The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Former Militiaman in Alabama Called for Breaking Dems’ Windows

By Mark Potok on March 23, 2010 - 2:34 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

It wasn’t quite the shot heard around the world, but the sound of glass shattering at Democratic Party offices around the country has put the spotlight on former militiaman Mike Vanderboegh, who furiously called on followers last Friday to protest health care reform by breaking Democratic windows.

Vanderboegh posted his message on his blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, calling for “all modern Sons of Liberty” to break the windows of local Democratic Party offices. Since that time, Democratic offices across the country have reported windows smashed in an apparent response to health care reform. Vanderboegh called health care reform backers “collectivists” and added that they “certainly do not hear the soft ‘snik-snik’ of cleaning rods being used on millions of rifle barrels in this country by people who have decided their backs are to the wall.”

“[I]f you wish to send a message that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows,” the Pinson, Ala., blogger wrote. “Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK them.”

Vanderboegh seemed to take credit for instigating at least some of the attacks in interviews. He told the Kansas City Star that his call was meant “to get everyone’s attention.” To the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle, he said: “If it takes a few bricks and broken windows for people to understand how close we are to widespread violence in this country then the bricks in the windows will have been worth it.”

Vanderboegh’s blog has been used to promote the Three Percenters, an antigovernment “Patriot” group that claims to represent 3% of U.S. gun owners. The name is inspired by the 3% of American colonists believed to have actively opposed England. Vanderboegh describes himself as “the alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.” In the 1990s, he was associated with radical groups including the Alabama Constitutional Militia, the Tri-States Militia and the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Constitutional Militia.

Vanderboegh has been keeping tabs on the “Window War” by posting news reports of the incidents on his blog. And there’s been a fair amount to keep track of.

Windows have been smashed at Democratic Party headquarters in Monroe County, N.Y., and Sedgwick County, Kan. The brick hurled at the New York headquarters had a note attached that said, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” according to a news report. The quote comes from Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate and conservative champion. The brick thrown in Kansas had anti-Obama and anti-healthcare messages, CNN reported.

A window also was broken at the Niagara Falls office of Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York. (Vanderboegh told a reporter that incident occurred before he posted his message Friday.) Slaughter was an outspoken proponent of health care reform. A glass panel was shattered at the Tucson, Ariz., office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. But Vanderboegh told CNN he’s only encouraged acts at Democratic Party offices, not congressional offices because he “didn’t want to be responsible for anybody breaking a federal law.”

Vanderboegh’s post describes health care reform as “Nancy Pelosi’s Intolerable Act.” Proponents have touted the legislation as covering tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans. As for Vanderboegh, his health care is already covered. He’s got private health insurance through his wife’s employer and he’s also receiving Social Security disability payments from the federal government, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

  • truthfightson

    Doctors in the Tea Party? I find that very hard to believe. I attended a group in Southern California that included many doctors – real MDs. They are working very hard for Obama’s health care plan.
    If there were doctors in the Tea Party wouldn’t they correct all the spelling errors on the Tea Party members signs?
    Oh my gosh just saying it makes me laugh like crazy. Poor Tea Party members are uneducated racists being played like a fiddle by big Corps.

  • truthfightson


    My family has always been here. We were in New Mexico when America took it over. My father WW ll vet, my maternal grandfather Korean war vet. I am against illegal immigration for a lot of reasons, half which are the negatives experienced by the children of the immigrant. Having said that you eluded to why your heart is so mean. You are staring up at the well healed upper middle class. Was it because your parents did not have big money to fund your education or you did not have the skill set to start and grow a successful business? I don’t’ know but I know that you do not live in an upscale neighborhood because you said and I quote, “Our neighborhood was “hit” by the Norteno gang ”
    That Granny does not happen in upscale neighborhoods. I am on the board of our community and we have no such activity because there are no gangs for miles of our neighborhood. Here live judges, music artist, business owners, dentists and such.
    That, Granny is why you are full of spite. You are bitter because failed to achieve your vision of the American Dream and rather than saying, “I should have worked harder” you want to blame the illegal immigrants.

