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February 20, 2014 6

Sovereign Citizen Group Forms Vigilante “Grand Juries”

Mem­bers of a grow­ing anti-government extrem­ist group are form­ing their own “grand juries” around the United States.  Some bogus “juries” have already issued demands against local gov­ern­ment officials. sovereign-citizen-vigilante-grand-juries

The National Lib­erty Alliance (NLA) is a rel­a­tively new sov­er­eign cit­i­zen group formed in 2011 as the New York Lib­erty Alliance by sov­er­eign cit­i­zen guru John Darash of Pough­keep­sie.  In April 2013, Darash changed the group’s name and began efforts to spread nation­wide, recruit­ing sov­er­eign cit­i­zens to its ban­ner.   The sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment is an extreme anti-government move­ment whose adher­ents believe that they can ignore vir­tu­ally all laws and reg­u­la­tions because the gov­ern­ment is the prod­uct of a malev­o­lent conspiracy.

Darash and his fol­low­ers have spent most of their time cre­at­ing so-called “Com­mon Law Grand Juries” (CLGJ) in coun­ties across the coun­try.  Accord­ing to the NLA, these bogus grand juries have the author­ity to con­duct inves­ti­ga­tions, issue indict­ments, and remove offi­cials from office.  

The sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment has his­tor­i­cally cre­ated fic­ti­tious judi­cial or gov­ern­men­tal enti­ties, hav­ing formed var­i­ous “cit­i­zens’ grand juries” or “people’s grand juries” in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as hun­dreds of “com­mon law courts” in the 1990s.  The CLGJs are the lat­est vari­a­tions of this long-running theme.  The NLA claims to have formed more than 100 CLGJs in the past year, although many are still basi­cally notional.

Nev­er­the­less, those CLGJs that have formed have already begun harass­ing local gov­ern­ment offi­cials.  In Jan­u­ary 2014, CLGJs in Mar­ion and St. Johns coun­ties in Florida sent a “Writ of Man­damus” to county offi­cials demand­ing a bud­get of $1.5 mil­lion, office space and equip­ment, and a meet­ing room with a con­fer­ence table and com­fort­able chairs.  On Feb­ru­ary 4, the Mar­ion County CLGJ sent a “Notice of Demand” warn­ing county com­mis­sion­ers that the Jan­u­ary demands were not optional.

In New York, Darash’s CLGJs claim to have signed a “True Bill” charg­ing the chief court clerk in Greene County with numer­ous “crimes” related to her alleged fail­ure to file CLGJ paper­work.  They have also “fined” a Greene County judge the amount of 100 ounces of sil­ver, cit­ing 23 sep­a­rate “vio­la­tions” for fail­ing to pro­vide doc­u­ments to the CLGJ and for refus­ing to speak with a CLGJ “Board of Review.”  They have also pur­port­edly sent harass­ing doc­u­ments to a num­ber of judges.

How the CLGJ will enforce their alleged power remains murky.  Dur­ing an Inter­net radio inter­view, Darash said the NLA would con­tact county sher­iffs about mak­ing arrests; if a sher­iff refused to make an arrest, they would indict him and go to the under­sh­er­iff.  Darash con­cluded with a veiled threat: “Now there is another thing to do, if that doesn’t work.  I’m not ready to speak about that until we are ready to do it.  But it is an atomic bomb, it’s very strong.”

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September 13, 2013 0

Florida Cop-Killer Harbored Extremist Views

Social net­work­ing post­ings and links made by a Florida man who killed a Char­lotte County deputy reveal a vehe­ment loathing for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama as well as sym­pa­thy for a vari­ety of racist and anti-Muslim causes.jay-vanko

On Mon­day, August 2, Sergeant Mike Wil­son of the Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domes­tic dis­tur­bance call at an apart­ment build­ing in Port Char­lotte.  As he entered the stair­well of the build­ing, Jaroslav “Jay” Vanko, 49, fired at the deputy from the top of the stair­case, mor­tally wound­ing Wil­son in the chest above his bul­let­proof vest.  Vanko killed him­self soon after as police sur­rounded the building.

Why Vanko decided to resort to lethal vio­lence is not clear and may never be known.  How­ever, Vanko’s pro­file on the social net­work­ing web­site Face­book, as well as his post­ings else­where on that site, pro­vide con­sid­er­able insight into many of his views and opinions. 

Vanko’s on-line writ­ings clearly reveal that, in the years since his arrival in the United States from the Czech Repub­lic, he had devel­oped an attach­ment to a vari­ety of far right-wing causes that ranged from main­stream to extreme.  One of Vanko’s most cher­ished causes was the issue of gun rights, but he tended to be most emo­tional on the sub­ject of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, describ­ing Obama as a “snake” and a “scum­bag” who “lit­er­ally make me a sick” [lan­guage as in orig­i­nal post­ing].   Accord­ing to Vanko, Obama was seek­ing a rise in crim­i­nal activ­ity in order to jus­tify mass gun con­fis­ca­tion.  “That is exactly what Lenin did,” Vanko wrote, accus­ing Obama of seek­ing to “spark [a] social­ist revolution.”

