Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Terrorism, insurrrection, and violence are the greatest threats coming from the right (revised, updated)

Updated/revised 9/27/20  So why not stop angry mobs from demonstrating, a reader asks? She is tired of angry mobs in the streets and just wants me to stop quibbling over  the semantics, that I contend there is a difference between peaceful and violent demonstrations. concern about whether there will be violence post-November 3 if Trump defies democracy, uses every trick in the book, including poorly justified challenges to throw the people's vote out the window and depends on his three appointees to the Supreme Court to keep him in office.  Losing that battle, he then refuses to leave the Oval Office January 20. The stretch of time between Nov. 3 until the inauguration may see more angry demonstrations. The issue motivating them would not be racial bias and demands that African Americans be treated fairly and equally by law enforcement, but saving democracy from a wannabe dictator.  The  like we have seen this summer sparked by issues protesting police brutality and racial discrimination is an alarming recent addition to some voters' concerns. In part, it is due to the specter of peaceful and violent demonstrations in urban areas sparked by video coverage of racial bias of law enforcement that resulted in the death of per capita more African-Americans than others, a pattern verified by data.   In part, it is because Donald Trump, himself, the self-proclaimed law and order president,   has promoted and praised threats and acts of violence in response to the civil unrest.  The red flags of potential violence rose to top media attention when. President Trump refused to commit a peaceful transfer of power if he lost. The outrage resulted in fear of turmoil post-Nov. 3. . voters away from hearing more about his fast track forcing through his appointment to the Supreme 

 What Donald Trump did accomplish with his violence threatening speech is to steer attention away from his Court that will result in an ideological lopsidedness and his failure to deal with COVID-19.  His nomination to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court has increased focus on  the repercussions of a 6-3 conservative-dominated Court. With that makeup comes  a restrictive view of civil and gender identification rights,  and the eventual demise of Roe v Wade.  What should be of enormous concern is Trump's efforts to do away with Obamacare with no effective replacement after four years of promises. Trump's nominee is' on the record for her strong condemnation of Justice Roberts upholding Obamacare (ACA). Here is what is at stake .Along with the ACA's demise, not only would affordable coverage of pre-existing conditions be in jeopardy for those getting insurance from the ACA, but no longer would affordable coverage of pre-existing conditions be required of any insurance and protections against women being charged more than women than men would also disappear.  Annual caps on the dollar amount of coverage could be reinstated. Trump administration will be arguing before the Supreme Court a week after the election that the ACA should be trashed, though the Court's decision will not be announced until Spring. 


  So why not stop angry mobs from demonstrating, a reader asks? She is tired of angry mobs in the streets and just wants me to stop quibbling over the semantics, that I contend there is a difference between peaceful and violent demonstrations.Back to my reader's objecting to "mob rule", I take her to mean mobs of angry people marching or demonstrating, whether peaceful or not, and calling separating peaceful protests from violent ones as a semantics problem  There is a reason for the "semantics'.  It is called the Constitution. The First Amendment reads:" Congress shall make no law .... abridging the freedom of speech.... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." There is no quibble there. The first amendment supports the right of those angry of any race or background to gather and present their complaints peacefully. So long as the angry' mob ' is peaceful, they have the protection of the Constitution. When they turn violent, they don't. 

 Joe Biden, unlike Donald Trump, condemns both the right and the left for bringing violence to an otherwise peaceful demonstration and he has been consistent about this from the beginning of civil unrest ..On June 1 in response to the George Floyd unrest and Donald Trump's emptying Lafayette Square of peaceful, Biden said" there is no place for violence.No place for looting or destroying property or burning churches, or destroying businesses —..... Nor is it acceptable for our police — sworn to protect and serve all people — to escalate tensions or resort to excessive violence.  We need to distinguish between legitimate peaceful protest — and opportunistic violent destruction......." On August 31 in Pittsburgh Biden was even more specific with " I want to make it absolutely clear, so I’m going to be very clear about all of this, rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted"  By contrast, Trump praised neo-Nazis, and white supremacists marching with torches as some fine people, as a counter-demonstrator was killed. Armed militias in camo threatening violence are called "patriots" as was a 17-year-old militia member who killed two demonstrators. Threats and acts of violence spawn more violence especially when weapons are carried. People on either side get killed. There is an immediate assumption by many on the right that the main perpetrators of violence are angry black demonstrators. Guess again. The FBI recently released a memo sent to local law enforcement that most violence comes from right-wing extremists. The FBI also reported that most acts of domestic terrorism also come from right-wing extremists. In September, under oath, FBI director Chris Wray testified that" there is not such an organization as Antifa. It is an ideology." Trump followers tend to lump all angry black demonstrators into "Antifa" as the force behind violence either in an attempt to scare white folks in suburbs to vote for Trump or it reflects their own attitudes toward other races. Those most frequently arrested for committing arson and window-smashing this summer were right-wing group affiliated members.

