Category Archives: Militia Movement

Soldiers of Odin Plan Meet-Up in Lodi Lake, CA on April 30th

A big thanks comes to Heathens United Against Racism, who did a large amount of research for this article.

The reframing of Syrian refugee migration into Europe and the United States is critical to the messaging of the racist right-wing.  Instead of seeing these as rightful refugees of an incredibly violent, war-torn region, they are instead painted as “invading hordes.”  The dehumanization of these immigrants of color is obvious, but it is also an effort by Alt Right voices to reframe the discussion in terms of their own interpretation of pre-modern tribal norms.  The term “hordes” inspires the listener to immediately apply “barbarian” to it, which inclines them to think in an “us and them” mentality.  The idea here is to begin thinking of people of European ancestry, specifically Northern Europe, as a distinct “tribe” with its own interests.  This is opposed to the universal morality that sees actions within the same moral framework whether they happen to someone of a similar ethnic background or someone from a distant country with different customs and religious practices.  To see the refugees as “invaders” is to then see the need to protect the “tribe” from the immigrant populations that you are absolved of the responsibility to care about.

This shift in perspective plays directly in the new Soldiers of Odin phenomenon, a group of people who are trying to “defend” European nations and the U.S. from these refugees.  Playing on fallacious notion that the refugees are responsible for increased rates of crime and sexual violence, they have created an impetus that street vigilante action against non-white people is necessary.  The “Odinic” reference is also key as Odinism/Asatru, as a resurrection of the ancient Nordic pagan religion, is often interpreted racially, using the pseudoscientific concept of “meta-genetics” to say that the Nordic Gods are literally a part of the psyche of people deriving from Northern Europe.

The Soldiers of Odin were created in Kemi, Finland in October of 2015, towards the beginning of what is now phrased as the “refugee crisis.”  This was created to be a street gang that would patrol areas with asylum seekers, often appearing as a motorcycle gang or mirroring white tribalist groups like the Wolves of Vinland.  The founder of the movement, Mike Ranta, was close to the nationalist Finnish Resistant Movement, as well having a 2005 conviction for a racist attack that injured two victims.

The group’s dynamics of racial violence seem obvious, but they have grown over the last five months, creating locals all over Europe and moving into several places in the United States.  The process began by creating multiple Facebook groups, all with lax security protocols, that have open racialist understandings of who the “invaders” are.  Even with this white nationalist slant, the growth of these groups has been incredible and the numbers of people unaffiliated with the racialist movement at large has been striking.  Large numbers have been coming directly from the Odinist/Asatru movement, even beyond the explicitly racialist forms.

Among these new groups is one for Colorado, with members running the gamut.  This includes the Gothi, or clergy, of the Eagles of Yggdrasil, a folksih heathen kindred.

Canadian locals have popped up with common membership, indicating that there is likely less local organizing happening as much as a few enthusiastic metal-head racists who are creating these groups for different regions in the hopes that it will spark some growth.  The blog Anti-Racist Canada has reported on this growth, noting that the nativist Canadians United 4 Canada have begun to ally with neo-Nazis in the Soldiers of Odin project.  Charlene O’Farrell, who started that group on Facebook, has posted long diatribes in support of the Soldiers of Odin to start “protecting Canada and us(sic) women, children and even men who can’t defend themselves from being attacked or rapped(sic) if this should happen here in Canada.”

Dave FightingBack, a Facebook name, has also been a high profile member organizing in Canada, known for neo-Nazi connections, has sent back the kind words to O’Farrell.  Anti-Racist Canada further exposed several of the SOO organizers who were sporting neo-Nazi tattoos and images, Confederate battle flags, and “seig heiling” in various social media posts.  Several of them are members of known skinhead gangs, affiliated with Blood and Honor “white noise” music networks, and sporting Rock Against Communism and Totenkopf t-shirt images.  This includes one SOO organizer, Kory Knowles, who, among being friends with O’Farrell, is also friends with open Creativity Movement followers.  It would appear that, at least in Canada, the SOO movement is almost entirely run by neo-Nazi skinheads looking for a political crossover, and the crossover between them and Canadians United 4 Canada has led many open neo-Nazis to now be made admins of the Canadians United 4 Canada Facebook group.

