“Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement”

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-12-13-36-pmI started working on this report two months before  the Malheur occupation – which threw quite a wrench in the thing. But now it’s finally finished. A joint project from Political Research Associates and the Rural Organizing Project, Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement explains the Patriot movement’s national structure and goals; shows its decades-old history in Oregon; looks in-depth at six Oregon counties where Patriot movement organizing is strongest today; explains why the rural Oregon economy is in bad shape; and offers concrete suggestions—including numerous examples from the last year—of how Oregonians have counter-organized against this movement.

###
Spencer Sunshine, with Jessica Campbell & Rural Organizing Project, Political Research Associates, Daniel HoSang, Steven Besa, and Chip Berlet, Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement (Somerville, MA: Political Research Associates & Rural Organizing Project, October 2016), 188 pages.

Available in PDF and HTML (free), and softcover ($15+postage).

Antisemite Christopher Bollyn & the Brooklyn Commons: A Guide to Links

[Last updated: December 17, 2016]

Here’s a link list for news articles and related resources about Far Right antisemite Christopher Bollyn’s appearance at the (formerly) “progressive” space Brooklyn Commons, and owner Melissa Ennen’s welcoming of the booking.

Ennen’s new career as a host for antisemites drew denunciations from a state senator, two city councilers, many of the tenants in the building, Jewish groups, and local Palestine Solidarity groups (both Jewish and not). International coverage included Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and the International Business Times. Even the orthodox Jewish press chimed in.

Ennen has tripled down on the booking and, in the WBAI interview, said she would welcome David Duke to speak there.

A second protest at the end of September, during an open mic, resulted in the non-violent protestors being attacked with, among among things, a mic stand and had a hot cup of coffee thrown on them – caught on video.

ARTICLES:

Daniel Sieradski, “Brooklyn Commons hosting antisemitic truther Christopher Bollyn,” Jewschool, September 3, 2016.

Mitchell Plitnick, “Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Speaking At Progressive Sites in NYC and DC,” The Third Way, September 3, 2016, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/03/anti-semitic-conspiracy-theorist-speaking-at-progressive-sites-in-nyc-and-dc.

Mitchell Plitnick, “Busboys and Poets Cancels Christopher Bollyn Event!,”  September 4, 2016, The Third Way, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/04/busboys-and-poets-cancels-christopher-bollyn-event.

Spencer Sunshine, “Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn to Speak at the Brooklyn Commons,” September 5, 2016.

Mitchell Plitnick, “Shame On Brooklyn Commons as Another Venue Cancels Bollyn Appearance (UPDATED),” September 5, 2016, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/05/shame-on-brooklyn-commons-as-another-venue-cancels-bollyn-appearance.

Tiffany Owens, “Leftist Groups Protest Controversial Scheduled Speaker at Brooklyn Commons Café,” BK Reader, September 6, 2016.14212828_1753320481608604_5035881628464666787_n

Anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist to speak at NY venue for progressive groups,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 6, 2016.

Lauren Gill, “‘Raging anti-Semite’ 9-11 truther speaking in Boerum Hill tonight,” Brooklyn Paper,  September 7, 2016.

Gabriela Geselowitz, “Tonight: Protest an Anti-Semite,” Jewcy, September 7, 2016.

Naomi Dann, “The Jewish Left Needs To Call Out Real Anti-Semites Like Christopher Bollyn,” Forward, September 7, 2016.

Sam Kestenbaum, “Progressive Brooklyn Space Won’t Dump ‘Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Nut’,” Forward, September 7, 2016.

David Schraub, “A Hip Leftist Hub is Hosting an Anti-Semite Today. Here’s What Progressives Must Learn From That,” Tablet, September 7, 2016, www.tabletmag.com/scroll/212755/a-hip-leftist-hub-is-hosting-an-anti-semite-today-heres-what-progressives-must-learn-from-that.

“Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn Speaks In Brooklyn,” September 7, 2016, Anti-Defamation League, http://blog.adl.org/anti-semitism/anti-semitic-conspiracy-theorist-christopher-bollyn-speaks-in-brooklyn.

“Anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracist set to speak to progressive Jewish groups,” September 7, 2016, Jerusalem Post, www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Anti-Semitic-911-conspiracist-set-to-speak-to-progressive-Jewish-groups-467101.

Mitchell Plitnick, “Brooklyn Commons Owner Responds, Doubles Down on Anti-Semitic Speaker,” September 7, 2016, The Third Way, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/07/brooklyn-commons-owner-responds-doubles-down-on-anti-semitic-speake.crxa18iwyaaxlxp

Daniel Sieradski, “How it went down at the Brooklyn Commons tonight,” September 7, 2016, https://storify.com/selfagency/how-it-went-down-at-the-brooklyn-commons-tonight

Lauren Gill, “The ‘truth’ hurts: Staff at 9-11 truther talk attack spitting protestor,” Brooklyn Paper, September 8, 2016.
[includes video of Brooklyn Commons employee, who is spit on and then attempts to attack a protestor]

Brendan O’Connor, “An Antisemitic 9/11 Truther Grows in Brooklyn,” Jezebel, September 8, 2016.

Sam Kestenbaum, “9/11 Anniversary Sparks New Wave of Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories,” Forward, September 8, 2016.
(Also published in the International Business Times)

Bill Weinberg, “‘Progressive’ Brooklyn Commons hosts anti-Semite,” Countervortex, September 8, 2016.

Sam Kestenbaum, “9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Blames Terror Attack on ‘Zionist War Agenda’ in Brooklyn Speech,” Forward, September 8, 2016.

Marilyn Mayo, “That Time I Came Face to Face With an Anti-Semite in Brooklyn,” Forward,  September 8, 2016.

Joyce Chu, “Anti-Semitic Author Christoper Bollyn to Speak in Brooklyn,” JPUpdates, September 8, 2016, http://jpupdates.com/2016/09/08/anti-semitic-author-christoper-bollyn-to-speak-in-brooklyn

David Schraub, “On Listening to Us: A Follow Through on the Brooklyn Common,” The Debate Link, September 9, 2016, http://dsadevil.blogspot.com/2016/09/on-listening-to-us-follow-through-on.html

Debra Nussbaum Cohen, “9/11 Truther’s Controversial Speech at Hipster Brooklyn Bastion Draws Protesters, Police,” Haaretz, September 9, 2016.

Rob Bryan, “An Anti-Semitic Conpiracist Comes to Brooklyn, Sparking Outrage,” Alternet, September 9, 2016, www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/anti-semitic-conspiracist-comes-brooklyn-sparking-outrage
[Favorite line: when asked if 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, Bollyn said it was “not his area of expertise.”]

Jacob Siegel, “Jew-Hater Christopher Bollyn Brings 9/11 False Flag Act to the Brooklyn Commons,” Daily Beast, September 10, 2016, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/10/jew-hater-christopher-bollyn-brings-9-11-false-flag-act-to-the-brooklyn-commons.html

Nathan J. Robinson, “Let the Kooks Speak,” Current Affairs, September 10, 2016, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/09/let-the-kooks-speak

“Christopher Bollyn’s presentation for Friday, Sept.9th has been cancelled,” West-Park Press, September 13, 2016, http://west-parkpress.blogspot.com/2016/09/christopher-bollyns-presentation-for.html.
[from the UWS church who cancelled Bollyn’s other NYC talk]

“A Lesson Hopefully Learned,” Hamodia (Daily Newspaper of Torah Jewry), September 11, 2016, http://hamodia.com/2016/09/11/lesson-hopefully-learned
[Even the conservative, Orthodox press chimes in]

“What do we do when a neo-Nazi speaks at a Left venue?,” Systemic Disorder, September 14, 2016, https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/anti-semitism-and-the-left