  • Mitch Beales

    Granny perhaps you could take your own advice and stop labeling human beings as “illegals.” Many physicians are indeed pretty far right. Those I know who might be considered so (or who consider themselves so) do not engage in hate speech or propose throwing bricks through the windows of those who disagree with them. I don’t see anything wrong with people disagreeing as long as they do it civilly and respectfully.

    I do see something disingenuous about the tea party, American Resistance, or 3 percenters representing themselves as somehow outside the whole spectrum of right and left although they espouse most of the positions that have always been associated with the right. I also object to implicit claims by the tea party that they somehow represent the views of the “silent majority” although they have never won (or even run in) a single election.

    In my opinion the fact that anyone could imagine that the tea party is anything but right wing shows just how far to the right our politics have swung. Since the McCarthy era our foreign policy has been driven by anti-communist rhetoric to produce instability in the countries to our south that has directly impacted the economic disaster that drives so many to seek a better life north of the border despite the horrendous sacrifices required to make the journey. The right wing fanatics also insisted on funding Al Qaeda, the Mujahideen, and the Taliban to oppose the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan because it had asked for assistance from it’s neighbor, the Soviet Union.

    In an earlier post you stated “Don’t give me this “better life” baloney. That is the garbage that most Americans increasingly won’t buy.” So it appears to me that you are the one arguing that what most folks want is what should be. The primary difference between your argument and mine seems to be that there are election results that show that most voted for Obama while all you provide is an unsupported claim that most Americans don’t believe immigrants come here for a better life. I don’t mean to suggest that what most folks want is right (although it often is, that’s the basis of democracy), but I object to unsupported claims that most Americans oppose immigration or health care reform.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Using your logic “most” people supported Hitler so therefore, they should ALL have supported him. I didn’t vote for Obama – nor did about half the people in my state.

  • Mitch Beales

    The tea party sure looks right wing to me. You claim to be concerned about individual liberties but where was Sarah Palin when Bush’s government suspended habeas corpus? Individual liberties have to be for everyone or they don’t exist. You can’t talk about individual liberties out of one side of your mouth and complain when the FBI informs suspected terrorists of their constitutional rights out of the other.

    Vanderboegh is more than just an instigator, he is urging people to step outside the constitution and use bricks to communicate with their representatives instead of votes. What’s sinister is when folks in or out of any party claim that “most Americans” oppose this or support that regardless of the fact that most Americans who performed their duty as citizens voted for President Obama and a democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

    I don’t know why you believe that individual freedoms and internationalism are mutually exclusive but like it or not internationalism is a fact of life. Sooner or later we will have world government or we will have world anarchy. If you want to know what world anarchy looks like you could review the films of the World Trade Center from September 11, 2001.

  • GrannyofWhites

    There are doctors who are members of the Tea Party – interesting. Are physicians now becoming “far-right”?

    Quit labeling, people. Listen to yourselves.

  • Mark Matheny

    The real problem is that both the right and the left have been selling us out to ingratiate themselves. The dangerous part of this is that National sovereignty is now on the line – and with that individual freedoms.

    I know that on the left and on the right there are good people – people who love this country and want to protect it. But there are some very sinister people in those parties as well. The Tea Party movement has arrisen because we are tired of the Left-Right Paradigm, and their goals of internationalism at the expense of National sovereignty and individual freedoms.

    This Vanderboegh guy is just an instigator, and not a part of the genuine Tea Party movement that just wants to preserve the Constitution in order to protect freedom.

  • Mitch Beales

    Right and left, when reason and facts don’t support their position, cite God and Chairman Mao proving yet again that dogma is a bitch.

  • LibertyBelle

    Vanderboegh,Limbaugh,Glen Beck and their ilk are inciting the radical Right to violence.President Obama has been called everything from a Moslim Terrorist to the Anti-Christ.Every time there is a new entitlement program,like Medicare and now Healthcare Reform,the extreme Right starts screaming -Socialism and an end to Freedom.These Hate Groups worry me because they belong to the Party that has wanted to be the moral compass for the Country.The Radical Right almost always brings God into their politics.They remind me of the Puritans,that see evil in the Government where there is none.

  • Esther

    Oh how funny, only one lizard. Yeah, I’ve noticed that the cameras have put a tight squeeze when covering the Tea events. Not so many goobers showing up these days.

