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July 6, 2016 13

Extremists Make Plans For GOP Convention

Updated July 21, 2016

The GOP con­ven­tion in Cleve­land (July 18–21) is a key oppor­tu­nity for a range of extrem­ists and big­ots who seek pub­lic­ity to voice their sup­port or oppo­si­tion to Don­ald Trump – and their hatred for any­one who dis­agrees with them.

As the Anti-Defamation League has noted, the 2016 U.S. Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign – and one can­di­date in par­tic­u­lar – has elicited unprece­dented lev­els of engage­ment and enthu­si­asm among anti-government and white suprema­cist extrem­ist groups.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism has been mon­i­tor­ing extrem­ists’ plans to attend the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion in Cleve­land and has shared this infor­ma­tion with fed­eral law enforce­ment agents man­ag­ing secu­rity for the event. We will share new infor­ma­tion with those agents as it becomes available.

The fol­low­ing list of expected atten­dees is var­ied, rang­ing from indi­vid­u­als to orga­nized groups. This reflects the sup­port (and some­times oppo­si­tion) Don­ald Trump receives from a wide range of extrem­ists. It should be noted, there is no indi­ca­tion that Trump  sup­ports these groups.

  • Richard Spencer, who heads the National Pol­icy, a small white suprema­cist think tank, trav­eled to Cleve­land to pro­mote his racist views. Spencer held up a sign say­ing “Wanna Talk to a ‘Racist’? and report­edly said he “wanted to demys­tify white sep­a­ratism” for the peo­ple he encoun­tered in the pub­lic square near the con­ven­tion. Spencer also report­edly attended the “Wake Up!” party hosted by con­ser­v­a­tive activists, which included con­tro­ver­sial speak­ers such as Milos Yiannopou­los and anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician.
  • Mem­bers of the anti-refugee vig­i­lante group Sol­diers of Odin USA, spot­ted out­side the con­ven­tion hall in Cleve­land, told a reporter they were there as a “com­mu­nity watch” orga­ni­za­tion and had no plans to con­front any­one unless they sensed “immi­nent dan­ger.” While they claim not to be racist, the Sol­diers of Odin USA are in fact vir­u­lently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. The group orig­i­nated in Fin­land, but has attracted thou­sands of mem­bers and admir­ers here in the United States, many of whom are either white suprema­cists or anti-government extremists.
  • Anti-government con­spir­acy the­o­rist Alex Jones spoke at a rally for Trump near the con­ven­tion hall host­ing the RNC, where he accused “glob­al­ists” of try­ing to imple­ment a “world gov­ern­ment.” Jones runs the Infowars web­site where he pro­motes  con­spir­acy the­o­ries such as the idea that the gov­ern­ment is behind the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks and  is try­ing to strip Amer­i­cans of their rights, espe­cially their rights to free speech and to own firearms.

  • The Tra­di­tion­al­ist Worker Party is an anti-Semitic, white suprema­cist group run by Matthew Heim­bach and Matt Par­rott.  They report­edly filed per­mits to march in Cleve­land but later announced alter­na­tive plans. Heim­bach showed up out­side the con­ven­tion any­way, voic­ing his dis­ap­proval for Trump, whose poli­cies “don’t go far enough” in advanc­ing white nation­al­ism, and urg­ing fol­low­ers to write in George Lin­coln Rock­well, founder of the Amer­i­can Nazi Party.

  • West­boro Bap­tist Church: Five mem­bers of the ven­omously anti-gayand anti-Semitic Kansas church plan to be in Cleve­land to protest the Repub­li­can Party and to warn atten­dees of the “immi­nent judgment”
    Westboro Baptist Church members at a protest

    West­boro Bap­tist Church mem­bers at a protest

    fac­ing the United States. WBC mem­bers are best known for pick­et­ing the funer­als of fallen U.S. sol­diers, car­ry­ing signs cel­e­brat­ing their deaths (because God hates America’s evil ways). Mem­bers of the church are equal oppor­tu­nity big­ots: They also plan to protest at the Demo­c­ra­tic National Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. Expect to see them car­ry­ing their usual signs – express­ing their bound­less, unmoored hatred for every­thing from gay rights to Israel.

  • Blood and Hon­our USA: This racist skin­head group is the Amer­i­can chap­ter of a loose inter­na­tional con­fed­er­a­tion of hard­core racist skin­heads.  Some mem­bers of Blood and Hon­our USA have in the past com­mit­ted vio­lent acts.  One of the group’s lead­ers announced on social media that he and a num­ber of other mem­bers would be in Cleve­land sup­port­ing Trump and wear­ing t-shirts bear­ing the Totenkopf (death’s head) – a sym­bol used by the SS in World War II.

