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Election, economy spark explosive growth of militia

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by sunny_10, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    U.S. News - Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias
    By Stephanie Schendel, Murrow News Service

    The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 triggered an explosion in the number of militias and so-called patriot groups in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in its annual tally of such anti-government organizations.

    There were 149 militias and patriot groups when Obama took office, compared to more than 1,200 today — an increase of 755 percent, the nonprofit civil rights organization reported.

    [​IMG]
    (Screen shot from a training video used by the Christian militia group Hutaree in March 2010. The group was allegedly preparing for a battle with the Antichrist, whom they believed would be supported by local, state and federal officials. Nine were arrested and charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs.)

    "The increase has just been astounding," said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report. "The reality is that many of these groups are becoming more and more fearful that Barack Obama will win the re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear."

    The SPLC defines the "patriot" movement as made up of conspiracy-minded individuals who see the federal government as their primary enemy. The movement includes paramilitary militias as well as groups of "sovereign citizens," who believe they are not subject to federal or state laws, nor obligated to pay federal taxes, according to SPLC.

    The center also reports a steady rise in the number of hate groups in America — from 604 in 2000, to more than 1,000 last year. Those include anti-gay groups, anti-Muslim groups, black separatists and "Christian Identity" groups, which hold racist and anti-Semitic views that overlap with neo-Nazi beliefs.

    The spike in these groups can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the sluggish economy, radical propaganda and anxiety over the election of a black president, Potok said.

    Potok said although many individuals involved in patriot militias are not criminals, a handful of these groups have been responsible for a significant amount of violence in recent years.

    Government employees targeted

    SPLC provides one of the few annual reports on militia or anti-government groups. The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not track militia groups unless they are alerted to violent or extremist activity, according to an agency spokesman.

    "Some of these groups veer into violent extremism," said Frank Harrill, special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Spokane, Wash., and spokesman for the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force. "Where hate and ignorance and violence collide, that is where our interests lie."

    Two militia groups have made headlines in recent years for allegedly hatching violent plots to target government employees.

    Seven people from the Michigan-based Hutaree Christian militia are on trial for allegedly conspiring to ambush and kill a police officer. They allegedly plotted to follow up the ambush with an attack on the officer’s funeral procession in the hope of killing more officers, and thus sparking a revolt against the U.S. government. Recent evidence presented in trial included a recording made by an undercover FBI agent in which the militia’s leader, David Stone, 47, says he is going to "start huntin'" police soon. The seven have pleaded innocent, and argue that the "plot" was nothing but talk, protected by the First Amendment.

    And in November four members of a Georgia-based militia, all in their 60s and 70s, were charged with plotting to buy explosives and the ingredients to make a deadly toxin to attack government officials. They are in custody awaiting trial.

    But members of other militias say that exercising their constitutional right to bear arms does not mean they are committed to revolution.

    Spokane-based militia member Ed LeStage, 59, denied that his group, the 63rd Battalion of Lightfoot Militia, which was listed on as an active militia group in the SPLC’s report, was a danger — unless, he said, "you're a communist or socialist who attacks us."

    LeStage, a veteran to the patriot movement, said he believes the increased number of militias comes from U.S. citizens’ desire to restore the country to its constitutional roots. He also said that what he called President Obama’s intrusion on personal liberties also has driven growth in the movement.

    "He’s been after our guns," LeStage said. "Obama’s been the best gun salesman there ever was."

    From his home in eastern Washington, LeStage broadcasts weekly training videos to militia members across the country. Those videos — which include instruction on such things as drinking one’s own urine and scavenging for food — are meant to help members survive anarchy or economic collapse.

    LeStage said he has been involved in militias and related groups for more than 20 years, including the Idaho Mountain Boys, a member of which was arrested in September 2002 for plotting to kill a federal judge and a police officer.

    That member, Larry Raugust, served 77 months for possession and production of pipe bombs. Today, Raugust has a member profile on LeStage’s militia website, which has added more than 1,000 members since its launch last fall.

    "(Raugust) is just a friend," LeStage said. "He doesn’t belong to our unit. He is a convicted felon."

    LeStage explained that his militia requires each member to obtain a concealed weapons permit. As a felon, Raugust is not allowed to carry weapons, LeStage said.

    The patriot movement first peaked in 1994, said Potok, the author of the SPLC report, in the aftermath of deadly confrontations at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas in 1993, where anti-government groups came under siege by federal authorities.

    Membership then dropped sharply during President George W. Bush’s two terms before rebounding in late 2008 after the election of Obama, which created a backlash that included "several plots to murder Obama," according to SPLC.

    The numbers of those groups have continued to grow, jumping from 824 in 2010 to 1274 this year, the SPLC said.

