“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?

“Will the History Books Record How Neo-Nazis Made Eyes at the Bundy Militia?”

… As the Malheur occupation fades into history, there are many insights on the US social and political landscape to be distilled both from this episode and from the national conversations it has sparked. One underreported aspect of the affair is what it revealed about the nature of the partial but significant overlaps between neo-Nazis and anti-federal-government activists like the Bundys.

The occupiers had been demanding the abolition of the federal government as we know it, using a set of rationales that were originally derived from racist movements. Some of the occupiers were known to spout anti-Semitic or Islamophobic conspiracy theories, while another denied that slavery existed. And so it should not have surprised anyone that neo-Nazis and other organized racists have applauded the occupation.

read the full article at Truthout

“Dispatch from Oregon: Armed White Occupiers Are Enjoying Warm Food, Wi-Fi—and No Violence From Feds”

Just as they have been since January 2, an armed, mostly White, mostly male group of radical right-wing paramilitaries are still occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. So far, local and federal authorities in nearby Burns, Oregon, have taken almost no action. At press time, the buildings are not surrounded by law enforcement. They have electricity, heat and Internet access. Members of the press, supporters and FedEx workers can drive right up to the occupied territory.

A nearby restaurant called The Narrows is still open, too. One can walk in and see a number people—mostly a mixture of media and armed occupiers—enjoying the warm food, Wi-Fi and bar. The atmosphere recalls the cantina scene from the first “Star Wars.”

Read the full article at Colorlines

“What the Oregon Standoff Is Really About”

For a town of fewer than 3,000 residents, Burns, Oregon, sees a lot of business. Travelers heading from Boise to Bend on I-20 stop by here, as do visitors to the nearby wildlife refuge and from other parts of Harney County. Some blocks look like a quaint old Oregon town, the rest is “Anywhere, USA.” The residents seem nice but also direct and unafraid to speak their minds.

When armed right-wing paramilitaries took over the headquarters of the nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on January 2, this is the town they thrust into the national headlines. The armed group’s apparent leaders—Ammon Bundy, 40, and Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 54—succeeded in drawing media coverage and pushing their talking points. But their occupation is starting to divide the community, turning neighbors against each other.

Read the full article at Yes! magazine.

“Where the Oregon Militias Came From”

Contrary to the impression you may get from recent media coverage, the occupation of the Oregon Malheur Wildlife Refuge is not led by ranchers who are tired of being pushed around by the federal government. Instead, the armed occupiers are self-selected militants from the Patriot movement’s paramilitary network—known for invading rural communities and staging armed protests that distract from local attempts to fix real economic problems.

These paramilitary groups work by latching onto local events and manipulating them to serve a general political ideology. The case of Dwight and Steven Hammond elicited widespread community support, but there was no local interest in staging an armed resistance to the court’s decision to return them to prison. Nonetheless, Patriot movement activists including the Bundys and members of the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers held an armed march in Burns, Oregon. Then Ammon Bundy and a handful of allies drove to the Malheur Refuge buildings to make their political stand. They used the movement’s usual bait-and-switch strategy: a protest against an unpopular prison sentence turned into a call to privatize federal land.

Read the full article at The Progressive