  • Disgusted

    Clearly, Vanderboegh does not have a firm grasp on the English language, as he obviously doesn’t know the meaning of “civil disobedience.” This fault pales in comparison, however, to his failure to grasp reality.

  • http://none Marcia Larimore

    What has happened? I have been very busy for the last 2 days, & must have missed something.

    No more violence or threats? No more harrassing phone calls to Congressmen? That is a shock.

    SEEKING Patriotic CACTUS for Rally Against Harry Reid:

    Maybe it took the wind out of their sails to bus all the way down to Searchlight NV to see Harry Reid’s hometown. And to find nothing but a few trailers among the gravel & sand dunes.
    Only one lizard was there & he was not a registered voter.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Granny of Whites
    I am only half white. And you wouldn’t be so harsh to me if you looked in my dark brown eyes, (since you are prejudiced against whites).

  • whitewhocares

    “GrannyofWhites”, your pseudonym says it all. Just by your need to show off that your entire family tree for “400 years” is white (you think), you tell us where you’re coming from. The ladies auxiliary of the KKK?
    I do agree wholeheartedly with you about birth control, if little else. talk to the Pope about it, I beg you! As 100% honkey, you might be able to catch his ear. To be fair, we need more reproductive responsibility.
    To be more fair, “they” spew environmental toxins no matter where “they” live. More may be spewed by American companies in foreign lands, as they go there to avoid regulations (the companies are taking our jobs away-far away).
    I wonder who invented all this dirty technology and filthy chemicals? Could it be…mostly white Americans? And who took our jobs to loose-regulation countries…you guessed it-mostly white Americans.
    I agree about your property taxes. They ought not to go up when values go down, but do you really want more poor, uneducated kids, of all colors, storming your gates for lack of a better enterprise?
    Alternately, you could try being entirely disenfranchised yourself. They don’t take taxes from the destitute (though they may try).
    I’m not sure why you complain so much about your posts being deleted. You seem to get one posted every 5 minutes.
    As a born (uh-oh white) American, I would give anything to have the means to go somewhere else, as there doesn’t seem to be any means to deal with generations of brainwashing.
    Mr. Vanderboegh is just one more example of what it’s come to. The “war” isn’t now, it’s around the corner-and I don’t want anything to do with it!

  • Tezuka fan

    I’m starting to regret being a semi-Mennonite. I might need to protect myself from these wackos. Sooner or later there are going to be some kind of Oklahoma City thing going on. These nutcases only need a Ruby Ridge before they go off the deep end. And I wanted a Federal job, too, because they’re “always hiring”. These guys afraid of martial law (unless this is a different conspiracy-minded group of lunatics) might be setting up a self-fulfilling prophesy.

  • Richard Beccaloni

    Democracy is about debate. Violence is not democratic and when used politically is a step down the road to totalitarianism.

  • Mitch Beales

    Unfortunately a few facts can often be very misleading. All the facts or as many of them as you can get your hands on usually lead to a better conclusion. And that bit about loving your neighbor is, I think, truer than any mere fact could ever be.

    Our assessment actually went down slightly this year. I expect our taxes to go up anyway but we’re hoping for the best. Considering the irresponsible spending on undeclared wars and bailouts for billionaires we should probably pay these taxes into an escrow account for our grandchildren! Where I live property taxes go for a lot more than just schools but frankly I wouldn’t mind higher taxes if the schools provided a decent education. I am also aware that I am very lucky to be in a situation where I can honestly say that. The way things stand my grandchildren will pay more for interest on the national debt than has been paid for all their schooling.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Our property taxes came to over $5,000 this year and went up $300 even though our home value dropped $100,000.
    And you wonder why the Republicans are angry?
    Property taxes go for schools and my age group were among those who controlled births.
    Is that easy enough to understand?

  • GrannyofWhites

    I used to have nothing but sympathy for the “immigrants” – I supported them fully. And, I thought of myself as a liberal.
    However, with a few FACTS, you will find yourself changing – to the other side.
    After all, illegals are not saints. They are people. They are not somehow above us. Cleaning a toilet does not make one a saint. Most Americans clean their own toilets. And there are still many of us who brought in the crops and worked in canneries. That didn’t make us saints and it sure as heck doesn’t make the illegals saints, either.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Immigration groups are on the SPLC Hate map.
    Haven’t you even looked at it?
    I have worked with people of all races and I KNOW that Latinos can be racist.
    And yet – wella – not one group of Latinos are on the Hate Map.
    Blacks, Jews, and whites – are.

