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Morning Briefing: Patriot Front Spreads White Supremacist Propaganda Over Memorial Day Weekend
Patriot Front, a neo-fascist White Nationalist group, spread White Supremacist propaganda throughout the country over the Memorial Day weekend, including hacking a Alabama highway electronic sign.
Morning Briefing: On Memorial Day, motorists traveling on Interstate 65 in Alabama reported “Alabama Department of Transportation signs displaying messages for a group identified as a white supremacist organization,” and local media reported that the “contractor’s portable message board on I-65 in Chilton County was hacked.”
The hacking of the Alabama interstate sign was one of several incidents of vandalism or distribution of propaganda by Patriot Front, a neo-fascist White Nationalist group, during the Memorial Day weekend.
Members of Patriot Front claimed in posts on Telegram to have posted banners on overpasses in Marlborough, Massachusetts and Logan, Ohio; spray painted a wall in Manchester, New Hampshire; and spray painted a billboard in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jared Michael Boyce, a member of Patriot Front facing charges related to the group’s targeting of an LGBTIQ Pride event in Idaho, is now “facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.”
Experts in far right extremist violence warned that the United States is “at an increased risk of domestic terror attacks by rightwing ‘lone wolf’ actors… as inflammatory Republican rhetoric around a variety of issues seems likely to continue ahead of the 2024 election.”
Chad Edward Keith, White Supremacists and neo-Nazi who allegedly sought to create a "white private community” in Colorado, “has been ordered held in federal detention and his 11 guns were seized after the FBI says he illegally possessed those guns.”
Austin Schoemann was “indicted by a federal grand jury for using guns, death threats and racial slurs to intimidate Black people and interfere with multiple federally-protected rights.”
Annika Brockschmidt interviews Jeff Sharlet: “The Family to this day says, to understand Jesus, look at Hitler, look at Stalin, look at Mao. What they liked is authoritarianism and strength. They said Jesus is an iron fist. The particular nature of the iron fist—is this a fascist fist?—not as important. And in fact, in that book I argued that fascism was impossible in the United States. Even saying that now makes me cringe. It wasn’t. Look, fascism has always been present in the United States. We know that the Nazis drew on the American example. There were elements of it, but it was impossible as the reigning full-on paradigm. The experience of so many communities of color was one of living under fascist control. So many sheriffs in their counties ruled with fascist power, but a full-on fascist government? No, we weren’t going to get that. And the reason was the same thing that makes the United States unusual amongst developed nations. Our particular devotion to God.” [Religion Dispatches]
Kaleigh Rogers and Mary Radcliffe report that “over the last five years, the number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills both introduced and passed into law at the state level has exploded, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of data provided by the American Civil Liberties Union and The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. Unsurprisingly, these bills are almost exclusively introduced and supported by Republican lawmakers, and the data reveals they aren’t coming up with new restrictions at random. Instead, these bills tend to follow cyclical patterns, with certain types of restrictions (such as school sports bans for trans athletes, prohibitions on gender-affirming care for minors and bathroom bills) gradually increasing in popularity for a year or two, then peaking with a huge wave of legislation in multiple states. Once laws have been passed, lawmakers move on and a new trend emerges.” [FiveThirtyEight]
Hannah Allam reports that the “increase in threats and harassment against local officials has led to calls for response plans and security protocols like those typically reserved for higher offices, according to a new study of targeted officials. The report, released Friday by the Bridging Divides Initiative at Princeton University, is based on interviews with 30 mayors, city council members and other public officials across the political spectrum and from different regions, a snapshot of serving in a violent climate that’s expected to worsen in the run-up to the 2024 election…. Though the threat primarily comes from right-wing agitators, researchers found that Democrats and Republicans alike have been targeted, sometimes by members of their own parties. The hostility, analysts say, chips away at democratic participation as some would-be public servants decide the risk is no longer worth it. Officials who do stick it out typically make drastic lifestyle changes to adapt.” [The Washington Post]
What to expect from Radical Reports: Morning Briefing provides a daily round-up of reporting on the Radical Right; Extremist Links offers a weekly round-up of extremists activities including the white supremacist and militia movements; Narratives of the Right delivers weekly analysis of the current narratives in far right online spaces and promoted by right-wing media; and Research Desk provides monthly highlights research and analysis from academia on the Radical Right.
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