Weekly Update: 4 January 2021

After a brief hiatus to celebrate the holidays away from keeping up with all of this so directly, the weekly update returns with some quick review of the past little bit of time.

Since around 20 December, a lot has happened:

  • Updates on the Rittenhouse trial
  • Charges against a former III% leader
  • III% group indicates they potentially plan to storm capitol building
  • CA police officer under scrutiny over right-wing bumper stickers

Rittenhouse case updates

At the end of 2020, a curfew charge was added by Wisconsin prosecutors to the still-pending case against Kyle Rittenhouse, report the Chicago Sun-Times and KOB4. In mid-December, Kyle’s family set up a website to sell merchandise to pay for his defense, which led to yet another vendor (Printful) canceling Rittenhouse’s family and legal team from using their custom merch services. Rittenhouse was previously released on $2M bail.

Former leader of III% of Idaho owes $111K+ in restitution

Brandon Curtiss of the III% of Idaho (3%ID) was ordered by a district judge at the end of 2020 to pay back $111,057 owed to clients. Curtiss is perhaps most well-known publicly for his and his group’s involvement in the occupation of the Malheur Bureau of Land Management building. Curtiss was previously a police officer but had his certification revoked in late February 2020 after a felony conviction to which he pleaded guilty in November 2019. Not too long after the occupation, Curtiss was removed from the 3%ID after allegations from members that he stole money from a general defense fund intended to be used to free arrested members of the militia. 36 members resigned in outcry at the time.

Washington III%ers indicate they might be looking to occupy the state capitol

Matt Marshall, the founder of the Washington State Three Percenters, emailed his membership to urge them to “station themselves” at the Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia, where they plan to “occupy the gallery areas in each chamber”. Both houses of the state government are closed under COVID-19 health guidelines. On 21 December, far-right activists attempted to force their way into the Oregon capitol building a state over, scuffling with police and smashing windows during the daytime struggle. Earlier in December, a right-wing activist shot a left-wing activist in another clash in Olympia, where Marshall’s group resides. Earlier this year, Marshall’s group was pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen as part of a rally named the “March for Our Rights 3”, also in Olympia.

Pacific Grove, CA police officer once again scrutinized for bumper stickers in support of far-right groups, profanity towards Black Lives Matter

Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Peake made a public statement on the investigation led by Police Chief Cathy Madalone into an officer who allegedly attached pro-militia decals to his pick-up truck and cursed out Black Lives Matter on social media. The same officer was pointed out to Pacific Grove City Council back in June 2020 for a III% decal, a separate incident from what is being responded to at the moment. The officer claimed that he didn’t know the meaning of a “LGBT: Liberty, Guns, Beer, Trump” sticker on his personal vehicle that he parked in a city employee parking lot.

Futher reading

A new MilitiaWatch piece is up on the blog, about networks of right-wing activists, organizations, and politicians in Georgia. It can be read here:

Vice News’ Tess Owen put out a worthwhile read on militia response to gun control under Biden that’s worth giving a read to get a sense of what the near future might look and sound like.