The takeaway of issues of race relations and matters that affect access to health care and so many other issues is that elections matter to day-to-day lives, sometimes for years to come.  Vote. This is a country with a democracy that gives people a say through the ballot box. Since 2013 Colorado voters have had a system where all registered voters get a ballot automatically, but still have a choice to drop it in a mailbox or a secure official drop-off box or vote in person.  It has a history of fair and honest elections with many layers of bi-partisan eyes, bar codes, and computer cross-checks. The ballots go in the mail October 9 and around 4 days later you should get it delivered to you. You can track it like a UPS package if you wonder if it got to the election clerk on time to be counted. For election information in Colorado:   https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/FAQs/mailBallotsFAQ.html



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the president invoke the insurrection act to force the active military to put down post-election demonstrations? President Trump recently called for that. This apprentice dictator had better be able to tell the difference between protest riots and insurrection because the difference is already established case law. If he has fantasies of a military coup to keep him in office, he may be asking the military to commit an illegal act to overturn a constituted government. Ironically,  what is possible is that the insurrection act could be applied to organized militias and established right-wing terrorist groups who would foment violence if Donald Trump lost and tried to stage a "coup".  That would turn supporters of right-wing advocates calling for insurrection on its head, making them vulnerable to being charged with insurrection instead of left-wing demonstrators. Advocates of invoking the insurrection act ought to be careful what they wish. Riots and peaceful protests are not the same as acts of insurrections that could justify active military intervention per https://definitions.uslegal.com / "insurrection refers to an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government. It is a violent revolt against an oppressive authority. Insurrection is different from riots and offenses connected with mob violence. In insurrection, there is an organized and armed uprising against authority or operations of government whereas riots and offenses connected with mob violence are simply unlawful acts in disturbance of the peace which do not threaten the stability of the government or the existence of political society. The following is a case law defining Insurrection: Insurrection means “a violent uprising by a group or movement acting for the specific purpose of overthrowing the constituted government and seizing its powers. An insurrection occurs where a movement acts to overthrow the constituted government and to take possession of its inherent powers.” [Younis Bros. & Co. v. Cigna Worldwide Ins. Co., 899 F. Supp. 1385, 1392-1393 (E.D. Pa. 1995)]" I note proven or unproven claims of voter fraud are not cited as a justification for an insurrection in the definition. 

There is an immediate assumption by many on the right that the main perpetrators of violence are angry black demonstrators. Guess again. The FBI recently released a memo sent to local law enforcement that most violence comes from right-wing extremists. The FBI also reported that most acts of domestic terrorism also come from right-wing extremists. In September, under oath, FBI director Chris Wray testified that" there is not such an organization as Antifa. It is an ideology." Trump followers tend to lump all angry black demonstrators into "Antifa" as the force behind violence either in an attempt to scare white folks in suburbs to vote for Trump or it reflects their own attitudes toward other races. Those most frequently arrested for committing arson and window-smashing this summer were right-wing group affiliated members. The  like we have seen this summer sparked by issues protesting police brutality and racial discrimination is an alarming recent addition to some voters' concerns. In part, it is due to the specter of peaceful and violent demonstrations in urban areas sparked by video coverage of racial bias of law enforcement that resulted in the death of per capita more African-Americans than others, a pattern verified by data.   In part, it is because Donald Trump, himself, the self-proclaimed law and order president,   has promoted and praised threats and acts of violence in response to the civil unrest.  The red flags of potential violence rose to top media attention when. President Trump refused to commit a peaceful transfer of power if he lost. 



NEWS.YAHOO.COM

Proud Boys join with the Trump supporters and get themselves arrested Labor Day weekend. When anyone comes to protests with long guns, baseball bats, and other weapons, to turn peaceful demonstrations into violent ones, someone will either get hurt or arrested or even killed as happened in Wisconsin.. https://www.yahoo.com/news/multiple-people-arrested-trump-supporters-012703607.html   Joe Biden, unlike Donald Trump, condemns both the right and the left for bringing violence to an otherwise peaceful demonstration. By contrast, Trump praises violence threatening white militias as patriots, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists marching with torches as some fine people, and heaps praise on a 17-year-old inspired by him and militias who killed two people with his long gun as the heroic victim. In Portland, a right-winger wearing his affiliation hat was killed.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/31/portland-protest-shooting-kenosha-whats-patriot-prayer-trump-visit/5677539002/ 

1https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blame-abc-news-finds-17-cases-invoking-trump/story?id=58912889

Joy Reid, MSNBC host,  found herself in the uncomfortable position of being criticized by friends, Muslim members of Congress, for even using the word "terrorism" because Americans usually associate that term with scary Muslims.  They have a point, but the answer should be coupled with the fact that most acts of terrorism are not committed by Al Qaeda sympathizers,  greenies,  and anarchists, but by right-wingers. Yes. Right-wingers.  https://www.csis.org/analysis/escalating-terrorism-problem-united-states    The reference to Al Qaeda types has been made because of rhe use of the internet to recruit extremists and terrorists.   Perhaps a broader category name could be "extremists".which would also include those groups that encourage acts of terror and violence. Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, and others both fall in that broader definition, sometimes disguising themselves as Antifa. The boogaloo movements purpose is to promote civil war and its adherents are both white nationalists and some extreme libertarians. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/19/what-is-boogaloo-movement/3204899001/


The famous video in George Floyd  Minneapolis demonstrations of a covered and disguised umbrella man wielding arsonist bashing windows was found to be a member of a right-wing motorcycle gang, not an "antifa" member, which is neither an organization or has a membership structure.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/umbrella-man-identified-minneapolis.html

"This analysis compiles and analyzes an original data set of 893 terrorist plots and attacks in the United States between January 1994 and May 2020. per the FBI.