    William Johnson of American Freedom Party

    William John­son of Amer­i­can Free­dom Party

  • Amer­i­can Free­dom Party: This white suprema­cist group is headed by attor­ney William John­son. John­son made head­lines in the spring of 2016 with his “robo­calls” to vot­ers in cru­cial pri­mary states, entreat­ing peo­ple to “defend the white race” by vot­ing for Trump, and again in May when it was revealed that he was on the list of Trump del­e­gates for Cal­i­for­nia. Blam­ing a “data­base error,” the Trump cam­paign removed John­son from its list, but AFP responded with this glee­ful Face­book mes­sage:  “…here’s what they don’t know: we have more delegates!”
  • David Riden (Trump del­e­gate from Ten­nessee): Mem­ber of the anti-government Patriot Move­ment. Riden has said he believes mem­bers of the cur­rent U.S. gov­ern­ment deserve to be killed for “abus­ing the Constitution.”
  • Jim Sta­chowiak:  Mem­ber of the anti-government Patriot Move­ment. This right-wing, rabidly anti-Muslim extrem­ist from Geor­gia will be in Cleve­land to sup­port Don­ald Trump, and has called upon “all mil­i­tary vet­er­ans, law enforce­ment vet­er­ans, fol­lowed by three-percenters, patri­ots,” to “come law­fully armed with lethal and non-lethal weaponry,” has advo­cated for Mecca to be bombed, and has made not par­tic­u­larly veiled threats against Black Lives Mat­ter activists, whom he refers to as “ter­ror­ists.”  Sta­chowiak, a for­mer uni­ver­sity pub­lic safety offi­cer turned mili­tia fan boy and online radio host, has been arrested sev­eral times.

    malik-zulu-shabazz-hashim-nzinga-charleston-south-carolina-june-2015-350x234

    The New Black Pan­ther Party at a protest in Charleston, South Carolina

  • The New Black Pan­ther Party: The NBPP will be in Cleve­land to protest against Don­ald Trump. In the days lead­ing up to the con­ven­tion, the pro­foundly anti-Semitic, black supremacy group will hold a series of protests and work­shops in part­ner­ship with Black Lawyers for Jus­tice, which is headed by for­mer NBPP leader (and cur­rent “spir­i­tual advi­sor”) Malik Zulu Shabazz. The NBPP, which is known for its calls for vio­lence against law enforce­ment, has announced plans to carry guns dur­ing its protests in Cleve­land. The New Black Pan­ther Party is not affil­i­ated with the orig­i­nal Black Pan­ther Party, whose mem­bers have harshly crit­i­cized the NBPP for “hijack­ing” the orig­i­nal group’s message.
  • Anti-Muslim activsts: Pro-LGBT con­ser­v­a­tive activists are host­ing a party called “Wake Up“ at the Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion in Cleve­land on July 19. The event will fea­ture anti-Muslim extrem­ist Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopou­los, a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who report­edly made anti-Semitic com­ments in the past about Jew­ish con­trol of banks and the media. Other fea­tured speak­ers include Geert Wilders, a well-known anti-Muslim Dutch politi­cian, and Ann Coul­ter, a polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor known for her extreme anti-immigrant posi­tion. Accord­ing to a post on the per­sonal blog of Pamela Geller, “The party is the out­come of dis­cus­sions among a group of gay Repub­li­cans fol­low­ing the tragic mas­sacre at a gay night­club in Orlando in June.” This appears to be an attempt to pro­mote an anti-Muslim agenda among this group of pro-LGBT conservatives.
  • The Oath Keep­ers will be on the ground in Cleve­land, osten­si­bly to “help” patrol the area, as they did with long guns dur­ing the protests in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, fol­low­ing the shoot­ing death of Michael Brown. The anti-government extrem­ist group’s web­site has denounced “rad­i­cals’” plans to protest at the con­ven­tion, and calls for vol­un­teers to par­tic­i­pate in “Oper­a­tion North Coast,” an “intel­li­gence gath­er­ing” effort. This hyper-militarized lan­guage is typ­i­cal of the Oath Keep­ers, who recruit from the mil­i­tary and law enforce­ment in their efforts to build a force capa­ble of resist­ing “gov­ern­ment overreach.”

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June 17, 2016 2

Alleged Triple Killer had Extreme Anti-Government Views

Erick ShuteOn June 14, Penn­syl­va­nia author­i­ties caught and arrested a fugi­tive accused of hav­ing shot and killed three of his neigh­bors in West Vir­ginia the pre­vi­ous day. Erick Shute, 29, who allegedly had a long-running series of dis­putes with the neigh­bors, report­edly attacked the three (and a fourth who escaped) over a con­flict about firewood.