Doug Chandler, “Progressives Reflect on Antisemitism in Their Midst,” Jewish Week (New York), September 21, 2016, www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/progressives-reflect-anti-semitism-their-midst

Sam Kestenbaum, “For Jewish Left, a Conflict in Brooklyn Exposes Bitter Split Over Anti-Semitism,” Forward, September 30, 2016, http://forward.com/news/351032/for-jewish-left-a-conflict-in-brooklyn-exposes-bitter-split-over-anti-semit.
[includes video of a WBAI advisory board member assaulting protestors]

CONDEMNATIONS FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS:

New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, “Rejecting Hate in Our Community,” BK Reader,  September 7, 2016, http://www.bkreader.com/2016/09/rejecting-hate-community/

New York City Counciler Brad Lander, Twitter, September 4, 2016. “Highly distressing to see @BrooklynCommons hosting anti-semitic conspiracy nut this week,” https://twitter.com/bradlander/status/772455049184305153

New York City Counciler Steve Levin said “I am alarmed that Mr. Bollyn’s outrageous, abhorrent, and libelous theories on 9–11 are being presented as somehow ‘progressive’ and I hope those in attendance challenge Mr. Bollyn forcefully.” See Brooklyn Paper article.

CONDEMNATIONS FROM BROOKLYN COMMONS TENANTS & OTHERS WHO USE THE SPACE:

“Statement from Multiple Organizations on Christopher Bollyn Event at the Brooklyn Commons,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 4, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/04/statement-from-multiple-organizations-on-christopher-bollyn-event-at-the-brooklyn-commons.

Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE), September 5, 2016, www.facebook.com/FUREEous/posts/1449795611713553

Baffler Editor in Chief Chris Lehmann, Baffler, September 6, 2016, www.facebook.com/TheBafflerMagazine/posts/10153864009843597.

“Jewish Voice for Peace–NYC calls on Brooklyn Commons to Cancel Event with Antisemitic speaker,” Jewish Voice for Peace, September 6, 2016, https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/jewish-voice-peace-nyc-calls-brooklyn-commons-cancel-event-antisemitic-speaker.

“JFREJ Calls on Brooklyn Commons to Cancel Anti-Semitic Event,” September 6, 2016, JFREJ, http://jfrej.org/jfrej-calls-on-brooklyn-commons-to-cancel-anti-semitic-event.

“CUNY for Palestine Statement on Brooklyn Commons Hosting Anti-Semitic Speaker,” Academic Boycott of Israel at CUNY, September 6, 2016, https://cunyboycott.wordpress.com/statements.

If Not Now, “An Open Letter to The Brooklyn Commons: Cancel the event with Christopher Bollyn,” Medium, September 7, 2016, https://medium.com/ifnotnoworg/an-open-letter-to-the-brooklyn-commons-cancel-the-event-with-christopher-bollyn-bf68d021c81e.

Official BISR Statement on Bollyn Event / Brooklyn Common,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 8, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/08/official-bisr-statement-on-bollyn-event-brooklyn-commons.

BISR Executive Director Ajay Singh Chaudhary, “A letter from Ajay,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 8, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/08/a-letter-from-ajay.

“Demand the Brooklyn Commons Publicly Oppose Bigotry in All Forms,” ND, https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/demand-the-brooklyn-commons-publicly-oppose-bigotry-in-all-forms [INN petition]

Boycott call, “This Is Not Our Commons: Boycott the Brooklyn Commons!,” https://jewishantifascists.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/boycott-flyer-final.pdf14520500_1766450156962303_2034150042052535935_n

— OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST—

ENNEN’S LETTER DEFENDING THE BOOKING AND DENOUNCING EVERYONE ELSE AS WHINY SAFE SPACERS
“Letter from Melissa regarding Christopher Bollyn talk,” dated September 7th, 2016 4:00 PM (actually appeared online earlier), https://web.archive.org/web/20160907011117/http://thecommonsbrooklyn.org/civicrm/event/info?id=13804&reset=1