    'Sovereign citizen' movement

    The ailing economy also helped fuel a huge expansion in a subset of the larger Patriot movement — the so-called "sovereign citizens" movement. Followers generally believe they do not have to pay federal taxes or follow most laws. The SPLC estimates some 300,000 Americans are involved in the movement.

    In September, the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement officials that called "sovereign citizens" a growing domestic threat due to some members’ belief that they can use armed force to resist police.

    The bulletin noted that sovereigns have killed six law officers since 2000. In one of the more deadly clashes, a shootout in West Memphis, Ark., in 2010 left four people dead including two officers. Terry Nichols, convicted as a conspirator in the Oklahoma City bombing, was a sovereign citizen.

    In 2010, a shootout with a member of the group in West Memphis, Arkansas ended with four people dead, including two policemen.

    Last month, a Texas man who said he was a sovereign citizen was sentenced to 35 years in prison for repeatedly firing at a police officer trying to arrest him.

    A Washington state man, David R. Myrland, was sentenced in December to 40 months in prison for threatening to "arrest" the mayor of Kirkland and other local officials "with deadly force."

    Investigators said Myrland sent an e-mail to the mayor warning that "50 or more concerned Citizens will enter your home and arrest you. Do not resist, as these Citizens will be heavily armed."

    "As sovereign citizens' numbers grow, so do the chances of contact with law enforcement and, thus, the risks that incidents will end in violence," the FBI said at the time.

    From LeStage’s point of view, though, the risk comes from the top of government.

    If Obama is re-elected this year, "we will probably lose our republic," he said. "We will probably turn into another socialist country."

    On his website Modern Militia Movement - RESTORING OUR COUNTRY, ONE PATRIOT AT A TIME, some forum members have raised even more dire concerns about the fall's elections.

    "Nov. the 8th should be the start of the next civil war," a member with the username "Thunder" wrote in January. "May GOD guide us safely."

    The Murrow News Service is provides local, regional and statewide stories reported and written by journalism students at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Msnbc.com’s James Eng and Kari Huus, and NBC's Pete Williams contributed to this report.

    More content from msnbc.com and NBC News

    U.S. News - Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias
     
  2. Devil

    Devil Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    civil war all over again?
     
  3. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    Hate groups, citizen militias surge in U.S. as race and economy fuel tensions
    Reuters Mar 9, 2012

    WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina — The number of hate and anti-government groups in the United States continued to rise last year, fueled by racial tensions, conspiracy theories and anger over economic inequality, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    The most explosive growth came from the so-called Patriot movement, whose adherents view the federal government as their enemy.

    The Patriot movement reached a peak in 1996, a year after right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh set off a truck bomb outside the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168 people. McVeigh and a co-conspirator were convicted, and McVeigh was executed.

    The number of Patriot groups, a largely rural phenomenon sometimes referred to as the militia movement, increased to 1,274 groups in 2011 from 824 in 2010, the report released on Thursday said.

    The number of those organizations has swelled in recent years since the economy slumped into recession and Democratic President Barack Obama, the country’s first black president, was elected in 2008, said the law center, which has tracked extremist groups for three decades.

    A backlash against federal bail outs of the bank and auto industries, and discredited allegations that Obama was not born in the United States and therefore disqualified to be president, provided believers with the rationale to join such groups, according to the report.

    Heated political rhetoric from this year’s presidential campaign could attract more adherents, said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the center and editor of the report.

    “The campaign season has simply added fuel to the fire,” Potok said. These groups vehemently oppose Obama and abhor the possibility that he could be re-elected to a second term in November. “To them, that’s a horror show,” Potok said. The center counted 1,018 hate groups in the United States last year, up from 1,002 in 2010. The number of groups have been increasing since 2000, when the center counted 602.

    Potok said it was hard to gauge how many Americans are members of hate groups, but estimated the number was between 200,000 and 300,000 people.


    The U.S. election campaign season has simply added fuel to the fire


    The center also estimated that some 300,000 Americans were part of the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement who flout most laws, do not pay federal taxes and even refuse to obtain driver’s licenses.

    The report’s findings echoed comments last month in Washington by the FBI about a growing threat of violence by members of these “sovereign citizen” groups.

    Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, told a news conference that routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat.” He cited shootings of police officers after routine traffic stops in Arkansas and Texas the past two years.

    Convictions of such extremists, mostly for white-collar crimes such as fraud, increased to 18 each in 2010 and 2011 from 10 in 2009, the FBI said.

    Most members of hate groups and anti-government organizations have not committed crimes, Potok said. But the center’s report highlighted recent examples where authorities accused militia members of plotting violence.

    In one case, authorities accused four Georgia members of a militia group of plotting to obtain explosives and produce the deadly toxin ricin, with which they intended to attack government officials.

