A collection of far-Right boogaloo boys, conspiracy theorists, and militia members were arrested today in a plot to storm the #Michigan
capitol, kidnap the governor + kick off a "civil war." These arrests follow months of far-Right 'Re-Open' rallies and activity. A thread.
According to the FBI, over several months, a paid undercover informant became involved in a circle including militia members and far-Right rally attendees that began plotting to take action against "state governments...violating the Constitution." https://www.scribd.com/document/479237112/Criminal-Complaint-Plot-to-Kidnap-Gov-Whitmer
has long been a home for a variety of far-Right militia groups since the movement exploded in the wake of the standoff at Ruby Ridge and the raid on the Waco, TX Branch Davidian compound which led to the deaths of 82 people, including 25 children.
In recent months, Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, militia members, and white nationalists have mixed together in a series of far-Right rallies attacking the Democratic Governor and demanding that the State "Re-Open." These rallies were applauded by Trump. https://www.npr.org/2020/05/14/855918852/heavily-armed-protesters-gather-again-at-michigans-capitol-denouncing-home-order
These rallies were coupled with the explosion of online communities supporting the Qanon conspiracy, which painted Trump as the only figure standing in the way of a "deep state" conspiracy where Satanic liberal elites killed and ate children. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-53997203
In early October, "43-year-old Eric Allport was killed by federal agents during a shootout" after authorities tried to serve Allport with an arrest warrant. Allport posted Boogaloo memes on social media and has been painted as a martyr by the movement. https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2020/10/06/a-man-killed-near-detroit-has-become-a-martyr-for-the-far-right-boogaloo-boi-movement
According to the FBI report, the group of boogaloo boys and militia members that were arrested were inspired by anger over the state of Michigan's lockdown following the #COVID19
pandemic. They planned to storm the capitol and arrest the "tyrant" governor for "treason."
Although all of those involved appear to clearly have far-Right views, online grifters like Robby Starbuck of 'The Federalist,' a far-Right publication which used to have a 'Black Crime' section, have attempted to paint at least one of the arrestees as a left-wing anarchist.
Starbuck has posted a series of videos from Brandon Caserta, where Caserta expresses an opposition to both police and Donald Trump, claiming this is proof he is a far-Left anarchist. Caserta also can be see in front of a flag with a crude 'anarchy' symbol and a Gadsden flag.
However Starbuck's presentation of Caserta is very selective. As the Daily Dot clearly shows, Caserta was a supporter of the far-Right Boogaloo Boys and was violently opposed to the far-Left; posting memes in support of Kyle Rittenhouse. https://www.dailydot.com/debug/brandon-caserta-facebook-michigan-governor-kidnap/
According to @dailydot
, Caserta's social media was "filled with right-wing misinformation + violent memes...showcasing his far-right bona fides. On it, he showers praise on Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, calls coronavirus a hoax, and makes allusions to the QAnon conspiracy."
The Boogaloo movement, which Caserta signaled his support for, is already linked to multiple killings of law enforcement officers. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-17/far-right-boogaloo-boys-linked-to-killing-of-california-lawmen-other-violence
Since 1990, far-Right and white supremacist groups have killed over 50 law enforcement officers, while the State has been far more concerned with the growth of grassroots social movements opposed to police and racist violence. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article196423174.html
The far-Right also has a deep history of appropriating symbols and talking points from the Left - anarchists in particular. Proud Boys often claim they want to "abolish prison," "shutdown the government" and "end the drug war" yet support the police, Trump, and ICE.
Neo-Nazis and white nationalists like Augustus Invictus have attempted to carve out a space for themselves within the Libertarian Party. https://itsgoingdown.org/libertarians-re-double-support-fascist-augustus-invictus-brutal-accusations-emerge/
Groups like Liberty Hangout, home to "Gun Girl" Kaitlin Bennet, went from promoting Libertarian politics to calling for full-on monarchy and white nationalism. https://itsgoingdown.org/leaked-chats-bennett-show-anti-semitism/
White nationalists have even attempted to brand themselves an "anarchists" at times in an attempt to poach potential recruits from the Left. These tiny racist formations were driven completely out of any actual anarchist spaces they attempt to crawl into. https://libcom.org/library/rebranding-fascism-national-anarchists-spencer-sunshine
In recent years, nationalist and anti-Semitic currents of "National Bolshevism" have also attempted to create a bridge between authoritarian far-Right and socialist currents. https://libcom.org/library/investigation-red-brown-alliances-third-positionism-russia-ukraine-syria-western-left
In short, a rejection or even hatred of police or State authorities does not equal by itself a far-Left position, and often those on the far-Right oppose those within the State simply because they are not 'authoritarian enough,' or they see them as a roadblock to their own goals.
This showcases the limits of the "anti-government" brand on far-Right militias, the Patriot movement, and Boogaloo Boys. These groups do not oppose the State, they simply want a different version of it. https://itsgoingdown.org/interview-spencer-sunshine-oregon-militia-occupation/
Groups like the Oath Keepers for instance, want to replace Federal government authority with "Constitutional sheriff" supreme rules, backed up by the army and volunteer militias. A localized police state is still a police state.
Unsurprisingly, this ideology grows out of groups like the Posse Comitatus, a white supremacist organization tied to multiple killings of law enforcement and which promoted racist and anti-Semitic beliefs. https://itsgoingdown.org/snakes-in-the-grass-spencer-sunshine-militia-movement/
At the heart of these organizations is a desire to uphold the racial-settler order of post-colonial society; through the power and rule of select strong men and the violence of standing militias and the army. While not 'fascist,' this is a force which was central in colonization.
Should be noted that repeatedly Ted Cruz and other Republicans have attempted to falsely paint Boogaloo Boys as anarchists, antifascists, or supporters of Black Lives Matter. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/05/ted-cruz-hearing-antifa/
The Boogaloo movement has also produced materials urging its followers to feign support for #BlackLIvesMatter
in an attempt to re-direct people back into their own set of far-Right politics. https://leftcoastrightwatch.org/2020/06/calling-me-a-nazi-is-racial-profilinginside-boogaloo-public-relations/
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