the price of blood!” intoned Gavin Seim, the Ephrata, Wa.-based “liberty speaker” and chief organizer of the event.
Vanderboegh was even more explicit: “When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote!” he told the crowd, to loud cheers. “So be careful what you wish for. You may get it.”
Vanderboegh blamed the passage of I-594 last month, with nearly 60 percent of the vote, on internecine bickering between gun rights organizations, notably the National Rifle Association and the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. He warned the groups that they needed to work together now to prevent the law from being fully enacted.
“[W]e are here today to remind them, and to remind the enemies of liberty in this state, that if they fail, there are always Second Amendment remedies,” he said. “And like that determined minority of colonists, that original three percent who fought the forces of the greatest empire on the planet to a standstill, we will not be intimidated, we will not compromise, we will not back down, and we will be heard, one way or the other!”
Even more chilling were the demands that were quietly read by an Oath Keepers representative from Washington, Scott Bannister, who demanded that current office holders in the state step down from their positions, or face violent consequences.
“We the people demand that our current government, and their many crimes of treason against the Constitution, breaking the oath they swore to uphold … we are asking them to step back and surrender their position or office they hold, or be arrested by the sheriff of their local state,” he read from a prepared statement. “By their failure to uphold their oath that they swore, they are committing treason and high crimes against our country, and I don’t think any of us want to stand for that. These tyrannical acts and criminal acts toward us American people are out of control.”
Bannister explained further: “Every once in awhile, the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed, and the blood of tyrants needs to flow. If they don’t do it quietly, and resign, sad to say it, maybe that’s what’s gonna happen, I hope not. But we will stand our ground, and no comply.”
Bannister also indulged in a moment of unintended irony when he told the crowd: “I wish more people would realize what’s going on with our country. Because we are all told so many lies, and so many people believe it. It’s really sad that we’ve all been brainwashed.”
Most of the speakers, including state Rep. Elizabeth Scott, who declared “Molon Labe!” (Come and Take Them) to the idea of gun registration, argued that both the Second Amendment, as well as provisions in the state constitution, prohibited such laws as I-594. Several, including Seim, argued that these constitutions prohibited any regulations of any weapons whatsoever.
“We need to draw the line,” Seim said. “Read my lips: The people should be armed equal to government! Because when the people are armed, there is liberty, and when there is liberty, there is safety, and there is security. We must stop trading away our children’s birthright for false promises of security and trade for liberty, because that, my friends, is not liberty, and that’s why we stand here today.”
Richard Mack argued along similar lines. “I don’t care if it’s state level, county level, whatever—the only way a background check before you can get a gun is lawful is if you voluntarily do it,” he told the crowd. “If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. Because you’re not a criminal, you’re an American, and you don’t have to go through that. Because your government has no authority, no right, no power, no business ever saying to you, ‘Unless you submit and unless you subject yourself to my background check, you can’t have your Second Amendment.’
“That’s not the way our government works. We don’t need your permission! We don’t need your permission to be here, or to exercise our Second Amendment rights, but you need our permission to exist. You got it all backwards!” he said. “And we will not comply, we will not disarm, we will not be slaves, and we will not subject ourselves to you, in any way!”
Seim demonstrated how deeply he embraced this idea at the end of the four-hour-long program by burning his state concealed-carry permit, claiming that the government didn’t have the power to control his gun rights.
“You do not need a permit to exercise your rights,” he said. “If you, my friends, want a tank in your front yard, then buy one, and I for one may want to live next door, because your house will be the safest on the block.
“I was on a radio interview a little while ago, as we were planning this rally,” he continued. “He suggested that I was too radical. And he said, ‘If you stood up before all those people and said you ought to be able to own bazookas, they would not stand with you.’ And I said, ‘Well, challenge accepted,’ or something along those lines. So I say, if you want to own a bazooka, you can own a bazooka! Although an AR-15 might actually be a more effective weapon.”
The crowd cheered loudly, and a number of them came up to toss their concealed-carry permits into the fire as well.
Local authorities have intervened and demanded that the Oath Keepers, an antigovernment group comprised of former military and law enforcement personnel, cease providing security for several Ferguson, Mo., businesses in the aftermath of a grand jury decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown.
In a public statement, the St. Louis County Police Department confirmed that the Oath Keepers had travelled to Ferguson and begun “walking the rooftops of businesses” with “semi-automatic rifles” “for the purported reason of providing security to local business during the civil unrest in the area.” In so doing, police say, they broke the law.
“[T]he individuals from the group did not adhere to St. Louis County ordinance regulating security officers, couriers, and guard,” a statement the St. Louis Police Department provided Hatewatch said. The ordinance “prohibits anyone from providing security without first obtaining a license.”
