The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
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… )
A man who called Dallas police to inform them he was part of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement even as he was engaging officers in an armed standoff was eventually arrested after taking shots at officers and locking down an upscale North Dallas neighborhood.
According to the Dallas Police Department blog, the man –– a 60-year-old Corinth resident named Douglas Lee Leguin –– began taking shots at Dallas firefighters on Monday as they arrived near the scene of a reported Dumpster fire in the well-to-do neighborhood. The firefighters were not hit and put out a call for assistance.
In short order, the Dallas SWAT team and a host of police officers descended upon the scene, and the man continued to fire shots. However, no officers were injured in the incident. Eventually, negotiators persuaded the man to surrender.
Leguin was charged with seven counts of aggravated assault. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, he had placed a number of explosive devices around the property where he engaged police in the standoff. Those devices were defused or detonated. Reportedly, the same man had encountered a babysitter in the neighborhood with an 8-year-old girl and had threatened both of them before starting his rampage.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Leguin had called police during the standoff to tell them that he belonged to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, which believes that most government institutions are illegitimate, as are the laws they enforce.
Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne has been accused by his political opponents of being a “chameleon.” But not even they could predict the company he would one day keep.
Horne, once a Democrat, is a featured guest at tonight’s “Liberty on Tap” monthly social at a Scottsdale brewing company, where he will share the stage with far-right antigovernment “Patriot” movement luminaries including Richard Mack and Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
Stephen Lemons at Phoenix New Times reports that Horne’s campaign team is aware of the presence of the other participants.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says it was a “spiritual experience” –– good versus evil ––when he and his armed militia supporters stood up to federal agents in the celebrated April standoff that many say has buoyed the extremist movement.
Bundy, in one of his first public speeches since the stand-off, spoke last weekend in St. George, Utah, to members of the Independent American Party, described as a political group of ultra-conservatives who mock both the Republican and Democratic parties. ( continue to full post… )
A 40-year-old Georgia man who authorities say was part of a ring of antigovernment “sovereign citizens” squatting in high-end homes near Atlanta, claiming them as their own, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Jermaine Eric Gibson, of Atlanta, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Federal prosecutors requested a six-year sentence “to promote Gibson’s respect for the law.”
“Gibson declared that the laws do not apply to him,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracia M. King said in a sentencing memorandum. “Perhaps, this is why Gibson, a convicted felon, boldly possessed a firearm and did not hesitate to make it known to others that he possessed a firearm.”
According to court documents and trial testimony, Gibson moved into a foreclosed home in Lithonia, Ga., an upscale, gated Atlanta suburb in March 2013. He quickly declared he owned the house, valued somewhere between $300,000 and $600,000, by filing paperwork with DeKalb County officials claiming he had deeded the home to himself. ( continue to full post… )
They had the motorcycles. They had the flags. And they had some people eager to protest child refugees coming over the border. What they didn’t have was a real plan.
That was the upshot of a failed effort by extremist radio host Pete Santilli and a group of bikers to shut down the Tijuana border crossing, south of San Diego, on July 5th.
The plan, as described by Santilli on his show, was for his antigovernment “Patriot” listeners to join forces with his biker friends to protest immigration policies and the imprisonment of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi in Mexico. So many bikers and “Patriots” would turn out, Santilli hoped, that the resulting traffic jam and commotion would shut down the border.
Except, that didn’t happen. Not even close.
One day before the planned border shutdown protest, Santilli was protesting in Murrieta, California, where he shouted at police officers on the scene, calling them “domestic terrorists.”
The next day, having met up with his biker buddies who have been rallying for Tahmooressi’s return, Santilli and his crew set out southbound on Interstate 5. About ten miles from their destination, however, a California Highway Patrol officer pulled over Santilli’s vehicle.
All of this was caught on Santilli’s live-streaming broadcast of the “event.” As Santilli’s car pulls off to the shoulder with the officer behind them, the bikers cruise on by and keep going.