As dis­turb­ing as such com­ments are, even more dis­turb­ing are some of the other causes that Vanko sup­ported.  Among Vanko’s Face­book “likes” were a vari­ety of racist, white suprema­cist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Face­book pages, includ­ing “Amer­i­can White His­tory Month,” the anti-Muslim “United States of Amer­ica Defence [sic] League,” “Islam Free Planet,” “The Counter Jihad Report,” “Boy­cott Halal,”  the anti-government extrem­ist “Three Per­centers III%” page,  the racist and anti-Muslim Eng­lish Defence League,  the page for con­spir­acy the­ory talk show host Alex Jones, and many sim­i­lar pages.

His “likes” also included sev­eral Face­book pages tied to white suprema­cist groups, includ­ing the page “Save the White Peo­ple in South Africa,” asso­ci­ated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and other white suprema­cist groups, as well as the page for the Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a white suprema­cist mag­a­zine pub­lished by long­stand­ing racist Jared Tay­lor.  In a post­ing he made to the South Africa page, Vanko offered his own opin­ion of the white race:  “I love whites, most beau­ti­ful peo­ple on planet.  We need to fight it on daily basis, not deal with sav­ages on any level and ignore them every­where” [lan­guage as in orig­i­nal posting].

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June 19, 2013 30

Anti-Semites And Extremists To Host “Freedompalooza 2013” On July 4th Weekend

White suprema­cists, anti-Semites, anti-government extrem­ists and con­spir­acy the­o­rists are among speak­ers sched­uled to appear at “Free­dom­palooza 2013,” orga­nized by Paul Topete, lead singer of the band Pok­er­face and an anti-Semite and anti-government extrem­ist.   It is the third time Topete has orga­nized such an event in Penn­syl­va­nia, but he allegedly has plans to orga­nize future events in other regions of the country.freedom-palooza-2013

Free­dom­palooza will take place from July 4–6, 2013, in Bucks County in east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia.  Although a local restau­rant is pro­vid­ing the prop­erty and sell­ing food at the event, the pri­mary spon­sor (and  pro­moter) of the event is the Amer­i­can Free Press, the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented news­pa­per pub­lished by long-time white suprema­cist Willis Carto.

Topete has lined up a long list of bands and speak­ers, many of the lat­ter com­ing from extrem­ist and fringe move­ments and causes.  One theme that unites many speak­ers is vir­u­lent anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sen­ti­ment.  Two of the more promi­nent speak­ers, for exam­ple, are for­mer mem­bers of Con­gress:  Cyn­thia McK­in­ney and James Traf­i­cant.  McK­in­ney  is a long-time anti-Israel activist who has sup­ported anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Pan­ther Party, while Traf­i­cant, since his release from prison on fed­eral rack­e­teer­ing and bribery con­vic­tions, has joined the Amer­i­can Free Press, in whose pages he has expressed his own anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views.  Another sched­uled speaker is Jim Con­dit, Jr., who sev­eral times ran for Con­gress in Ohio, tak­ing advan­tage of his can­di­date sta­tus to obtain a plat­form for express­ing his anti-Semitic views in radio advertisements.

Other speak­ers report­edly sched­uled to attend include Mer­lin Miller, the 2012 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the white suprema­cist Amer­i­can Free­dom Party,  sev­eral Amer­i­can Free Press writ­ers, and Cyn­thia Steele, the wife of white suprema­cist attor­ney Edgar Steele (cur­rently serv­ing a 50-year sen­tence for con­spir­acy to mur­der Cyn­thia, a charge she claims is false).

Free­dom­palooza will also host a vari­ety of anti-government extrem­ist speak­ers, includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from sev­eral mili­tia groups, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the anti-government and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Oath Keep­ers, and the Apple­seed Project, a marks­man­ship pro­gram that warns atten­dees that they may have to (lit­er­ally) fight the gov­ern­ment to main­tain their liberty.

Also present will be Larry Pratt, head of the Gun Own­ers of Amer­ica, a rad­i­cal gun rights group, and Jeff Christo­pher, a sher­iff from Delaware with ties to Michael Per­outka, for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the right-wing extrem­ist Con­sti­tu­tion Party.  Christopher’s bat­tle with the state of Delaware over that state’s deci­sion to elim­i­nate the arrest pow­ers of its three county sher­iffs has been much pro­moted by the Amer­i­can Free Press and other right-wing sources.

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