Two members of a Georgia-based militia group were each sentenced today to serve 10 years in prison for their involvement in an antigovernment plot to make the deadly poison ricin and disperse it in several cities.
Samuel J. Crump, 71, and Ray H. Adams, 58, were convicted by a federal jury last January in Gainesville, Ga., on a pair of charges connected to possession of ricin for use as a weapon. Both men faced possible life terms. Prosecutors recommended they each serve 20 years.
“This is not some laughing old guys talking kind of thing,” U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story told the defendants at the sentencing hearing, The New York Times reports. The judge said the defendants clearly were involved in criminal conduct “that could have hurt innocent people if you had been able to carry it out.”
The pair, along with alleged ringleader Frederick W. Thomas, 73, Emory Dan Roberts, 67, were arrested by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2011, after two informants secretly taped 400 hours of discussions of plans for dispersing ricin powder from speeding cars in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and New Orleans.
Roberts and Thomas both pleaded guilty in April 2012 to charges of conspiring to possess explosives and firearms and both were sentenced to five-year prison terms.
Federal investigators say Adams had the key ingredient to make ricin – castor beans – hidden in his Toccoa, Ga., home, and that Crump had provided a sample to an FBI informant during the investigation.
The underlying motivation, beyond the defendants’ sheer antigovernment agenda, was never fully made public. Neither Crump nor Adams took the stand in their own defense during their jury trial. The panel returned its guilty verdicts in just 90 minutes.
Charging documents said Thomas expected some kind of action by the federal government that would require a response from citizen militia groups.
On the recordings, Thomas discusses his “bucket list” of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media” he believed needed to be assassinated to save the country, the documents alleged. The secretly made tape recordings revealed that list included U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Thomas also was fascinated with an antigovernment novel, Absolved, written by longtime Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. The book describes a small group of Americans who assassinate federal officials.
At sentencing, both men told the court they never really intended to use the deadly poison.
“I would not have hurt anyone,” Adams told the judge, according to the Times report. Adams added, “I get angry at the government sometimes, but no more than anyone else.”
Crump was more defiant and asked the judge for a new trial, claiming the government’s informants had credibility issues. “There were only words, no actions,” he said. “The only thing I did was talk,” Crump told the court, according to the Times.
Kevin Lyndel “K.C.” Massey III, the current self-described “commander” of the gathering of border militiamen near Brownsville, Texas, dubbed Camp LoneStar, was arrested by federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Monday.
Massey, a 48-year-old from Quinlan, Texas, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a federal offense.
According to a report from KGBT-TV in Brownsville, Massey was convicted of burglary in 1988, when he was 21 years old. Paroled in 1993, his record has remained clean since then.
Massey appeared in a number of the videos that emerged from the border watch at Camp LoneStar this past summer, but he was never seen carrying a weapon in them. A number of photos were posted on the camp’s Facebook page and elsewhere on social media showing a number of Camp LoneStar participants carrying weapons and wearing masks.
Massey described detaining border crossers in the Facebook comments to one of the Camp LoneStar videos, which showed militiamen detaining border crossers at gunpoint and cuffing them with their hands behind their backs with zip ties. “Sorry we had to ‘Detain’ them,” Massey, wrote. “[B]ut they were wore out and just fell down and gave up while the other 7-8 ran like gazelles!”
He later remarked: “One of the guys pissed himself!” Another chimed in, “Dude pissed himself bad.”
According to KGBT, Massey’s family posted on Facebook that ATF agents had arrived suddenly at their North Texas home and seized all their weapons.
Massey was arraigned Tuesday morning in Brownsville before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan, who denied bond until a Friday morning hearing. He remains in custody.
The Camp LoneStar page was mum about Massey’s arrest, but one of Massey’s main supporters, the North Carolina-based Secure Our Border, suggested in a Facebook post that Massey was only being arrested because of corruption within federal border law-enforcement operations. Referencing a 2012 report of supposed Border Patrol corruption, it fumed:
2012 but do you think it has stopped? Think again ….. you think the Corruption in The Border Patrol doesn’t go deep and run as rampant as the stream of invaders of our Nation Think AGAIN! You think that KC Massey III was arrested for the reasons in the post below? THINK AGAIN!
KC, Archie and the Rest of Camp Lonestar are killing their Cash Cow …. making it difficult for The Border Patrol to do Obama and his Puppeteers dirty work, making it difficult to supplement their Federal Salary and keep the Cartels and The Blow Hard Blow Heads in DC Happy and their drug habits Satisfied!