Shute was a minor pub­lic fig­ure as the vocal­ist for the long­stand­ing death metal band Pyrexia, with which he had report­edly been involved since child­hood. He also worked as a fire and water dam­age restorer in New Jer­sey and was involved with a vari­ety of odd busi­ness ven­tures, involv­ing crowd­sourc­ing, dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, and multi-level mar­ket­ing, among others.

After the slay­ings, a woman who described her­self as “one of his ex girl­friends” posted on-line that “he has never been [one] for the police or gov­ern­ment.” That seems to have been a seri­ous under­state­ment. West Vir­ginia author­i­ties claimed that Shute was an adher­ent of the extreme anti-government sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment and even sug­gested that he was build­ing a com­pound on the West Vir­ginia land report­edly pur­chased by his mother and used as a week­end home by Shute. Author­i­ties have said they found stock­piles of food, weapons and ammo on the prop­erty, as well as “bunkers.”

Actu­ally, Shute’s involve­ment with anti-government extrem­ism appears to have been more exten­sive than just the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment. Rather, to vary­ing degrees, Shute iden­ti­fied with all three major wings of the anti-government “Patriot” move­ment: the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, the tax protest move­ment, and the mili­tia move­ment. Shute was also sup­port­ive to some degree of anar­chism, which is also anti-government, though from a more left-leaning perspective.

Shute’s old­est known extrem­ist ties do relate to the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment. While liv­ing with his mother in New Jer­sey dur­ing the period 2009-11, he sub­scribed to sev­eral sov­er­eign cit­i­zen beliefs, espe­cially those reject­ing the legit­i­macy of motor vehi­cle laws. In 2011, he tried to get a local police depart­ment to sign a “peace treaty” with him that would some­how allow him not to have a license or reg­is­tra­tion. This visit led to his arrest for dri­ving a vehi­cle with no license plates as well as charges of aggra­vated assault on a police offi­cer, resist­ing arrest, and obstruc­tion. Based on a court­room video he uploaded to the Inter­net, Shute seems to have defended him­self in court—as many sov­er­eign cit­i­zens do—claiming that the judge in his case was not a judge but an “exec­u­tive admin­is­tra­tor” and that there had been no judi­cial courts in Amer­ica for cen­turies. Shute was con­victed and spent half a year in jail.

Shute also became involved to at least some degree with the tax protest move­ment, which claims that a con­spir­acy is hid­ing the “fact” that most Amer­i­cans don’t have to pay income taxes. He engaged in argu­men­ta­tive phone calls with IRS rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sent hos­tile let­ters to the IRS as late as 2015 claim­ing that he had been given no “proof” he was required to file an income tax return or that the IRS had juris­dic­tion over him. Judg­ing by some of his on-line remarks, he may not have been pay­ing income taxes for more than five years.

In recent years, how­ever, Shute seems to have iden­ti­fied most strongly with the ideas of the mili­tia move­ment. The mili­tia move­ment believes that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is col­lab­o­rat­ing with a “New World Order” glob­al­ist con­spir­acy to strip Amer­i­cans of their rights and enslave them. Sub­sidiary con­spir­acy the­o­ries ema­nat­ing from the move­ment include a belief that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to round up cit­i­zens and place them in intern­ment or con­cen­tra­tion camps; a belief that the gov­ern­ment is plot­ting to sus­pend the Con­sti­tu­tion and declare mar­tial law, per­haps on a pre­text such as a ter­ror­ist attack or pan­demic; and that the gov­ern­ment will engage in mass gun confiscations—among others.

Mili­tia move­ment adher­ents oppose this per­ceived gov­ern­ment con­spir­acy. Many, though by no means all, join para­mil­i­tary mili­tia groups. Though Shute “liked” a num­ber of mili­tia groups on his Face­book pages, he does not seem to have joined a for­mal group himself.

How­ever, Shute’s on-line state­ments clearly indi­cate an adher­ence to the movement’s ide­ol­ogy. Respond­ing to a con­spir­acy arti­cle about an employ­ment ad for a U.N. “dis­ar­ma­ment offi­cer,” Shute claimed in 2014 that any­one who took such a job “deserves to be killed” by some sort of “painful and hor­ri­fy­ing” man­ner such as being “eaten alive by dogs.” When the gov­er­nor of West Vir­ginia vetoed a per­mit­less carry firearms bill in 2015, Shute posted that “some­one needs to behead this mofo.”

In 2015, Shute expressed hap­pi­ness at the thought that police offi­cers might be among the first Amer­i­cans “to get put in intern­ment camps.” He also posted that he could not sup­port the troops “if the troops are train­ing to take you and me away into an intern­ment camp.” Like many other anti-government extrem­ists, Shute became out­raged at the mil­i­tary exer­cises held in the south­ern U.S. under the name “Oper­a­tion Jade Helm,” claim­ing that they were mar­tial law train­ing scenarios.

