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Zello, Operator: Recruitment, right-wing ecosystems, and semi-clandestine organization


This piece is intended as a piece to go alongside Micah Loewinger’s co-created On the Media/MilitiaWatch radio piece covering Zello. In the radio piece, you will hear in their own voices some of the militia groups referenced in this visual article intended to accompany and expand upon that piece. You will also hear some discussion about the app’s leadership and PR response to our investigation.

Next, it is important to note that this visual accompaniment is intended only as a first look into these networks on Zello. More data work is being completed to follow this article and the audio piece it accompanies.

Micah Loewinger has experience with Zello and militia organizing directly, as he reported from a ‘command station’ for Virginia’s 20 January anti-gun regulation rally. This station, as Micah reports in the piece here, was manned by AJ Andrews of the National Patriots Coalition III% (NPC III%), a country-wide movement. 


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Weekly Update: 23 Nov 2020


A short fifth MW weekly news round-up. Here’s the weekly(ish) update for 23 November 2020.


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Weekly Update: 16 Nov 2020


After a two-week hiatus from weekly updates focusing on some election-related work, a return for the fourth MW weekly news round-up. It’s a long one this week. Here’s the weekly(ish) update for 16 November 2020.


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Weekly Update: 26 Oct 2020


In the third MW weekly news round-up, a roundup of coverage of MilitiaWatch/ACLED’s election violence report, updates on last week’s stories, and some new stories from the week. These new happenings are then related to reading within the MW archives and around the web. Here’s the weekly(ish) update for 26 October 2020.


Norm Olsen, of the notorious Michigan Militia, denounced the Wolverine Watchmen militia’s plot

Olsen now lives in Alaska and started a new, non-Michigan project there years ago. However, he did tell journalists that he was sympathetic to anger against Wolverine Watchmen militia’s target, Michigan Governor Whitmer.


The American Patriot Council, an off-shoot from Michigan re-open protests taken national, looked to hold a 40-location national “Freedom March” series of rallies,

(instead, they held fewer than a dozen)

Ryan Santistevan wrote up a good brief on the organization, available here.


MilitiaWatch + ACLED release risk assessment report

Our report, drawn from data from the past five months, the literature on elections violence, and analysis based on knowledge of right-wing networked violence, we identified five high-risk states and five moderate-risk states. Read the report on ACLED’s site, here. Militia groups covered in the report include the III%, covered extensively here. (Please indulge for a moment, MW rarely gets this sort of coverage)

The report has been covered, for example in:
Local outlets, including:

Other stories:

NPR did a profile of Idaho III%er and GOP State Senate candidate, Eric Parker. Parker was kicked off of Facebook during the summer purges and was highly involved in Bundy Ranch organizing.

Michigan sheriffs/police have indicated they will refuse to enforce bans on guns at polling places this season, despite the alleged planned kidnapping of Michigan’s governor.


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Weekly Update: 19 Oct 2020


In the second MW weekly news round-up, some updates on last week’s stories and some updates on some much older stories, too. These new happenings are then related to reading within the MW archives and around the web. Here’s the weekly(ish) update for 19 October 2020.


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Weekly Update: 12 Oct 2020


MW is now going to be throwing together a short news round-up at the start of each week based upon the happenings of the past week. For as long as militia news remains at the forefront of US media, MW will gather some of the more interesting or concerning points here, linking to reading both within the MW archives and outside. Here’s the weekly(ish) update for 12 October 2020.


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Percent of a Percent: Assessing the transformation of a fractured III%


MilitiaWatch has been covering the Three Percent movement for nearly 4 years now. In that time, splinter, disintegration, and reintegration events have been plentiful as a field of highly competitive and extremely opinionated armed folks vie for influence and authority in outbursts that punctuate the seasons’ passing. A new shattering of the III% movement has led to new realignments amidst a season of great turmoil and action.

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The Uprising, The Boog, and A Shooting


Since the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, every single state in the US has had a major protest in response. In some of these states, certain towns, cities, and capitals saw an escalation in tactics against the status quo.

With this action, of course, came several waves of reaction. These have included conservative and liberal media alike’s “antifa provocateur” or “outside agitator” claims, despite little evidence beyond vague gesturing from police departments and mayors that have been proven wrong time and time again. Other reactions have included those from GOP lawmakers calling for military force to be used against protesters, even earning some a platform in the Paper of Record. Yet other reactions from ostensibly the right have been those militia or militia-like groups involving themselves in or around these political happenings.

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Militias March on Richmond, Post-Mortem 01: a new decade of militia activity, cold feet, and the “antifa” schism


This post is another promised follow-up from a previous piece in an ongoing saga of III% splinters in the past year. Therefore, it is highly recommended that readers of this piece first review of what has preceded it within the movement:

Much has happened since this previous article, but this update seeks to focus on another falling out emanating from the January 20th Virginia gathering anticipated in the previous article. Another article will detail more of this gathering in context with future militia activism, but this one focuses on an important fracture within the movement.


Mike Rage and Tammy Lee seemed confident and excited about the energy surrounding the January 20 2nd Amendment rally planned as a march on Virginia’s capital following the threat of gun reform at the state level. They were by no means the primary organizers of the rally but had been hyping up the event and preparing for New York organizing well beyond the MLK Day gathering, too. This future planned event has since been canceled due to COVID19-related closures.

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Reflections on November 9: The ‘Declaration of Restoration’, the path to it, and its near futures


This post is a follow-up on some of the loose ends of a previous piece on splinters within the III% movement, particularly with regards to the III% Security Force and its affiliated activists and figureheads.

Much has happened since this earlier piece, but this update seeks to focus on the November 9th gathering anticipated in the previous article alongside the politics, uprisings, and fallout surrounding the event. I strongly recommend reading this previous bit of writing before diving into this one.


From a “redress of grievances” on February 23, 2019 (termed “223”) to its March 23 follow-up to a planned November 9 rally in DC, Chris Hill of the III% Security Force (III%SF) and Georgia Security Force III% (GSFIII) seemed to be organizing a new era of national militia gatherings.