Another month, another MW Monthly. Here’s some news from May 2023 (the past month). If you’d like to read about April 2023, that post is available here.
Some things this month include some major Oath Keepers sentencings, a VT paramilitary site organizer refusing to comply with state orders, and a transphobic prankster joining a militia patrol of the US-Mexico border.
Greetings, MilitiaWatch readers! Here’s a review of militia activity in March of 2023. Apologies for the delay in publication. Last month’s update (February 2023) is available here. This month’s updates include more Oath Keepers convictions, Kenosha militia appointments, more updates in the Southwest, a late update on a militia leader running for mayor, and some discourse on a county militia in Virginia.
This post is a follow-up from a previous MilitiaWatch exploration of the Yavapai County Preparedness Team, a dissident Arizona Oath Keepers chapter. The previous piece is available here:
As mentioned in the above piece, MilitiaWatch collected and transcribed the meetings of dozens of YCPT gatherings in the Prescott area. Most of the speaking is done by the YCPT’s founder and leader, Jim Arroyo. This post is meant to show the group leader’s public discussion of the founder and national leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes.
Unicorn Riot just hosted a leak from the III% Security Force’s Discord server, which is available to researchers here. Alongside the leak, they put out a very detailed analysis and context article that is well worth the read, too. The leaked messages cover January through April of 2021, totaling 8,358 messages.
This MilitiaWatch article, therefore, is intended to be a short companion piece to a Unicorn Riot leak and article. The group’s Discord served as a brief but important tool for the group after waves of bans and deplatforms spanning Facebook, Zello, YouTube, and more. This MilitiaWatch article serves to provide some background context but will briefly engage with the leaks further below.
After the storming of the US Capitol Building on 6 January 2021, media has been trying to figure out who the Oath Keepers are. 60 Minutes, 3 months after the riot, interviewed 4 members of a group calling themselves the “Arizona Oath Keepers”. In mid-June 2021, 60 Minutes re-aired the segment, providing the group more airtime. These Oath Keepers were four members of a Prescott, Arizona area organization known as the Yavapai County Preparedness Team.
Who are the Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT)? The YCPT is an Arizona Oath Keepers chapter, previously directly part of the Stewart Rhodes-led national organization but now autonomous and independent. They still, however, call themselves Oath Keepers and use Oath Keepers iconography and ideology to describe themselves. This article explores their structure, their relationships to the right, and where it looks like they are heading.
This is a very long article, so MilitiaWatch has prepared a first “TL;DR” (too long; didn’t read) that hits at some of the core points from this investigation without the goose chases and too-in-the-weeds writing the MW audience might be accustomed to at this point. You can read that here: