Birdspotting: A brief guide of spotting militia members in your area

This guide is intended to be a resource for community organizers and members of communities expecting to have far-right militia groups and their ilk entering their area in the near future. It is not a comprehensive guide but should provide a basic outline for identifying actors, deducing the politics of rallygoers, and assessing risk when coming up against these actors. A one-page black-and-white printable flyer is available for download for the 18 September 2021 DC rally here.

One-page flyers containing some of these images are available for download ahead of the DC rally here: Color | B&W

Note: This page was put live incomplete in order to make sure the information is out there ahead of time. Please refresh to read the most up-to-date copy.

Proud Boys:

The Proud Boys are a far-right street-fighting group known to violently attack any who they believe associated with ‘Antifa’ or ‘BLM’. Can be easily identified by their black and yellow attire and chants of “UHURU” or “FUCK ANTIFA”. They were heavily involved in the storming of the US Capitol Building and their chairman is currently serving jail time for hate crimes related to burning a BLM banner when his group came to DC in late 2020. They also are seemingly riddled with federal informants. Many of their official Telegram channels are discouraging their members from showing up in DC on 18 September, but some individuals or cells may engage anyway.

A collection of Proud Boys logos, tattoos, uniforms, and more. Note also the “Kyle Rittenhouse Did Nothing Wrong!” t-shirt, RWDS (Right-Wing Death Squad) patch, and 6MWE (6 Million [Jews murdered in the Holocaust] Wasn’t Enough) t-shirt.
Resources on the Proud Boys:

MilitiaWatch Tag | ACLED Report | SPLC Profile

Further reading:
  • 2018 profile of the group by Jason Wilson (Guardian)
  • 2020 COVID disinfo paper by Alex Newhouse et al (Middlebury)
  • 2019 profile of the group by Emily Gorcenski (PRA)

Oath Keepers:

The Oath Keepers are a contemporary militia movement made up of often older-aged men. The group was formed over a decade ago because they were afraid that Obama was going to take their guns and institute socialism. One of their members was recorded during the storming of the US Capitol Building on a walkie-talkie app celebrating as they entered. The Oath Keepers are well known for showing up armed to counter BLM demonstrations.

Resources on the Oath Keepers:

MilitiaWatch Tag | ACLED Report | SPLC Profile

Further reading:
  • 2021 article by Ryan Lucas looking at the group’s legal troubles after the storming of the US Capitol Building (NPR)

III% Adherents:

The III% movement, like the Oath Keepers, was formed in part because middle-aged white men wanted to overthrow Obama. While the III% is more a lifestyle brand than a cohesive organization at this point (and different III% groups hate each other), adherents should still be considered dangerous. Their branding is dominated by ‘III’ Roman numerals, edgy Punisher-style skulls, and 13 stars a la Betsy Ross’ flag.

Although the III% are often described as “anti-government”, the majority of the movement was hugely pro-Trump and pro-police, both of whom they viewed as allies in the struggle against ‘antifa’, BLM, and ‘communism’.

Resources on the III%:

MilitiaWatch Tag | ADL Profile

Further reading:
  • 2021 article by Jason Wilson on a data breach showing military and police joining the III% American Patriots (Guardian)


The “Boogaloo” started as a racist meme on 4chan’s firearms board. Since at least 2020, some members have attempted to join BLM demonstrations, but their well-documented acceptance of neo-Nazis and Nazi origins should draw pause for ever trusting them.

The ‘movement’ relies heavily on irony and memes to conceal the extremely violent views they hold. Though they may claim to be at demonstrations to protect BLM demonstrators, the only unifying principle behind their ideological stance is that they are named for a racist meme to describe the next civil war many of their adherents wish to start.

Resources on the Boogaloo:

MilitiaWatch Tag | ACLED Report | SPLC Profile

Further reading:
  • 2020 article on Boogaloo racist origins by Cassie Miller (SPLC)
  • 2021 article on Boogaloo entryism in ATL organizing (DSRW)
  • 2020 article on Boogaloo racist ‘fringe’ by Alex Newhouse and Nate Gunesch (Middlebury)
  • 2020 article on Boogaloo movement racist actors by Robert Evans and Jason Wilson (Bellingcat)
  • 2021 article on the Boogaloo’s ‘Unity Coalition’ leader’s far-right politics, originally shared by Lonegunman AFA (IdaVox)


Stemming from cringe online spaces associated with the Alt-Right, the Groyper Army and their related posting communities are online fascist irony-posters often associated with people like Unite the Right attendee Nick Fuentes.

The Groypers are extremely online and, like the Boogaloo, rely on memes, trolling, and online silliness to disguise how dangerous they are. Their members regularly shout racial slurs in their chats, at one another, and at others.

Resources on the Groypers:

Groyper Tag / America First Tag| ADL Profile

Further reading:
  • 2021 article on the mainstreaming of ‘America First’ by Ben Lorber (PRA)
  • 2021 article on Groypers trying to use anti-Asian violence to promote anti-Black violence (LCRW)
  • 2021 article on the sparring between right-wing youth groups led by Kirk and Fuentes, by Zachary Petrizzo (salon)
  • 2021 article on Groyper posting in support of the Taliban by Moustafa Ayad (Daily Beast)
  • 2021 article on Groyper control of College Republican spaces (LCRW)

Others: (coming soon)