ENNEN’S 9/11 TRUTH BACKGROUND: “[Westchester911truth] Press Advisory: 9/11 Truth Breakthrough Weekend in NYC,” September 6, 2006, http://two.pairlist.net/pipermail/westchester911truth/2006-September/000051.html

ENNEN SPENT $2 MILLION IN A VANITY MAGAZINE IN 1995
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/03/nyregion/neighborhood-report-brooklyn-up-close-deep-pockets-new-try-a-magazine-is-born.html

ENNEN ON WBAI, SPINNING LIES ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PROTEST, September 16, 2016
http://www.wbai.org/upcomingprogram.php?upcomingid=2055
http://nuarchive.wbai.org/mp3/wbai_160916_150004jordan.mp3

On  air at the radio station which is based in the same space that Melissa Ennen owns, she says: “If the KKK or David Duke or anybody came here and wanted to rent the space, I’d say fine, rent the space, see who you can persuade.” (around 23:00)

Brooklyn for Peace, “BFP Statement re Controversy About the Brooklyn Commons,” http://brooklynpeace.org/?p=5876
[undated] [note: Brooklyn for Peace sent a letter before the talk asking Melissa to cancel]

BFP initiated: “Statement in Support of Brooklyn Commons and Melissa Ennen
This statement, apparently initiated after tenants of the Brooklyn Commons were consulted before a boycott of the space was called, calls on people to support Ennen as she affirms that the Brooklyn Commons is open to use by the Far Right.

UNITARIAN CHURCH, HARTFORD, CT CANCELLATION: www.facebook.com/UnitarianSocietyOfHartford/posts/10154404372188617

BUSBOYS AND POETS CANCELLATION: https://twitter.com/busboysandpoets/status/772460846094049280

‘SO YOU’RE HOSTING CHRISTOPHER BOLLYN?’
Rafael Shimunov, “So, You’re Hosting Christopher Bollyn?,” September 9, 2016, https://medium.com/@rafaelshimunov/so-youre-hosting-christopher-bollyn-9b0f39a415cd#.34vhblor1

JEWISH ANTIFASCIST ACTION, https://jewishantifascists.wordpress.com/

Corey Robin on refusing to speak at the Brooklyn Commons: http://coreyrobin.com/2016/10/15/why-i-wont-be-appearing-at-the-brooklyn-commons-on-wednesday/

VIDEO OF TALK OF BOLLYN AT THE BROOKLYN COMMONS:
full video (2+ hours)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYU1ebZeGc

(If you’d rather watch the video in segments)
9/11 and Our Political Crisis – Christopher Bollyn at The Brooklyn Commons Pt 1

Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn to Speak at the Brooklyn Commons

—“It seems like being a Jew is a lot like being a wolf,” Christopher Bollyn

The booking of Christopher Bollyn at the Brooklyn Commons seems to be only the latest bid by the antisemitic wing of the 9/11 Truth and conspiracy movement to find legitimacy in lefty circles. Bollyn, Ken O’Keefe, and others have been speaking at progressive spaces, libraries, and even religious congregations in the recent past with little opposition.

This needs to change.

Bollyn is a former staffer at a leading racist media project who claims that a “Jewish/Zionist” cabal controls the United States. While this is boilerplate Far Right nonsense, he is speaking on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at the Brooklyn Commons—a well-respected Left-wing movement space in central Brooklyn. While it takes some chutzpah to speak there, more worrisome has been the refusal of the space to cancel the event.

#Barnes ReviewBollyn worked for the Liberty Lobby from 2000 to 2006, which was run by Willis Carto, who for decades was one of the most important racists on the US Far Right. His media group included the Spotlight (now the American Free Press), a White nationalist newspaper (where Bollyn was a staffer), as well as the Barnes Review, the main periodical helping spread Holocaust Denial in the United States (where he was a contributing editor). Bollyn has also appeared on David Duke’s radio show, and has praised the racist paramilitary patrol, the Minutemen Project.

