Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Militia Resurgence in America, and asking Questions about it's possible relationship to the Tea Party
Just a week ago there was a massive joint effort by the FBI,ATF and Police to arrest members of the Hutaree Militia that is mostly based in Michigan,but included Arrests in Indiana and Ohio as well. A total of Nine were arrested over 36hours because they had been monitored over a year. The Hutaree are indeed weapon focused, but also believe that they are fighting the Anti Christ and big Government. They supposedly had developed a plot to kill police officers and to kill more at a funeral. In light of recent threats made on Government Leaders and Reps , it is reassuring for the public to know that Groups making threats are being monitored.
The Jurist in this post has more about the Hutaree Movement, and how SPLC has been monitoring the group for escalation in rhetoric or threats of violence.
Heidi Beirich [Director of Research, Southern Poverty Law Center]: "The arrests this past weekend of nine members of the Hutaree Militia in what federal authorities are describing as a plot to murder a law enforcement officer in Michigan and then attack other officials who gathered for the funeral is another reminder of how burning hatred for the federal government can quickly morph into violence. After all, it was another government-hater, Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 people, including 19 children in a day-care center.
The Christian Science Monitor has more on the group and their "Declaration of War". Explores their origin , their doctrine and their path to violence. One of the arrested was "PaleHorse" he is well known in Ohio as he has been posting videos on YouTube since Obama was elected stating that there needed to be War on DC.
Anyone who lived through the 1990's remembers the rise of Militia Groups. It was not just a rural Middle America phenomena, it was happening throughout the country and was significantly rarely covered on the News. As someone who lived out west during that era I encountered them by accident. My son was taking therapeutic riding with a little boy whose family was part of the Militia Movement.The mom and dad were both highly educated and busy raising 8 home schooled children. I was struck by their anti-government sentiments and rhetoric, but also how handily the word "Revolution" was tossed into the conversation by the mom. As a nurse and a mom I had never encountered Anti American Rhetoric like that before in my life. The conversation also invariably covered issues related to WHO they blamed the Demise of our Country on, Big Government and "liberal radicals". (This was back in 1995-1997, a time when Liberals were not commonly labeled as such. )
The Militia Movements out west were commonly aligned or allied with the AIP Movement, or the American Independent Party. ( People in Alaska were quick to educate us that Sarah Palin was a part of the AIP movement, wishing them well in a Christmas video when she was mayor and also that Todd was a member for over 6years, she still denies her membership or connection, but the Christmas video was still on YouTube as of August 2008). The American Independent Party has a sketchy history.Wikipedia has a cleaned up version of their history on site here.
The Militias of the 1990's were very much NRA/weapons dominated and some where Christian or Religious in faith. They were also Anti Government , Anti Taxes, and even out West it was clear that there was also a fair amount of hate and anger at Outsiders of any kind : People of Color, Different Religions and Cultures, as well as Anti-Immigrant sentiment. Out West people had tried to decipher for years whether the Militia Movement was connected to White Power Groups and Aryan Nation Groups.
In 1995 when Oklahoma City Federal Offices were bombed, repeatedly different journalists did try to explore whether Timothy McVeigh and the Nichols brothers worked alone or had they had help or been aligned with any Militia groups.It was a question,suspicion that was not answered fully. But out West there was some Militia Activity including bombs and bank robberies in Spokane Washington that had fragile but questionable ties to The Nichol Brothers and Timothy McVeigh.
Last summer when attending Health Care Meetings and rallies it the Tea Party began to show up with their Posters and Hatemongering shoutouts, and my first thought was I wonder if they are related to the Militia Movement of the 1990s. It was the rhetoric, the signs the posters, and the symbols. Now that HCR has passed and the Tea Party is holding rallies around the Country during Easter Break, we would be wise to stay aware of Rhetoric and signs and warnings.
In recent weeks I have been researching some of the Tea Party Leaders, including Mark Vanderborough who is associated with the Militia Movement in South Carolina. It would be prudent to research and learn more about the leaders and see if there are other Tea Party Alliances that are concerning.
Questions Watching the Tea Party...
(1) Are they in any way related to or working with any Militia Groups?
(2) Is it merely coincidence that the there is rhetoric overlap ?
(3) WHO funds the Tea Party Movement? The Giant Buses ?
(4) Why has the GOP/RNC not commented on the Militia Arrests, the Threats on Lawmakers, or even
the Tea Party Hatemongering ? And why do they view "Domestic Terrorist threats" different than "Foriegn Terrorist Threats" ?
(5) And why has the GOP/RNC taken no responsibility for their language or their contribution to the hatemongering?
(6) Is HLS monitoring these homegrown Militia Groups as closely as they monitor other threats and groups ? Because we know under Bush they were not being monitored as strongly. Especially in light of all the Anti War groups that were being monitored it is doubly concerning.
Other Sources to learn about Hate Groups, Militia Monitoring.
(1) The Southern Poverty Law Center is thoroughly monitoring and speaking out and educating Americans about the Militia Movement and Hate Groups in this country. Mark Potok has been on an increasing number of talk shows in recent weeks. Do go to their website and learn more, especially do read the Hate Map Section as it explores state by state the Number of Hate Groups and Militias. It also has information and tools to learn how to fight hate.
April2nd Update :
Today we learned of a new group that has threatened the safety of 34 Governors and want Change, Gawker and other sources had information up about this New Group that bares watching and is in Multiple States.I will post more in the next few days.
, Enigma Note: I am not trying to create fear, I am encouraging people to pay attention,be aware and to be educated and be able to better understand the level of hatemongering we are seeing in our Country. If you see or hear hate that is of a concerning level I encourage you to report it to SPLC.