The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The most recent attempt to protest federal immigration policies by shutting down the nation’s ports of entry along the Mexico border has, to no one’s great surprise, turned out to be another fizzle.
Calling itself a coalition of antigovernment “Patriot” groups angry about immigration enforcement, “Shut Down All Ports of Entry” had attempted to organize a protest Saturday morning at a number of the United States’ border crossings wherein participants would drive up to the port, turn off their trucks and cars, and walk away from them.
But on Friday, the organization took down its Facebook page and removed all content from its website except for a notice announcing that the protest had been cancelled out of fears of retaliation by the drug cartels.
“There has been an unsubstantiated threat of mass violence to attendees, along with very suspicious activity on the Facebook site,” wrote organizer Satsyi Barth. “These two items are more than enough for me to immediately stop any protest that was going to occur. Your lives, and the lives of our law enforcement, are more important than any protest.” ( continue to full post… )
The federal government this week made moves to respond to months of political protests earlier this year over Bureau of Land Management policies for public lands by charging five people who rode ATVs into a protected Utah canyon last May.
The Bureau of Land Management closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to keep wheels off its many archaeological sites, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. But in response, about 50 riders drove into the canyon to denounce what they saw as a gross overreach of federal authority.
“We respect the fact that the citizens of this State have differing and deeply held views regarding the management and use of Recapture Canyon, and recognize that they have the right to express those opinions freely,” Christensen said in a prepared statement. “Nevertheless, those rights must be exercised in a lawful manner and when individuals choose to violate the law, rather than engage in lawful protest, we will seek to hold those individuals accountable under the law.”
Phillip Lyman, a San Juan County commissioner who organized the ride, Monte Jerome Wells, Jay Demar Redd, Shane Morris Marian and Franklin Trent Holliday were all charged with conspiring to operate ATVs on closed public lands and carrying out the conspiracy by riding on those public lands. If convicted, each defendant faces up to a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.
U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said only those suspected of organizing or promoting the illegal ride were charged, though many others participated, including one of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s sons.
The Utah ATV ride came one month after the federal government cancelled a roundup of several hundred cattle belonging Bundy amid threats of violence from militias who refused to acknowledge federal jurisdiction. The resulting standoff was the first of a series of actions on the antigovernment right to protest restrictions on public lands in the West—actions that set off a groundswell of antigovernment ire directed at federal land policies.
There has been on ongoing investigation for months related to the Bundy standoff, but no one has yet been charged with a crime.
The nightmare has happened again.
A massive manhunt continued today for a suspected antigovernment sniper and survivalist who allegedly gunned down a Pennsylvania state trooper and seriously wounded a second trooper during a shift change on Sept. 12.
It is at least the third deadly ambush of North American police officers by apparent antigovernment extremists since the beginning of the summer. The attacks have left six officers dead from Canada to Las Vegas.
On June 4, three Canadian police officers were lured to a subdivision in the province of New Brunswick and shot and killed by a heavily armed man who slipped away into a knot of dense woods. The suspect, who had a history of posting numerous hardcore pro-gun and anti-police statements on his Facebook page, was captured after schools, businesses and public transportation were shut down.
A few days later in Las Vegas, a man and wife who harbored antigovernment views ambushed two police officers as they ate lunch in a pizza restaurant. The couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, also shot to death a bystander in a nearby Wal-Mart, where they made their last stand. Police shot and killed Jerad Miller. Amanda Miller took her own life.
Last Friday, shortly before 11 p.m., Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38, of the Pennsylvania state police was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car, which was parked in front of the Blooming Grove police barracks in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, Trooper Alex T. Douglass, 31, was also shot and seriously wounded by a bullet from a .308-caliber rifle.
The sniper then vanished into the dense and dark woods.
Pennsylvania authorities have identified the gunman as 31-year-old Eric Matthew Frein, a man, state police commissioner Frank Noonan said, who should be “considered armed and extremely dangerous.”
“He has been described as a survivalist,” Noonan told a Tuesday news conference. “He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also about wanting to commit mass acts of murder.”
At a news conference today, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Frein is a military re-enactor, who, “in his current state of mind” now “appears to have assumed that role in real life,” according to Scranton Times-Tribune.
Bivens also said Frein has a “long-standing grudge against law enforcement and government in general since at least 2006” and altered his appearance before the shooting, shaving the sides of his head with a “wider than a Mohawk” on top.
“I’d like to directly address Eric Frein again,” the police colonel said. “In the event you are listening to this broadcast on a radio, on a portable radio while cowering in some cool, damp hiding place, I want you to know one thing: Eric, we are coming for you. It’s only a matter of time we bring you to justice for committing this cowardly act.”