Bollyn made his name by promoting an openly antisemitic brand of 9/11 Truth conspiracies in which he makes boilerplate antisemitic claims. Many of these could be taken directly out of 1930s Nazi Party propaganda—that the US government is controlled by a cabal of Jews who force it to go to wars against its national interest. In case there is any lingering doubt, Bollyn is also happy to quote the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the forgery that is one of the main antisemitic texts that inspired the Nazis.

Commons-defense
image via Jewschool

Thinking it was surely a mistake that such a person would be speaking at the Commons, I contacted them directly. Their booker, Melissa, said she was unaware of this person’s background and would get back to me. (As of press time — several days later — there has been no followup.) When asked to comment about Bollyn by other activists, the unidentified person running the Common’s twitter said, “I glanced at his site and nothing antisemitic jumped out at me.” But without even clicking on anything, the front page of Bollyn’s site is filled with lines like “9-11 is a massive Zionist Jewish crime,” and that NPR is run by a “cabal of Zionist Jews.” Bollyn’s website and other writings include such antisemitic gems like:

  • “Great nations, like the United States, France, and Germany, once had anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic political parties that acted to challenge the pernicious influence of secret Masonic and Jewish organizations.  Today we no longer have such political parties to counter these secret networks and find ourselves ruled by B’nai B’rith and Jewish Freemasons.”
  • “The ‘false flag’ ter­ror­ism of 9–11 is a mon­strous Jewish-Zionist crime of our time.  The true cul­prits of this heinous crime are clearly being pro­tected by a gang of like-minded Jew­ish Zion­ists in the high­est posi­tions of the U.S. government.”
  • “It seems like being a Jew is a lot like being a wolf.”
  • He openly cites the Protocols line that: “Not a single announcement will reach the public without our control.”
  • “I suspect that Arlen Specter is a high-level agent of the B’nai B’rith, the secret organization of Jewish Freemasons which I consider to be the real Elders of Zion.”

(Note: I won’t link to Far Right websites, but you can easily google up all this information.)

Anger about Bollyn’s appearance is growing in the absence of any action by the Brooklyn Commons staff. Many people have contacted the Commons to ask them to cancel the booking. (When DC bookstore Busboys and Poets was contacted about Bollyn’s talk there, they cancelled it within 24 hours.)

Members of several projects based at the Commons—the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Jacobin, the Marxist Education Project, The Indypendent, FUREE, Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, WBAI, and the Right to the City Alliance—have issued an open letter saying: “We do not have any say in event booking and management at the Commons but agree that such politics should have no place in leftist spaces.”# protocols

Bollyn’s friends are also engaged in reactionary politics. For example, Nicholas DeVincenzo, the host of the New York event on Facebook, promotes David Duke videos, even tho he says he is skeptical of white separatism. Meanwhile, DeVincenzo’s friend, Rudy Dent, is slated to introduce Bollyn at the Commons. Dent, who is black, promotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on his facebook (which DeVincenzo approves of), as well as radical right-wing Sovereign Citizen theories.

This just goes to show how antisemitism is often the glue that holds unlikely political bedfellows together, and can create a bridge linking the Far Left and Radical Right.

The battle lines are drawn over demonizing narratives that promote oppression. People of any identity can promote narratives of antisemitism and white nationalism, and/or work with those who do. On one side are those who oppose promoting or working with them, and on the other are those who engage in demonization or who promote alliances with those who do. White, black, and other folks—including Jews—can be found on both sides of this line.

Similar to Bollyn, Ken O’Keefe has also been making the rounds of progressive circles. He began his career as a legitimate Palestine Solidarity activist but now propagates antisemitic conspiracy theories, including giving a talk praising Adolf Hitler.