Now the Soldiers of Odin have organized a “meet-up” event for those interested in their racist organizing project, one that is not a public event and instead a private gathering dedicated towards furthering organizing projects.  In California, a meet-up is planned for April 30th at Lodi Lake Park, in Lodi, CA.  Topher Justis, one of the U.S. Soldiers of Odin organizer who has been active online, seems to be one of the key organizers of this.

In an effort to call attention to the racial violence that is embedded in the Soldiers of Odin project, as well as to demoralize their plans, this would be a great event to have an anti-fascist contingent attempt to attend and counter-protest.  If you would like to go under the radar, you could also attend and send in a report back that could further aid anti-fascist counter organizers to give inside information on plans, specific organizers, and hard information.

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Protesters Confront Portland State Students for Trump [VIDEO]

On Saturday, April 17th a group of anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers in Portland, Oregon congregated at the Urban Plaza at Portland State University. The plan was to head across campus and over to the Park Blocks to confront the Portland State Students for Trump, the aggressive student campaign in support of the Donald Trump GOP candidacy. The group was formed by the same students behind the PSU White Student Union, and has made the organization a front group for thinly veiled Alt Right racialist language.

The founding member and clear leader is Vladimir Kolychef, a small boy from Ukraine who first came to people’s attention when posting in anarchist groups on Facebook saying that he was an “anarcho-capitalist” and “race realist.” The latter term indicates that he believes in differences in racial capacity for intelligence, believing that African descended peoples to have a lower innate IQ than whites and to be more prone to criminality. A quick look at his Facebook reveals a block of white nationalist talking points and jokes, often dog whistle lingo from openly racist websites like The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah(like calling black people ‘dindus’).

The group had recently been shut down during a meeting by the Portland State University Student Union and other allies, who overwhelmed them almost 20:1. This garnered quite a bit of media attention, all of which negated the fact that Kolychef was an open far-right nationalist with growing ties to American white nationalist organizations. Infowars, the reactionary conspiracy theory website from Alex Jones, picked up on the story quickly, interviewing Kolychef and another founding member.

This is what drew out their support on Saturday, where their crowd swelled to almost a hundred supporters, almost all from Patriot organizations and Infowars directly. They marched over to confront the counter-protesters, leading to an extended confrontation in the plaza where Trump supporters were shut down by a small army of noisemakers and loudspeaker sirens. Here the Infowars group tried to bait protesters by using openly racist and homophobic language, shoving cameras in their faces, and attempting to intimidate women of color. On their videos later, Infowars dropped all pretense and posted titles that called protesters “Trannies,” “SJWs, and “the REAL racists.” Infowars is known for being the sillier side of the Internet, yet when looking at recent articles they have allied with nationalism explicitly and are parroting the more offensive side of recent transphobic exclusionary movements. They have gone so far as to even use jokes from violently racialist website like The Right Stuff and the Daily Stormer. They have gladly become what Breitbart is to a large degree: a crossover point for nationalists into the mainstream of conservatism.

At a certain point the Trump supporters went back to the Park Blocks, marched around town, and made their way to the City Center park, Pioneer Courthouse Square. They were consistently overrun by noise from counter-protesters, but they continued to use vitriolic hate language to try and intimidate the crowd. When African descended protesters put their hands up, referencing “hands up, don’t shoot” to raise attention to the proliferation racist violence, the white protesters mocked and imitated them. They eventually tackled and held down a passerby who threw water on them, a “citizen’s arrest” that is in line with their embarrassing notion that they are the real core of America.  The admiration for Vlad was open, yet in videos where many of them are questioned about Vlad’s politics, or that of the PSU Trump group broad, most people are completely lost to their open associations and racial nationalism.