This analysis makes several arguments. First, far-right terrorism has significantly outpaced terrorism from other types of perpetrators, including from far-left networks and individuals inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years. Right-wing extremists perpetrated two thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between January 1 and May 8, 2020. Second, terrorism in the United States will likely increase over the next year in response to several factors. One of the most concerning is the 2020 U.S. presidential election, before and after which extremists may resort to violence, depending on the outcome of the election. Far-right and far-left networks have used violence against each other at protests, raising the possibility of escalating violence during the election period."


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/31/portland-protest-shooting-kenosha-whats-patriot-prayer-trump-visit/5677539002/

  Perhaps a broader category name could be "extremists".which would also include those groups that encourage acts of terror and violence. Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, and others both fall in that broader definition, sometimes disguising themselves as Antifa, which no one with that "antifa"  affiliation was arrested in connection in the George Floyd demonstrations, but one was arrested in Pottland https://nypost.com/2020/09/02/antifa-commander-with-flamethrower-cried-when-he-was-arrested/


From an earlier blog posting:

Trump's inflammatory tweets have urged deadly violence to fight violence. " When the looting starts, the shooting starts.", he exhorted, drawing on a 1967' statements by a racist Miami mayor, and advocating shooting the "thugs".  https://www.npr.org/2020/05/29/864818368/the-history-behind-when-the-looting-starts-the-shooting-starts  He even called for an insurrection by militants against Michigan and two other states not opening up quickly enough for business. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/17/liberate-michigan-trump-constitution/ ,
The outrage is that Trump and Trump's loyal attorney general Bill Barr says that only the leftist anarchists were involved as the instigator of violence in the protests, providing no evidence.https://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-no-intelligence-antifa-weekend-violence-george-floyd-protests-2020-6
In fact, right wing militants pose as Antifa to advocate violence while Trump seeks to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. The FBI found no evidence of Antifa involvement in the violence.VXPWUic_srGifEojnJi9Crx7vXIWRcrlY6Hjs7qtS3c81qPq0a_sM https://www.click2houston.com/news/national/2020/06/02/white-supremacists-pose-as-antifa-online-call-for-violence/. It is the Trump racist play book, his ticket to a win in November. Fear works for him. Violence works for him.We do not know yet the identity of all of the perps of flame, looting and violence. However, there is evidence that right-wing militias and extremists groups like the Boogaloo Boys were also involved, wearing their identifying Hawaiian shirts. and other insignia. Boogaloo Boys say they are preparing for the next civil war. Boogaloo Boy members were charged with killing a federal agent and wounding another in an ambush during the Floyd demonstrations, as mentioned above.
Also seen were armed men. in pickup trucks bearing extremist militia insignia of the Three Percenters. . Barr also controls the FBI but we can also depend on other sources to confirm who was doing the infiltrating. Barr and Trump were contradicted by officials and witnesses on the ground. 20% arrested for arson, vandalism, violence were from out of state. and there were reports of people unknown to the local demonstrators. " Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington confirmed evidence of white supremacist groups trying to incite violence ;Many posted messages online that encouraged people to go loot in Minneapolis and cause mayhem". https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/05/30/outsiders-extremists-are-among-those-fomenting-violence-in-twin-cities
The incriminating evidence of intent was their own social media summoning their fellow travelers to come and be violent.
Reality is that most domestic terrorism is committed by the right. Even in the past two months, terrorism charges have been levied against a militia connected person threatening the life of the Michigan governor and in the George Floyd protests, 3 Boogaloo boys were the only ones charged with terrorism. There was no evidence that Antifa groups or persons were the perps of violence, per the FBI.

Searching for the best data, this was in Wikipedia: According to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, 73% of violent extremist incidents that resulted in deaths since September 12, 2001 were caused by right-wing extremist groups.[83][84] A 2019 report found that 50 people in the United States were killed in murders by domestic extremists (including both ideologically and non-ideologically motivated homicides) during the previous year. Of these killings, 78% were perpetrated by white supremacists, 16% by anti-government extremists, 4% by "incel" extremists, and 2% by domestic Islamist extremists.[85] Over the broader 2009 to 2018 time period, there were a total of 313 people in the United States killed by right-wing extremists (including both ideologically and non-ideologically motivated homicides), of which 76% were committed by white supremacists, 19% by anti-government extremists (including those affiliated with the militia, "sovereign citizen," tax protester, and "Patriot" movements), 3% by "incel" extremists, 1% by anti-abortion extremists, and 1% by other right-wing extremists.[85]"



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