This article follows up a previous MilitiaWatch article on the use of Zello, a free walkie-talkie app, by the US-based armed far-right, including aggressive activists working in support of former president Donald Trump. That article with visualizations is available here:
Since that article, further investigation of right-wing militant groups’ use of Zello resulted in the direct recording of it being used at the 6 January storming of the US Capitol Building. This was then published in The Guardian. As references in that article, a list of over 800 channels was sent to Zello with a request for comment. Zello subsequently announced that they had banned 2000 militia-related channels, though they described groups’ use of the platform as “social media vanity messaging”. An On the media podcast covering this can be listened to at this link.
Another Monday, another weekly update. Here’s a glimpse at what’s covered in this brief piece:
An OK founder pleads guilty; the QRF looks more material
III% adherents assault interracial couples for second time in three weeks in SC
Wolverine Watchmen brothers removed from house arrest
Oath Keepers court updates
New court documents detail some of the specifics of the Oath Keepers’ ‘Quick Reaction Force’ (QRF) staged for the storming of the US Capitol Building on J6. This includes details about the group’s quartermaster’s stay at a Comfort Inn across the Potomac River in Virginia (where firearms are legal, versus a weapons ban in DC). Multiple defendants in ongoing conspiracy cases have also had their discussions about the QRF in Signal chats included as evidence, which perhaps seems to indicate that this aspect was more serious than defendants have pushed in the press since the storming itself.
On top of that, though, one of the co-founders of the Oath Keepers who was present at the storming is the first Oath Keeper to plead guilty and agree to turn over all information he has on the group and J6 organizers. Jon Schaffer, this Oath Keepers member, is also the guitarist and frontman of a metal band.
In semi-related news, a new report indicates that Capitol police were directed to exercise restraint against those storming the grounds.
Another III%-linked armed assault against interracial couples in Columbia, South Carolina was reported this past week. This is the second time in 3 weeks that this has happened in the SC capital city.
Sons of Confederate Veterans were denied a permit for their ‘Confederate Memorial Day’ event at Stone Mountain for the first time in its 20 year tradition. The park said that holding such an event would present them with a “clear and present danger to public safety”. Instead of hosting an event in the park on the 26 April, the SCV’s “mechanized cavalry” rode motorcycles around the park this Saturday the 17th. Some came armed and the group received a police escort. Last August, the park denied a permit to a collection of militia groups who ended up showing in the nearby town of Stone Mountain anyway, where they clashed with anti-racists who showed in opposition. More on that can be read here:
A nationwide call for a “White Lives Matter” day of action on Sunday 11 April mostly fizzled out last week as WLM telegram channels cancelled events or turned out to be honeypots set up by anti-fascists. In Huntington Beach, California, several neo-Nazis and a KKK leader were involved in planning and showed up, and a man with a swastika tattoo punched an Asian man who showed as part of a counter-demonstration. In Fort Worth, Texas, a small cohort of right-wing demonstrators showed but were outnumbered 5-to-1. A man in a Hawaiian shirt circled the counter-demonstration on a motorcycle, making a cutthroat sign with his finger as he rode past.
The Solano County Sheriff now says that the FBI found no evidence to indicate his deputies were members of “extremist organizations” after an investigative report by Open Vallejo indicated that many very much were. The response is laughably bad and seems to completely avoid the majority of the content from the original investigation. It is being called out as such already. Chris Pratt has still not given word about his police officer brother making III% woodworking products being a central point of the piece.
The Null brothers, of Wolverine Watchmen notoriety, were released from house arrest and relieved of their curfew this past week. The men will still be monitored via GPS as part of their bond.
A sovereign citizen movement in Arkansas was rebuked by a local court on a 6-5 decision against their hope to adopt a “Bill of Rights sanctuary ordinance” for their locality.
Once more demonstrating their coziness with law enforcement, a Virginia county militia donated medical bags with $500 of medical supplies to the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office.
An opinion on how the GOP bears responsibility for far-right violence (WaPo)
On the continued tension over a ‘non-profit’ militia-style organization and their shooting grounds near San Diego (Escondido Grapevine)
Also be sure to read our newest piece, here:
(MilitiaWatch was also briefly mentioned on 60 Minutes yesterday. You can watch the full segment on the Oath Keepers here.)
MilitiaWatch would like to extend our deepest condolences to the friends, family, and communities impacted by the brutal attacks on Atlanta-area spas this past week. It’s an absolute tragedy and our hearts ache for those impacted.
This week, the update features the following and more:
Ammon Bundy spends night in jail for missing court date due to refusal to don mask
Texas III% member arrested in connection to J6 planned to use LLC to purchase weapons for militia group
Michigan militia was prepared to engage police or feds in combat, informant details