Below is a video collage that shows a bit of how the action went, as well as being an antidote to the bizarre Infowars perspective.

Making LaVoy a Martyr: Militia Movement Rallies in Oregon [Photos]

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After the Malheur stand-off resulted in one person dead and several of the original militia members facing felony charges, it seemed like the far-right militia movement that rallied around the Hammond family would take a hit.  In recent weeks we have seen them self-reviving, having rallies around Oregon(and around the country) calling for federal lands to be turned over to financial interests like mining and logging.  This has been called the great “second wave” of the militia movement, which was declared dead after a previous generation of its activity culminated in the 1995 bombing on the Oklahoma Federal Building.  Previous raids by the ATF on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas and the earlier intervention on Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge had started a wave of their organizing, often being founded around deeply racist enclaves like the Christian Identity church and Posse Comitatus.

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On Saturday, March 5th, supporters of the militias and “patriots” came out in Portland and other cities on a call from the Oath Keepers.  Beyond calling for the abolition of federal land, many are calling for a prosecution of the law enforcement officers who killed LaVoy Finicum.  Many have gone online calling for a “citizen’s grand jury” where individuals are “deputized” to “indict” the people involved in Finicum’s death.  Memes, t-shirts, and signs show an LV logo to remind people of LaVoy, as well as the more common symbols associated with the movement, such as excessive number of American flags and notices including coded racial language.

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A small counter protest was organized in support of public land, such as the Malheur preserve that was disturbed by the militia occupation, as well as in support of First Nations tribal land, like the Palute tribal land that was desecrated during the stand-off.

While these coordinated rallies show a sign of both the rise of the radical wing of the “patriot” movement, it also indicates the mainstreaming of many of their ideas.  While there were regular conservative supporters that came out for the openly racist and Nativist core of the movement, there is also a public “land grab” that is happening on the state level around the country.  In Alaska, a legislative committee is going against federal law by assigning 222 million acres of public lands over to the state for dissemination.  The Outdoor Industry Association notes that public land brings in over $646 billion in “economic benefit,” not to mention 6.1 million jobs.  The attempt to take out federal land is not one that would give it further access to “the people,” but instead an ideological war that large extractionist companies would benefit from as they would gain access to land that was considered a part of the commons.  The militia camp sees it as a sign of an overreaching government, which is a point at which lacks even the most basic understandings as to what elements of the state maintain systemic oppression or enable the elements of capital.  The militia instead make up a cultural segment of a growing reactionary core that is protesting progress, whether it is environmentalism, racial multiculturalism, or a multi-religious community.

At the rally in Portland, the police prevented intermingling between the “patriots” and the counter-protesters who were calling for a support for publicly accessible land.  Masked protesters were blocked when running in to confront the militia supporters, though many were allowed to intermingle when being more unassuming in appearance.

I almost wish you guys critiquing their racism had the “privilege” to show up as a person of color,” said one counter-protester who made their way through the opposing crowd.

It’s the only time I’ve been watched so closely by people and asked in an angry tone over and over “Why are you taking pictures?”, “Who are you with?”, “Where are these going?”, “Why?”. “Why?”, “Why?”. I’ve been asked that question usually once or twice at every event I cover, but never once in an accusatory manner as if I shouldn’t be there, and NEVER as many times as it happened today, not even close. Then there was the revealing moment when they all got so happy because a black guy had waved out his window and honked as he drove by–you should have witnessed all their back-patting and pleasure and excitement that they got from getting their token PoC for the day. It was a strange reaction when he was just one of many that waved and honked with no fan-fare.

One photographer reported being shoved while taking pictures.

The militia movement was set back after their bizarre overreaching at Malheur, but it is a growing player in the far-right that anti-fascists around the country will continue to encounter.