Monthly: Nov 22

After another hiatus (as is our pattern), we’re back with a MilitiaWatch Monthly–but dropping the podcast. Here are the broad strokes of November 2022. Read our last monthly (from March) here.

Also, feel free to follow us on Mastodon, where we share news excerpts in longer form than Twitter allows! We can be found here.

Legal Updates: Sedition, NFAC, Boog ++

On November 29, Oath Keepers participants in the J6 riot heard verdicts related to their involvement. Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs, both leaders within the Oath Keepers contingent present, caught guilty verdicts for seditious conspiracy.

Per Kyle Cheney’s reporting, seditious conspiracy verdicts are as follows:

  • Rhodes: Guilty
  • Meggs: Guilty
  • Harrelson: Not Guilty
  • Watkins: Not Guilty
  • Caldwell: Not Guilty

Many of the trials have been ongoing this month, with hearings from militia members charged. There’s probably too much to highlight, but one fun stat: Oath Keepers spent $400 at Olive Garden after storming the Capitol. Hope the unlimited breadsticks were good.

On November 26, a Michigan judge denied a bid for a new trial for Wolverine Watchmen Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr, who allege that misconduct by a juror and unfairness by the judge are grounds for a mistrial. Both men will be sentenced on December 28 of this year and face life sentences.

On November 10, the NFAC lead, Grandmaster Jay, was sentenced to over 7 years in federal prison on weapons charges related to his pointing of a rifle at police. Activists in Louisville have criticized the prosecution and sentencing of Jay, calling Jay a political “threat” perceived by law enforcement. [Our tweet on the news + our post on Mastodon]

On November 6, a man who claimed to be a member of the Michigan Militia had his bond set at $750k for threatening to kill people and having a massive arsenal of guns. Police judged that by the position of firearms at the man’s home that he planned to engage in a shootout with the police. [Our tweet on the news + our post on Mastodon]

On October 29, the FBI arrested two Boogaloo adherents, Aron McKillips and Timothy Teagan. Aron faces charges for illegal possession of a machine gun and interstate communication of threats. Timothy faces charges of drug user in possession of firearms and giving false statement in connect with the acquisition of a firearm. [Our tweet on the news]

Aron apparently attempted to trade for a grenade launcher and had discussed the need to “blow up the IRS”.

Teagan is a long-time member of the camera-friendly “Bottom Unity” coalition of Boogaloo actors who have agitated on Twitter since 2020, primarily through engagements with videographer Ford Fischer, who texted Teagan about visits from the Feds before Teagan’s arrest. Teagan also caught COVID around the time of his arrest, delaying his detention hearing on November 4.

Arizona Elections and Mobilization

Following election counts in Arizona, a man wearing Boogaloo and III% symbols joined protests in Phoenix. As reported by Arizona Right Wing Watch, the man, named Joe Malone, was also at the Phoenix FBI headquarters protest. Another man, wearing a skull mask and patches with fasces, crosses, and US flag references, showed up to the demonstration. He apparently was with the American Reformation Front, a fascist group that calls for christofascism.

Republican and Oath Keeper Mark Finchem lost his election bid for Secretary of State in Arizona. [Our post on Mastodon on the news]

Finchem, an election denier, was featured in a previous MilitiaWatch investigation into the Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT) available here:

Phoenix-area III% adherent Paul Alan Carver, however, won his election to the Deer Valley Unified School Board. A good write-up on him from Left Coast Right Watch is available here.

On November 12 and 26, the Yavapai County Preparedness Team held their usual biweekly meetings in Chino Valley. At the November 12 meeting, a joint leader between the Oath Keepers group and their political wing offered an update on the group’s “Operation Dropbox”, a plan to monitor ballot drop boxes in Arizona that was called off after legal pressure. [Our tweet on the news]

The Lions of Liberty also held meetings on November 5 and 19 in Prescott.

Proud Boys Mobilize Around Queer Events, Community Responds

Transgender Week of Awareness was November 13-19 this year. This week of remembrance and visibility raising led to mobilization of transphobic forces, especially on November 19, a Saturday, when Proud Boys showed up in multiple states to harass queer communities. November 20, it should also be mentioned, is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

On November 19, armed demonstrators gathered at the Oregon State Capitol in Olympia to protest against Oregon’s new so-called permit-to-purchase gun law. Proud Boys showed and at least one person wearing III% symbols came, too. They joined private security hired by the event organizers in mean-mugging journalists and attendees. After the rally, attendees marched through downtown Olympia, some of them carrying rifles.

On November 19, eight Proud Boys (including two who were armed) attacked protesters outside of the Nashville, Tennessee location for an American Renaissance conference, a hate conference held in Nashville by a fascist organization.

The Proud Boys, who were all wearing group colors, claimed to have been hosting a “barbecue”. One of the Proud Boys, who shouted over the altercation, “Get up here, let’s go!” is visible in video footage pulling out a folding baton and hiding it behind his arm as he approaches.

On November 19, a Denton, Texas bookstore hosted a transgender story time coordinated by parents of a trans teenager. Proud Boys and a handful of other fascist groups showed up to harass attendees, but armed antifascists helped to keep the bookstore safe from attack.

On November 19, in Raleigh, North Carolina Proud Boys showed up outside of an Asian restaurant to harass attendees of a family-friendly drag story hour. Counter-protesters showed and obscured vision of attendees of the story hour so that Proud Boys couldn’t identify or harass them further.

On November 13, in Concord, New Hampshire, fascists, including Proud Boys wearing an assortment of skull masks, oversized hoodies, and plate carriers with magazines, showed up to protest against a drag queen story hour at a hipster café.

Further Reading:

We highlight two articles published this month that are worth reading:

  • A reader on the Constitutional Sheriff movement published in Reveal News this month, describing how the movement seeks to target elections, now and in 2024.
  • The New York Time’s take on “extremists in uniform”, describing the problem of far-right adherents among our security bodies.