I’m preparing a Zoom talk about my book The Circle of the Way, so blogging time will be limited this week. But I had to blog about this:
For all the maladministration’s screaming about “Antifa” and “leftists,” it’s been plain that the primary danger of violence in the U.S. is being posed by right-wing groups, many of which are heavily armed. Today there was a shooting at a protest, in Albuquerque:
Gunfire broke out during a protest Monday night in Albuquerque to demand the removal of a statue of Juan de Oñate, the despotic conquistador of New Mexico whose image has become the latest target in demonstrations across the country aimed at righting a history of racial injustice.
As dozens of people gathered around a statue of Oñate, New Mexico’s 16th-century colonial governor, arguments broke out between a multiracial group of protesters urging its removal and others defending it, including a right-wing militia made up of armed white gunmen.
In the chaos that ensued, a man was seen assaulting female protesters by violently shoving them to the ground. At one point the same man used pepper spray on protesters. As protesters pursued the assailant to drive him out of the crowd, the man pulled out a weapon and shot one of the protesters, prompting police officers in riot gear to rush in.
One might wonder why the police in riot gear hadn’t stepped in earlier, such as when the thug was violently shoving female protesters to the ground. But this seems to be a pattern, doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, I keep finding articles saying that there’s no evidence “Antifa” is doing anything much regarding the protests. See, for example, The GOP’s claim that antifa is infiltrating George Floyd protests is a right-wing ‘bogeyman’ that bears all the hallmarks of a domestic disinformation campaign at Business Insider and Little evidence of antifa links in U.S. prosecutions of those charged in protest violence from Reuters.
At the Kansas City Star, Judy Thomas writes Far-right extremists keep showing up at BLM protests. Are they behind the violence?
Recent protests near the Country Club Plaza led to no shortage of talk on social media about who, exactly, was behind violence such as the burning of a Kansas City police car.
“Two of them were the guys on the plaza Friday night who were open carrying and we begged to officers to remove them and they refused,” one woman posted in response to a photo shared in a tweet.
Some questioned whether the men were white supremacists or other far-right extremists who had shown up to commit or incite violence that would then be blamed on the protesters. Or Boogalooers, those who are part of growing and loosely knit movement, many of whose adherents are gearing up for a second Civil War. …
… Devin Burghart, president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, said his organization has found evidence of Boogaloo and other far-right extremist groups at 40 protests related to Floyd’s death, including some in Kansas City and Wichita.
We don’t really have to ask. This is from Business Insider, June 3: 3 self-proclaimed members of the far-right ‘boogaloo’ movement were arrested on domestic terrorism charges for trying to spark violence during protests.
Federal prosecutors say the men planned to sow discord at protests in Nevada in early April. They first assembled at a rally to reopen the US economy in Las Vegas, where, according to the filing, one of the men said the group “was not for joking around and that it was for people who wanted to violently overthrow the United States government.”
The filing stated that all members of the group possessed firearms, including “pistols and rifles, including variations of AR-15’s.”
It also alleged that the three men met several times in May to discuss targeting multiple places to place an “economic burden on businesses and the government.”