A former participant at the camp named Rob Chupp told Hatewatch that he and others decided to leave the camp when it became clear that the overseers were not particular about whether or not felons could participate in the camp, nor whether illegal weapons might be in use there. It was a Camp LoneStar participant, John Frederick Forrester, who drew gunfire from a Border Patrol officer in pursuit of a fugitive recently. Forrester, in fact, is a convicted felon.
Chupp, who was involved in organizing an ill-fated “Patriot” border-crossing event, said he and a number of other border watchers pulled out because of concerns about the legality of the operation.
“After the whole shooting thing, we figured out that some of them were felons,” Chupp said. “We asked several of the guys to leave that we found out were felons. Because yeah, we have a Second Amendment to protect your right to bear arms, but we are also a nation of laws, and there’s a reason we don’t let felons own guns. … And it came to be a problem, and it was loud, and ‘We don’t care what the gun laws are,’ and ‘If we want to have this weapon even if it’s illegal, we’re gonna have it.’ It just turned south, and we pulled out.”
A self-described “militia” that supposedly was organizing to monitor polling places in Wisconsin to prevent felonious Democrats and African Americans from voting has turned out to be an apparent hoax.
The owner of the Facebook page that announced the “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia” recently changed the name of the page to “You’ve Been Trolled By Journalists With Zero Credibility” and has filled the page with posts describing how he created the page as a way to “troll liberals.”
The appearance of the Facebook page last week prompted a report at PoliticsUSA describing their efforts to organize Wisconsin conservatives to monitor the political activities of supposed felons. That in turn prompted news stories in the Madison Capital Times and elsewhere describing the “militia” and its activities, which included a supposed training session last Saturday.
Early this week, however, the page—originally a “Justice for Wisconsin” Facebook site—changed its content to make clear there was no militia, though it still claimed to be organizing poll-watching activities directed at Democrats.
How to create a militia: start a facebook page
How to piss off a bunch of pathetic liberals: specifically name the page something to do with a militia and prey on them like the stooges they are.
You clowns are a joke and your “media” is a joke. Fact check? Why bother? Report fiction as news! Bloggers and idiotic fake journalists have ZERO CREDIBILITY these days.
To those people who do not realize they are easily manipulated, I hope this is a wake up call. You’re f’n morons!!!!
Earlier posts on the page described the “Wisconinsin Poll Watcher Militia” as “a group of individuals who are concerned about the amount of outstanding warrants and are going to take any opportunity available to get some of these people rounded up and thrown into jail.”
As the week went along, the person running the page announced that the group was changing its name to “the Wisconsin Association of Polling Place Monitors.” It described tactics for harassing people suspected of voting with felony convictions. “Do not hesitate to drop instigators like a sack of potatoes,” it advised.
And the page claimed that the organizers indeed had held a training session on Saturday: “We held the meeting at a member’s house and it was done through private invites only. You silly fools who thought we would go to a public restaurant so you weasels could harass us into punching your faces in…. didn’t happen!”
Written queries from Hatewatch to the page’s anonymous owner went unanswered.
The federal government this week made moves to respond to months of political protests earlier this year over Bureau of Land Management policies for public lands by charging five people who rode ATVs into a protected Utah canyon last May.
The Bureau of Land Management closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to keep wheels off its many archaeological sites, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. But in response, about 50 riders drove into the canyon to denounce what they saw as a gross overreach of federal authority.
“We respect the fact that the citizens of this State have differing and deeply held views regarding the management and use of Recapture Canyon, and recognize that they have the right to express those opinions freely,” Christensen said in a prepared statement. “Nevertheless, those rights must be exercised in a lawful manner and when individuals choose to violate the law, rather than engage in lawful protest, we will seek to hold those individuals accountable under the law.”
Phillip Lyman, a San Juan County commissioner who organized the ride, Monte Jerome Wells, Jay Demar Redd, Shane Morris Marian and Franklin Trent Holliday were all charged with conspiring to operate ATVs on closed public lands and carrying out the conspiracy by riding on those public lands. If convicted, each defendant faces up to a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.
U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said only those suspected of organizing or promoting the illegal ride were charged, though many others participated, including one of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s sons.
The Utah ATV ride came one month after the federal government cancelled a roundup of several hundred cattle belonging Bundy amid threats of violence from militias who refused to acknowledge federal jurisdiction. The resulting standoff was the first of a series of actions on the antigovernment right to protest restrictions on public lands in the West—actions that set off a groundswell of antigovernment ire directed at federal land policies.
There has been on ongoing investigation for months related to the Bundy standoff, but no one has yet been charged with a crime.
Marcus Faella, one of more than a dozen people arrested last year on charges they were conducting paramilitary training with a group called the American Front, was convicted last week.