Shute, an avid fan of anti-government con­spir­acy web­sites such as InfoWars, believed in a wide array of stan­dard “Patriot” move­ment con­spir­acy the­o­ries, from air­planes using “chem­trails” to poi­son the Amer­i­can peo­ple to vac­ci­na­tion pro­grams being part of an agenda “to kill off mil­lions of peo­ple.” Shute even claimed to have tried to attend the 2012 Bilder­berg con­fer­ence in Chan­tilly, Vir­ginia, a mag­netic lure for con­spir­acy the­o­rists who believe that “Bilder­berg­ers” are part of an inter­na­tional conspiracy.

By 2015, it is clear that Shute had devel­oped extreme, and extremely para­noid, atti­tudes towards gov­ern­ment and law enforce­ment. In Feb­ru­ary, Shute stated that it was time “to pull the gov­ern­ment offi­cials out of their beds at night and hang them from the trees in their front yards.” Urg­ing peo­ple to “arm up,” Shute stated in March that every­body should have a gun in every room in their house and that they should even sleep with their guns, so that they would be ready to kill any police offi­cer who came through the door. “This is the time for war,” he wrote, “and if you don’t get pre­pared to fight, that’s your problem.”

In Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary 2016, Erick Shute became a sup­porter of the anti-government extrem­ists who engaged in an armed takeover of the Mal­heur National Wildlife Refuge in Ore­gon and sub­se­quent stand­off, even lis­ten­ing to the live broad­casts by the final few occu­piers in the last hours of the stand­off, before they were arrested. After their arrest, Shute wrote that he “loved” the occu­piers and that “even though we never met, I feel so close to these peo­ple now.”

Inci­dents such as these increased the already extreme hos­til­ity that Shute felt for law enforce­ment. Respond­ing in Feb­ru­ary 2016 to a news report of one offi­cer who had killed a dog, Shute urged that the offi­cer be tor­tured and mur­dered, includ­ing being hung over a fire, whipped, teeth and nails pulled out, fin­gers cut out, among many other vio­lent and grue­some meth­ods. Indeed, so hos­tile was Shute to law enforce­ment that he may have well posed a risk to local law enforce­ment as well as to his neighbors.

Shute will be extra­dited back to West Vir­ginia to face mul­ti­ple homi­cide charges.

 

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June 17, 2014 2

Murder Suspect Fan Of “Patriot” Movement Survivalist Guru

gary-alan-lewis

Gary Alan Lewis

After a man­hunt that lasted sev­eral days, police in Port­land, Ore­gon, have arrested Gary Alan Lewis on mur­der and unlaw­ful use of a weapon charges for allegedly killing a female ten­ant and hid­ing her body in the wall of a shed.

The search for both Lewis and the vic­tim was com­pli­cated by the fact that Lewis had built an under­ground bunker on his prop­erty.  Police also feared the pos­si­bil­ity of booby traps as they searched the property.

The bunker, which Lewis built a num­ber of years ago, was appar­ently a prod­uct of his “Patriot” move­ment anti-government and sur­vival­ist phi­los­o­phy.  Lewis viewed the gov­ern­ment as a “Total Mafia Orga­ni­za­tion run by the Elites who want us as Slaves.”  In 2013, Lewis claimed he wanted to move out of Port­land and find a “safe place to escape to when the city becomes unten­able,” a ref­er­ence to the com­mon sur­vival­ist belief of an immi­nent col­lapse of civ­i­liza­tion.   A year ear­lier he posted to a sur­vival­ist “Meetup” group that “col­lapse is emi­nent [sic] if you have been watch­ing long.”  Peo­ple, he wrote, “need to prep for Mar­tial law or UN law.”

Lewis, who also used the names Gary Allan Lewis and Gary Loomis, was in par­tic­u­lar a devo­tee of sur­vival­ist guru James Wes­ley Rawles.  Rawles, a blog­ger, author and sur­vival­ist con­sul­tant, is most well-known for hav­ing writ­ten a series of nov­els pop­u­lar­iz­ing the notion of a “com­ing global col­lapse.”  Rawles, though more well-known as a sur­vival­ist, has also been an adher­ent of the anti-government “sov­er­eign cit­i­zen” movement.

Rawles’ best known book is a novel called Patri­ots, about a band of sur­vivors of a global col­lapse who find a refuge in north­ern Idaho where they rebuild a soci­ety based on “true Con­sti­tu­tional law.”  Lewis described Patri­ots as “the book that tells it all” on one of his Face­book pages and repeat­edly rec­om­mended it in on-line post­ings and comments.

Lewis is even listed on the Meetup group page as hav­ing attended a “Prep­pers Book Club” meet­ing in the Port­land area in June 2012 to dis­cuss another Rawles book, How to Sur­vive the End of the World As We Know It.

Lewis also described Rawles’ Sur­vival Blog as his favorite website.

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