Although authorities described the suspect as having antigovernment views and survivalist skills, no further details were provided about any political affiliations or ideology.
Marcus Faella, one of more than a dozen people arrested last year on charges they were conducting paramilitary training with a group called the American Front, was convicted last week.
Faella, 41, was originally charged with conspiring to shoot into a building, two counts of conducting paramilitary training and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Orlando Sentinel reported. But after two days of testimony, two of the charges against Faella were dismissed. He was convicted of two counts of teaching and conducting paramilitary training and faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in November. ( continue to full post… )
A self-described coalition of antigovernment groups is hoping to organize yet another attempt at shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border at major commercial crossings this weekend, calling the event “Shut Down All Ports of Entry”.
Previous attempts at shutting down traffic at key border crossings this spring have ended in spectacular failure—notably radio host Pete Santilli’s attempt to shut down the crossing in Tijuana with bikers, as well as the “Border Convoy” last month, which culminated in a only a brief interruption at Brownsville, Texas.
But this particular attempt, scheduled to take place Saturday, has set off warnings among law enforcement personnel, including a local sheriff’s office in Texas and Border Patrol officials, who say they are prepared for just such an attempt
Though he has been largely exiled from the mainstream media in the wake of his nakedly racist remarks following the armed showdown he led against federal agents, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy manages to keep popping up on the political scene in Nevada, still spouting his far-right antigovernment “Patriot” views.
Most recently, Bundy made an appearance in Reno on behalf of Nevada Republican congressional candidate Russell Best, who is running for the state’s 4th District congressional seat under the banner of the fringe Independent American Party.
The incumbent, first-term Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford – who demanded federal action when Bundy supporters reportedly began stopping residents at roadway checkpoints near the Bundy ranch – is favored to win, according to race handicappers, against GOP candidate Crescent Hardy and Best.
Bundy’s speech to the Reno campaign gathering was a fairly boilerplate affair: “Basically, fight for liberty and freedom, and we’re fighting against a federal government that’s overreached,” Bundy told the crowd, estimated at about 50 people, at the Bonanza Casino.
Later, he again told reporters for KRNV-TV that he still wanted to see local sheriffs disarming federal agents in their jurisdictions – and warned that armed revolution would follow if they failed to act.
“I did speak for ‘We the People’ when we said take away the arms from the federal government,” Bundy said. “Later I thought of that and each county sheriff should be taking these arms away from these federal bureaucracy. I did say if we don’t do that, if we don’t rein back this federal government, then we the people are going to have to fight we the people, and that would be a revolution that I sure don’t ever want to see happen.”
Bundy admitted to feeling cooped up at his ranch, even as the crowd of his Patriot supporters has dwindled in the wake of an outbreak of infighting.
“I can’t say I really enjoy it,” he said when asked how felt about being a national figure. “I fight for freedom and yet I feel like I’m sort of locked up in the surroundings and not much freedom for me and my family.”
Bundy, his sons, and a number of participants at the ranch standoff remain under investigation by the FBI for their potentially criminal behavior during the standoff.
Self-described “sovereign citizen” David Darby wants everyone to know that he has no intention of getting involved in any armed standoffs with any law enforcement officers from Clark County, Wash., where he lives. He says he just wants his day in court – even though, whenever he has had one of those, he has lost.
Most recently, the 69-year-old Darby – a longtime antigovernment “Patriot” movement activist, dating back to the 1990s, and political gadfly – was informed by a Superior Court judge that his 4.7-acre property in rural Amboy would be put up for auction, following foreclosure proceedings brought against him by Clark County for failure to pay his taxes.
“It’s all constitutional,” he insists. “Everything I’ve done is constitutional. If it’s not constitutional, then all they have to do is prove it. And I will stop this. I will pay the taxes. But because they have not done this, I would not pay the taxes. And I cannot get this into federal court until I am hurt. So once they actually sell my property, I’ve been hurt. Then I will file in federal court.”
Darby has only a few days left to wait. The auction of his property is scheduled to take place between 8 and 11 a.m. on Sept. 16.
Darby, claiming that he is a “citizen” exempt from such duties, stopped paying his taxes in 2008, beginning a long-running dispute with the Clark County Treasurer’s office that culminated in 2013 with foreclosure proceedings on his rural home – a mobile home on raised blocks — and its accompanying wooded acreage.