Faella, 41, was originally charged with conspiring to shoot into a building, two counts of conducting paramilitary training and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Orlando Sentinel reported. But after two days of testimony, two of the charges against Faella were dismissed. He was convicted of two counts of teaching and conducting paramilitary training and faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in November. ( continue to full post… )
A self-described coalition of antigovernment groups is hoping to organize yet another attempt at shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border at major commercial crossings this weekend, calling the event “Shut Down All Ports of Entry”.
Previous attempts at shutting down traffic at key border crossings this spring have ended in spectacular failure—notably radio host Pete Santilli’s attempt to shut down the crossing in Tijuana with bikers, as well as the “Border Convoy” last month, which culminated in a only a brief interruption at Brownsville, Texas.
But this particular attempt, scheduled to take place Saturday, has set off warnings among law enforcement personnel, including a local sheriff’s office in Texas and Border Patrol officials, who say they are prepared for just such an attempt
After years of rhetoric threatening violence, the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) is training a uniformed, paramilitary unit tasked with advancing a second southern secession by any means necessary, Hatewatch has learned.
According to anonymous sources from within the LOS, as well as leaked internal communications, the LOS secret unit has been dubbed “The Indomitables”and appears to be stacked with white supremacists, former Klan members and neo-Nazis.
Michael Hill, in a note offered to encourage his Indomitables, said, “We desire that our women and children be warm and snug while the world outside rages. And as our due for that we must face the world.”
The Indomitables were conceptualized at the LOS national meeting earlier this year and appear to be coming online quickly, with Floyd Eric Meadows, 43, of Rome, Ga., who also goes by Eric Thorvaldsson online, in charge of “training,” according to sources within the group and internal documents.
A veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy with 12 years of service, Meadows has been an active LOS member for several years, and his personal Facebook account is filled with pagan iconography and photos of his weapons. He posts often about “earning” his red bootlaces––awarded in skinhead culture for drawing blood for ‘the movement’—and his desire to throw boot parties for enemies of the LOS. Meadows also has posted pictures of himself standing with assault rifles in front of a confederate flag and has frequently quoted Robert Barnwell Rhett, a South Carolina statesman who was dubbed the “Father of Secession”for his efforts leading up to the Civil War.
Telephone messages regarding the Indomitables were left with Hill and the LOS this week, specifically to ask how and where the League hopes to use the unit, and to what end. They were not returned. But within a day of those message being left, Hill addressed the question on the LOS blog.
“Even if we are –– and you really have no idea on earth if we are or not ––setting up a Southern militia or some other form of paramilitary organization, we are doing nothing that free men have not done for centuries. Deal with it and stop your whining,”Hill wrote.
Unfortunately for Hill, we do have an idea. Internal Facebook posts leaked to Hatewatch show that Hill is well aware of progress in forming his militia, which he refers to by name.
The formation of the Indomitables comes after years of escalating and violent rhetoric from the League, as well as a search for more ideologically extreme white nationalists to enliven their membership –– a pattern that has been ongoing since 2007, when the LOS national conference was titled “Southern Secession: Antidote to Empire and Tyranny.” Just this week, for example, blogger Spelunker published a detailed profile of LOS member Abe Monroe, who attended a rally with LOSers last November and who just posted to Facebook pictures of the words “White Power”in block letters tattooed with a swastika across his back. While Monroe is a minor player, he is representative of that new type of southern nationalist the League now seeks.
That is especially true if one takes to heart Hill’s own words, which show an increasing extremism. In an essay published last month on the LOS website, Hill argued that the Second Amendment extends to “weapons systems,” touted guerrilla warfare applications and listed “primary targets”as the fight for a second secession continues.
“The primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run,”Hill wrote. He concluded the essay by quoting Psalms: “Blessed be the Lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.”
This isn’t the first time the League has flirted with southern nationalists with a calloused trigger finger, however. Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret and demolitions expert, and another soldier robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles at Fort Bragg, N.C. “This is for the KKK,”the holdup men shouted as they fled. Tubbs pleaded guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy to transport guns and explosives across state lines after prosecutors later discovered a weapons cache.
Editors’ Note –– Keegan Hankes contributed to the reporting of this article.
Border militiamen like to tell the public that they offer a simple solution to a complex problem – putting “boots on the ground” along the United States’ border with Mexico as a way to deter would-be immigrants from making illegal crossings, or as they are more inclined to put it, “stopping the illegal invasion of America.”
But already, federal agents have found that their unsought presence in recent weeks on the border in Texas and Arizona is making a difficult job much more complicated and possibly lethal. In some cases, agents are drawing down on the border vigilantes, and in one incident actually fired upon them. Another confrontation involved bat scientists who happened to be gathering field data when they encountered the armed militiamen.