  • Mitch Beales

    Marcia I’m pretty sure you were speaking figuratively but if this looks like war to you you have never seen war and I hope you never do. I agree that those who promote violence fail to realize that the result is much more likely to be Afghanistan than the Nirvana they hope for.

    AR I think it would be much easier if, “The Republicans and Democrats [didn’t] give a danm about us little serfs who serve them.” I believe that most folks in public life do very much give a damn about the nation and its people. Unfortunately there is no one quite so dangerous or persistent as those who think they’re doing what’s best for everyone, be they democrats, republicans, or three percenters.

    I hope for your sake that you won’t meet government intrusions with armed resistance. That will most likely lead you to death or long imprisonment. A good friend of mine recently had occassion to suffer a great deal at the hands of the Department of Child Services in Tennessee. Eventually things worked out reasonably well after she and her family were put through hell for several months. My conclusion from this and many other incidents is that, most of the time, the law leads to a reasonable solution after you’ve been put through hell. So it appears to me that the choice most often is between legal hell for several months or the hell of death or prison for much longer.

    Regarding your comments on right and left I think it is interesting to note (if I’m not mistaken) that gun laws as they are today began to be passed when the Black Panther Party began to arm themselves.

    Granny I don’t think anyone here would characterize folks who oppose immigration as a hate group just because they oppose immigration. What seems hateful to me is referring to fellow human beings as “illegals.” They are our neighbors whichever side of the border they’re on. I believe that those who love their neighbors as themselves have already entered the kingdom of heaven. So, Granny, here’s wishing you heaven.

  • http://none Marcia Larimore


    With respect to both sides, we have to let “cooler” heads prevail. Otherwise none of us would ever again be able to walk down our sidewalks in peace. Even going to church.

    We would eventually have to declare “martial law” & this can spell the end of our most precious freedoms, with tanks & bayonets, armed militia would stand guard & enforce curfews.

    For the radical GOP leaders:


    Once the violence escalates, YOU will also be Targets. It is just the Rules of the Game.

    Remember Newton, who said:

    “For every Action, there is an equal & opposite REACTION.”

  • American Resistance

    Mitch Beales , I agree with most of what you say.
    There are kooks in every movement. I have seen it with the animal rights people yet I still respect their right to protest. 1st amendment applies to all.

    I think the one thing that upsets me the most are these extreme left and right wingers pointing the finger of blame at eachother for our nations problems. I would love it if they could drop their hatered for eachother for just one day and take a good look as to how both the democrats and republicans have turned us into debt slaves.

    Do you remember the criminal banker bailouts durring the G W Bush years? That was a terrible event yet, it gave me hope that we could come together as united americans to stop this crime. We had liberals and conservatives fighting together to protest and shut down washingtons phone lines and email. The results were bad but we got the attention of both parties because we were united as one american people.

    Now lets fast forward the clock with the health care deal. This was nothing more than a health insurance company bailout for the big four. These providers fought tooth and nail against the public option and our leraders sold us out yet again just like bush did with the bankers. It is un american to force people to buy from one of the mega corperations. Now 30 million are going to be forced into doing just that if they want it or not. 30 million new buyers added and forced to buy from these fat cat rich health care giant corperations. Think about it. It’s just wrong.

    As far as your comments about armed resistance, I suppose I would be more able than the average american in dealing with a home invasion by thugs (government or not) but I would never go out and hurt someone over petty disagreements or politics.

    I do feel the the extreme left and right need to wake the hell up. Guess what ? The Republicans and Democrats don’t give a danm about us little serfs who serve them. They only look out for their rich corperate, banking and health provider buddies. Sorry. I am just trying to be as truthful and honest as I can be. I do not not have any bad feelings towards you or anyone on this site.

  • GrannyofWhites

    And for those of you who think that whites were wrong to steal Native American land – may I ask what YOU are doing here?
    Do you think we have forgiven YOU?