I’m not sure what’s in the air right now, but whatever it is has given the antisemitic conspiracy theorists a push to try and find legitimacy for their views among the Left. Perhaps it’s the shot in the arm that Trump is giving to all forms of racism and bigotry—but nonetheless, it is clear that the response from the Left is severely lacking in regard to identifying and confronting antisemitism. There needs to be more education  about antisemitic narratives and tropes so that people can recognize and reject them. And  there should be an understanding about how antisemitism allows for cross-recruitment from, and fusion with, racists and fascists—as we are seeing with Bollyn’s attempts to woo progressives at the Commons.

TO CONTACT THE BROOKLYN COMMONS:
388 Atlantic Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11217
(347) 987-4966
http://facebook.com/thecommonsbrooklyn
https://twitter.com/BrooklynCommons

“It’s Time to Ring the Alarm About White Nationalism”

While the media has heavily covered Islamist terrorist activity and the recent deadly ambushes on police, it has largely overlooked increasingly brazen demonstrations and violence by the Far Right. In the last year, the level of violence has ramped up dramatically and is only now hitting its stride.

On July 7, Michael Strickland, a right-wing journalist who videotapes left-leaning protests and puts participants’ photos on the Internet, was arrested after waving a gun at a Portland Black Lives Matter rally. He claimed that he feared for his life – because someone allegedly shoved him while he was taping the peaceful demonstration.

After a late June confrontation with fascists who had secured a permit to rally at the California state courthouse, nine counter-protestors were hospitalized, with five of them stabbed. The fascists, operating under the banner of the Traditionalist Worker Party (but comprised mostly of members of the neo-Nazi Golden State Skinheads), fled after the clash with protestors. A loaded gun was left at the scene, which anti-fascists claimed neo-Nazis has dropped as they ran away.

Four months before, on February 28, three anti-racist activists were stabbed while confronting Ku Klux Klan members who were attempting to rally in Anaheim, California.

Patriot Movement paramilitaries took over an Oregon wildlife refuge for 41 days in January, their fourth armed encampment in two years.

And all of this has happened barely a year after 21-year-old White supremacist Dylann Roof attended a bible study session at Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel AME Church, and then fatally shot nine Black worshippers.

This violence needs to serve as a wake-up call.

read the rest at Colorlines

“Is Your Local Candidate in Bed with the Patriot Movement?”

Left: Richard Mack (Oath Keepers, CSPOA), RIght: murderer Jared Miller. Mack, one of the leaders of the Patriot movement, also worked for years with the racist Randy Weaver, an affiliate of the Aryan Nations.
Left: Richard Mack (Oath Keepers, CSPOA), Right: murderer Jared Miller. Mack, one of the leaders of the Patriot movement, also spent years working with racist Randy Weaver, who was affiliated with Aryan Nations.

Is Your Local Candidate in Bed with the Patriot Movement?
Ask Them Twenty Questions and Find Out!
Spencer Sunshine

My Political Research Associates and Rural Organizing Project article “Gunning for Office: Oregon’s Patriot Movement and the May 2016 Primary” details fourteen current candidates for office in Oregon who have links to, or support the goals of, the Patriot movement. But there are many more candidates who are obscuring their real views.

Some people have asked how they can figure out if a candidate is aligned with this movement. Below are some specific questions regarding commonly held views in the Patriot movement that can be used to quiz candidates. No candidate should give answers that are in line with these views; if they give answers to more than a few, then the candidate has politics that are compatible with the Patriot movement.

Feel free to use these questions as worded or tailor them to your local situation.

1. Does Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution prohibit the federal government from owning any land except for ports, forts, and 10 square miles of Washington, DC?

2. Is the Second Amendment absolute—does it prohibit all gun control laws and restrictions?

3. Is the county sheriff is the highest law enforcement authority, and do they have the ability to decide which laws are Constitutional? For example, if a county sheriff thinks that a gun control law or an executive order is unconstitutional, do they have the power to refuse to enforce it?