    In Michigan, seven members of a Midwestern militia group called the Hutaree are standing trial on charges that they plotted to kill police to spark a wider insurrection.

    The law center also found the number of groups specifically targeting gays and lesbians rose to 27 in 2011 from 17 in 2010, and the number of anti-Muslim groups jumped to 30 from 10.

    But the number of so-called “nativist extremist” groups who harass people they suspect of being illegal immigrants appeared to be in decline. The number of those groups dropped to 184 in 2011 from 319 the year before.

    The center attributed the decline in part to the push in some states for laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants, the report said. “Nativist groups have lost the wind in their sails as their issue has been co-opted by politicians,” Potok said.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center was formed in the early 1970s to defend the legal rights of African Americans following the civil rights reforms of the 1960s. It was instrumental in some convictions of members of white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan for civil rights abuses against blacks. It has broadened to other issues in recent years.

    Hate groups, citizen militias surge in U.S. as race and economy fuel tensions | News | National Post
     
  4. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    "We’ll Find Himâ€: Black Militia Vows Vengeance On White Trayvon Martin Shooter
    Mar 20, 2012

    [​IMG]

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Members of a self-described black militia group will attempt a citizen’s arrest on a white neighborhood watch leader who has admitted to fatally shooting an unarmed African-American teen in an Orlando suburb, but has not been charged, a leader of the group said Thursday.

    Members of The New Black Liberation Militia (See website here) plan to take 28-year-old George Zimmerman to federal authorities this week since local police haven’t acted, said Najee Muhammad, a leader of the militia group.

    “We’ll find him. We’ve got his mug shot and everything,†Muhammad said.

    Out of a population of 54,000, about 57 percent of Sanford residents are white and 31 percent are black, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

    “Trayvon was unarmed when he was shot by Zimmerman,†said the online petition, which has been signed by almost 215,000 people. “Please uphold justice.â€

    “We’ll Find Him”: Black Militia Vows Vengeance On White Trayvon Martin Shooter « Pat Dollard
     
  5. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    Why We'd Fear Black Militias

    They’ve found a new double standard

    Imagine that the inauguration of President George W. Bush had sparked an explosive rise in African American militia groups. Suppose thousands of heavily armed black men began gathering at training camps in wooded areas throughout the country, devising military tactics for "taking back their country" after what they believed was an electoral coup.

    Do you think Bush and Vice President ******** Cheney would have reacted to a black militaristic buildup as coolly as President Obama has to the phenomenal growth of white militias?

    Since Obama took office last year, the number of white militias has shot up from about 170 to more than 500, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups in the United States. Armed with enough firepower to take on a police department, some of these groups are honing their sniper skills using photographs of Obama for target practice.

    They cling to the delusion that the nation's first black president is somehow a subversive working for Muslim extremists, and they aim to bring him down.

    "If the people we saw running around armed to the teeth were black, I think their organizations would be destroyed in a matter of hours," Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, told me. "If people saw on their TV screens photos of black militia members shooting at images of a white president, I don't think they would last."



    First of all there are black armed organizations called street gangs and they’re killing more people this hour than any white organization will in the next ten years. We don’t see them training in the woods because that requires too much planning and coordination.

    But the point may be that street gangs aren’t generally political and as far as that goes there is a double standard on the militia issue. There are a few legitimate reasons for this. The first is that whites have a history of responsible firearms use. There are rural parts of America where young children are given guns to take care of. If they tried that in the inner cities they’d need dump trucks to clear the bodies each weekend. We have a prudent fear of black men with guns that no amount of political correctness will ever beat out of us.

    The second thing we have to consider is what kind of ideology a black militia would have. Presumably it would be socialist and for forced integration. In contrast to whites with their guns who want to be left alone, looting and aggression would be the raison d'être of any black armed force which thought the Republicans were white supremacists holding them down. We’d fear them more than any group with a libertarian ideology and rightfully so.

    Why We'd Fear Black Militias
     
  6. Devil

    Devil Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    no jobs not enough money no food all these things makes this
     
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  7. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    And how are socialist militias worse than libertarian ones?
     
  8. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    One of the things I like about the USA is how differant its people are, I get a culture shock when I travel to other countries by how much every one looks alike. You go to South America Chile, Argentina, Brazil ,, just about every body is caucasian, same Italy, Spain, Germany,,,,Russia,,,,its not that way in the USA, in any crowd,, its going to be asian, indian, pakistan caucasian, mexican, black, I mean its a real mix and thats what looks normal to me. Same thing for beliefs,,,,all kinds religions, poltical, economic,,, its wild. So far we dont seem to have many groups going off the reservation to force their beliefs on other so I dont see a problem. I like it this way. You can believe , almost say any thing you want. You cant say I am going to kill the President, you cant yell bomb in a movie theater. But its wild and I like it this way. Most countrys are too tame.
     
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  9. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    sir, a country is run by mainly those 10% people who fall in high income group, high end professionals/businessmen/experts etc. they pay very high tax, make new technologies to help industries run, generate jobs for rest of the 90% people, generate revenue for the government etc. the Social Security/ free Medical etc, the common people get in US, comes from the pocket of those 10% people of high income group, including other government expanses. and if you have a look on US then Indians are the highest income group there with around 1% total population, who first helped US have high technologies as they are high qualified professionals, helped US filled high skill shortage. for example, Indians accounts for around 30% of total doctors of US while doctors are still in shortage there???? similarly in other professions etc. and at the same, they pay very high tax to feed the common population as they are in the highest income group. the same you find in case of the country like UK where Indians are the highest income group, least unemployed, and around 1.5% of total UK's population. similar thing in case of Australia/Canada etc also.....

    and yes, the credit goes to that 90% population of US/UK/Australia/Canada type countries who created the type of environment in their country which could attract the best people of rest of the world, like high end professionals/businessmen etc. :tup: and yes this also means that the day you will lose this friendly environment for the migrants in Western Countries, common people of US/UK/Australia/Canada etc will simply beg on the streets as those who feed them will kick these western countries and back to their native place :meeting:
     
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  10. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    hmmm, I would say by 2015/17, we would see a type of civil war in US, when people will start looting/ rioting on the streets of US. Majority of US’s population is under high school pass but they are habituated of luxury life, welfare/ free medical etc. and as the US’s debt is already over its 105% of GDP, so the time it will not be possible any more to borrow and pay for the expanses, bear luxury life of under high school pass people, US will become a joke in world. also, as we know about the ‘gun culture’ of US where almost half of their population keep guns, so the time they won’t get Welfare/ free medical etc, hopefully within 4 to 6 years when US won’t be able to borrow any more for their expanses, say at 200% Debt/GDP ratio by 2015/18, it is then very likely that their civilians will start using their arms to rob whoever they will find to bear their daily expanses. :pop:

    Also, if we have a look on the number of wars US has organized in world, its obvious that the time they start losing their different wars, then they will be more likely to fight with each other in US itself. Lets see what exactly we will see in our time, as, once the fall of US will star, together with heavily indebted EU economies, where exactly they will stop, no one knows :no:. Even if russia had so much oil/ gas and natural resources, they suffered so big fall in between 1990 to 1999. but what about US and EU, they dont have oil/ gas to sell to support their economy if they face any fall? where will they stop if they will face a real deep recession? :azn:
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  11. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    Another problem with both Russia and EU is that most of their industry went to China, Korea, SE Asia. Thus what remains are mostly primary and tertiary sector; in both EU and US, only things that remain from secondary sector are armaments industry. There may be traces of automobile industry remaining, and Germans still build passenger cruisers, but that's about it.
     
  12. Devil

    Devil Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    people in U.S. are scared so scared always live in fear their govt/media has turned them into nothing scared little kitties their anger shows fear. :sarcastic: but don't you dare question them their govt told them if they kill bunch of another hundred peoplw and couple of wars they will be 100% safe. :sarcastic:
     
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  13. sunny_10

    sunny_10 BANNED BANNED

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    sir, my post may little hurt "Mr Average American", but he would get to know that its the 46% share of Social Security+Medical to Average American people, why US has -9% budget deficit and to pay that, US is borrowing every year, which is taking them into deep trouble. and how long the migrants may pay for these expanses by high tax, its also on doubt, mainly Hindus and Jewish who fall in the Very High income group in US/UK. but its certain that if people of high income group dont make their government stop paying these unnecessary expanses, one day they all will fall into deep trouble if whole US economy fall altogether :meeting:

    Mr AverageAmerican would get to know that half of the US's population have the same type of guns like how he keeps in his picture, with the bottom line concept of US, the nation, as per his signature also. and the day their economy fall and they lose their different wars they have organized in this world, they altogether will fight for welfare/medical by using their guns in US itself, like he keeps in his picture, to bear daily expanses by looting/robbing on the streets :sad:
     
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  14. ColdPlay

    ColdPlay Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    The 21st century youth are the most radical youth since 1930's.This is a global phenomenon.
     
  15. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Re: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

    I am not a fortune teller I dont know what the future holds. I expect if there is an economic meltdown for the USA it will be an larger economic melt down for the rest of the world. As a percentage of GDP at least 9 countries have borrowed a larger percent of their GDP then the USA and the global economy is not even in their currency. It seems to me that every dollar outthere has to be spent in the USA sooner or later and we can allways print more.
     
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