Monthly: Mar 24

Happy spring, MW reader! Welcome to another Monthly roundup, this time covering the madness of March 2024. Special attention to some of the following:

  • County militia hijinx afoot in Virginia
  • More legislative and policy challenges against militia/2A
  • Everything else, once again clumsily lumped into one section

Last month’s update is here for your perusal:

Virginia County Militias Continue to Do the Most (smh)

(or is it ‘Missions’ now? we forget!)

On March 8, a man named Robert Gallalee posted a flyer calling for a county militia muster for Frederick County, Virginia. Over the week that followed, Gallalee shared versions of the same muster call to several Facebook groups, including a “Constitutional Conservatives” group, a Frederick County Facebook group for “Virginia Citizens for Common Sense” (double-posting to include a picture of a printout of the flyer), a “Tea Party” group, and even a couple of “What’s happening” groups for the county. A week after his first post, Gallalee created a Facebook event, but only 7 people have marked on Facebook that they plan to attend.

The muster call is very similar to earlier county militia calls by associates of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL, a militant right-wing pro-gun advocacy group) but does not appear to have been endorsed by the network yet. It is unclear how wide news of this event spread after the flurry of reporting in local and regional papers nor how many people are likely to turn up at the April 13th muster call. In the meantime, Gallalee has used local reporting to continue to fish for interest in local Facebook groups, to a mixed reaction.

Speaking of reaction, Frederick County locals wrote at least three op-eds over three days after the initial reporting on the muster call, saying (in order) that there is no justification for such a militia, calling it a terrible idea, and penning a satirical post calling for the ironic muster of a “women’s rights militia” after legislation targeting abortion in the state and nationally.

While not in Virginia, Pike County State’s Attorney Walker Filbert said that Pike County, Illinois could not legally create a county militia. This comes after efforts to establish such a militia in response to S3589, the “Preventing Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024” as introduced in January. Joey Cobb, a member of the Pike County Board, articulated his support for a county militia to oppose “tyranny”, to protect church congregations, and to “defend” the community against undocumented immigrants.

While not a county militia thing, the Virginia Kekoas announced through documentarian Ford Fischer that they had kicked out a member who they believe may have been involved in attempting to entrap them for violent conspiracy. Claims from the group should not be taken at face value, but they provided Fischer with many extremely sketchy screenshots of conversations with their now-former member Russell “Duke” Vane. Two Kekoas’ leaders claim Vane joined them in 2022 after DMing them on Twitter. Vane also attended the VCDL Lobby Day mobilization with the Kekoas in January 2024. It also appears that on April 4, someone posted a fake obituary about Vane, which has now been removed. The Kekoas are a Virginia-based militia group that claims to no longer associate with the Boogaloo movement but have carried much of the neo-dadaist post-irony features of the Boogaloo aesthetic into whatever they consider themselves publicly today.

Legislation and Policy For and Against Militias

This news lies Somewhere on the spectrum between ‘lawful good’ and ‘unlawful evil’

At the start of this year, legislators in Idaho introduced legislation that would amend Idaho’s “Terrorist Control Act” to align it with legal federal definitions of terrorism. Many opinion pieces decried this move as neutralizing the effectiveness of the original legislation. The bill stalled at the beginning of this month, effectively killing it in this legislative session. Eric Parker, a III% leader perhaps best known for his involvement at a Bundy standoff in 2014, apparently played a major role in developing this controversial legislation.

Illinois’ recent assault weapons ban, the “Protecting Illinois Communities Act” now faces new legal challenges from the Gun Owners of America (GOA) and their foundation. The GOA et al filed a petition with the Supreme Court, calling such a ban unconstitutional.

On February 28 (ok not March but close!), Michael “Lewis Arthur” Meyer, the leader of the Veterans on Patrol, spoke at a meeting of the Washtucna City Council in Washington. He rambled for several minutes and refused to abide by meeting rules to the point that the local sheriff had to confront him. Meyer and one of his primary accomplices, Shawna “Butterfly” Martin, posted the next day from their new “compound” in Washtucna (a town of 211 in the 2020 census), calling for donations and volunteers. The VOP primarily operates in the vicinity of Sasabe, Arizona, where they harass migrants and charity workers alike.

Updates to Charges and Other Stories

Also featuring: Son of Oath Keepers Founder runs as Democrat

On March 15, a federal judge sentenced Robert Allen Justus to life in federal prison for his involvement in the 2020 Boogaloo shootings in Oakland, California. Throughout his trial, Justus and his lawyers attempted to shift blame for the lethal attacks to his co-defendant Steven Carrillo, who was sentenced to 41 years in prison in June 2022.

Dakota Adams, the son of Oath Keepers founder and convicted seditionist Stewart Rhodes, announced this month that he was running for election in Montana as a Democrat. He plans to sell the gear he wore to demonstrations with his father to raise money for his bid for the Montana legislature. He also says he was inspired to run after seeing blanks on the Democratic side of many of the races for elected office in his home state.

This month, the 20th Special Forces Group posted an Instagram image featuring Nazi imagery on one of the patches worn by an operator depicted. The military account later removed the image.