4. Should publicly owned land under federal control be transferred to state or county governments? Should these governments have the ability to ignore restrictions against logging, ranching, or mining that federal agencies have passed?

that word5. Can county governments (or other local land-use committees or sheriffs’ offices) force the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or other federal agencies to comply with county land-use (or other) policies through the “coordination” process?

6. Should federal agencies like the FBI require a county sheriff’s permission before executing warrants or making arrests in their county?

7. Does the 1872 Mining Act prohibit federal agencies from regulating unpatented mining claims?

8. What is your opinion of militia groups, as well as the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, or a local Committee of Safety? (In Oregon, other groups include the Heirs of Patrick Henry or Central Oregon Patriots.) Are you a member of any of these groups? On social media, are you in any of these Facebook groups or do you Like or Follow these groups? Have you ever had meetings with these groups, or spoken at a meeting that one or more of these groups have sponsored?

9. Does a Committee of Safety have the right to overturn federal or local laws, or otherwise make legally binding decisions?

10. Do citizens have the right to form their own grand juries, outside of the current legal system as we know it, and put public officials or federal employees on trial for violating the Constitution?

11. Should we be concerned about the Agenda 21 plan to use environmentalism as an excuse for the federal government to seize rural citizens’ property, in order to drive them off the land and into the cities?

12. Is the United States a Republic—but not a Democracy?

13. Was Robert “Lavoy” Finicum led into a trap where he was assassinated, as part of a plan that had been designed in advance by the government?

14. Was it illegal for Ammon Bundy and the other occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to be there? Did they break any laws, other than trespassing?

15. Is the Federal Reserve a corporation that is privately owned by banking families?

16. Were the FBI agents in Harney County really French mercenaries?

17. Is the BLM a private, foreign-owned, off-shore corporation?

18. Are citizens’ militias necessary to keep in check a tyrannical government, which is building secret internment camps?

19. Is the federal government behind recent violent disruptions and false flag attacks, which are a prelude to civil war?

20. Are the 14th and 16th Amendments legitimate, or  should only the “Organic Constitution” be followed?

“Gunning for Office: Oregon’s Patriot Movement and the May 2016 Primary”

This article is based on research from a forthcoming report about Oregon’s Patriot movement, which will be published by the Rural Organizing Project and Political Research Associates.

In the wake of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January and February 2016, a slew of candidates linked to the so-called Patriot movement are running for office in Oregon, including in the upcoming May primary. Even though most of the actual occupiers were from out of state, the occupation highlighted the state’s large and growing Patriot movement. These often-armed, Hard Right activists organized the initial demonstration that preceded the occupation and helped build political support for the occupiers’ demands. These demands included the transfer of federally-owned public lands to state or county governments in order to avoid land-use restrictions, as well as attempts to circumvent the federal government’s decision-making powers by invoking legally groundless claims about the authority of state and county governments.

The arrest of over two dozen people connected to the Malheur occupation, in addition to the death of occupier Robert “Lavoy” Finicum at the hands of law enforcement, has energized the movement—which now has a new martyr and opportunities for activism to support their newly minted political prisoners. For the last few years, the state’s Patriot movement largely focused on non-electoral movement building; some county sheriffs and a handful of other officials were affiliated with its aims, but by and large it remained outside of the electoral arena. This is changing with Oregon’s May 17, 2016 primary election. In several counties where Oregon’s Patriot movement is strong—including Josephine, Crook, Baker, Douglas, and Harney—candidates tied to the movement are running for office. These candidates include key Patriot movement leaders such as Joseph Rice, as well as Republicans who are courting the movement for votes.

The Patriot movement is a Hard Right movement that is trying to radically transform U.S. political and legal institutions. It seeks to implement a form of right-wing decentralization, including the abolition of environmental laws and the social safety net, replacing them with almost completely unrestricted capitalism, all based on an idiosyncratic reading of the Constitution and various conspiracy theories which support their political views. The best known of the movement’s tactics is the formation of paramilitaries—traditionally “militias,” but more recently including other, more decentralized, armed approaches.

Read the rest at Political Research Associates