However, as Darby made clear back then, he purposely forced these proceedings as part of his strategy to get the issue of his claims to a “land patent” on the property heard in a federal court. “I’ve been setting up the strategy to do this because no one has ever gotten sovereign ownership of land in the courts,” Darby said. “The only way to set it up was to go into foreclosure. … This isn’t about my land; it’s about the [state] constitution.”
Indeed, Darby claims that the current Washington constitution, passed in 1889, is not valid – and that the state’s proper constitution is actually one that was drawn up in 1878, when statehood was first suggested. He also characterizes this document as explicitly creating sovereign citizenship for state residents, as well as outlawing property taxes and liens on property. ( continue to full post… )
Justice Department prosecutors — waging a legal fight against sovereign citizens in America’s Heartland — have won a conviction against a man who filed false liens seeking to legally tie up personal property of various federal officials.
Randall David Due, of Pelham, Ga., was convicted Thursday in Omaha, Neb., of seven counts of conspiracy to file and filing false liens against two federal judges, three federal prosecutors and a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service. The defendant faces the likelihood of several years in prison when he’s sentenced in December.
Due was accused of directing co-defendant Donna Kozak and another woman of filing bogus liens totaling $18.9 million against the home and property of U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp.
Due prepared the false liens at his home in Georgia and directed Kozak and Collins to file the documents in Boyd County, Neb., where the federal judge presided over a 2012 trial of two antigovernment tax protesters.
Kozak, Due’s co-defendant, awaits sentencing after being convicted Aug. 1 by a federal jury in Omaha of two counts of conspiring to file false liens against federal officials’ property.
The sovereign citizen filings directed by Due – with the potential of causing economic hardship for those targeted with the “paper terrorism” – came three days before Judge Camp sentenced two antigovernment tax protesters.
The false filings also attempted to encumber the property of U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard, U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas Semisch and Michael Norris and IRS Special Agent Ashley Thompson.
The court clerk’s office show Due didn’t back off after he was indicted, continuing his barrage of paper terrorism against the U.S. government and its officials, filing most of the nearly 500 separate document filings in the expansive court case.
At one point, he wrote that “Randall David Due, in the Flesh and Blood in Proper Person, do not consent to be an accessory party to Fraud … and/or violation of my certain un-a-lien-able Rights endowed by my Creator and secured by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and by our soldiers who swear an Oath to defend this Nation and its Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
But after Due’s conviction last week, trial judge Robert T. Dawson ordered an end to the foolishness. “Because of the overwhelming number of filings of documents, pleadings, notices, protests, etc. in this case, the Court Clerk is instructed to not file any document or anything within this file unless it has been approved for filing by the undersigned,” the judge said in his order.
The sovereign citizen filings carried out by Due and other co-conspirators were retaliation for an earlier Justice Department prosecution of two antigovernment tax protesters with sovereign citizen leanings.
David L. Kleensang, 63, and his wife, Bernita M. Kleensang, 61, both of Hays Springs, Neb., were convicted of attempting to defraud the U.S. government out of $49 million. They were sentenced to six-year prison terms in 2012.
At their trial, prosecutors convinced a jury that the Kleensangs had not filed any tax returns from 2003 to 2006 and 2008 through 2011. In “do-it-yourself” lawsuits that are typical of sovereign citizens, the Kleensangs said they did not have to file tax returns because they were not federal employees and didn’t live in the District of Columbia.
However, in 2008, the Kleensangs filed 67 returns with the IRS, demanding refunds ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million. The Kleensangs claimed they made the filings to “get justice” and compensation for lawsuits they filed in state courts.
A conflict between armed militias and law enforcement—a potentially deadly encounter widely predicted—has occurred on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Last week, a U.S. Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area east of Brownsville, Texas, fired four shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member, The Associated Press reports.
The Border Patrol agent had lost the group of immigrants when he turned around and saw the armed man holding the weapon, authorities said. Bullets fired by the federal agent did not hit the man, who dropped his weapon and “identified himself as a member of a militia,” Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora told the wire service. ( continue to full post… )
A new report from the federal government predicts that a Nevada rancher’s standoff with federal agents earlier this year will likely embolden and inspire antigovernment violence in the coming months — a finding that echoes several preceding reports.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report, titled “Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Increased Threat to Law Enforcement and Government Officials,” concludes that after years of sporadic violence from domestic extremists motivated by antigovernment ideologies, there has been “a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs.
“These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown,” the report says. It adds that such historical spikes in extremist violence have followed high-profile confrontations, including those at Ruby Ridge and Waco, involving the federal agents. ( continue to full post… )