Libertarian party presidential candidate, Jo Jorgensen, has appeared on a podcast associated with the anti-government boogaloo movement just days after an adherent of the movement was arrested for allegedly murdering two law enforcement officers.
One of the other people on the podcast also runs a Facebook page which is strewn with memes that reference insurrectionary violence, and appear to invoke white nationalist and neo-Nazi imagery and subject matter.
The Libertarian party is one of the largest political parties in the US, outside the dominant pairing of the Democrats and Republicans. Although the partys vote is still comparatively small, it has finished third in the last two presidential elections, and has increased its share of the vote in four successive elections, going from 0.4% of the vote in 2004 to 3.3% in 2016, when it fetched almost 4.5 million votes
On the Roads to Liberty podcast, Jorgensen was quizzed on her policy proposals by a group of men who were introduced as some of the head admins for some of the most influential pages in the so-called boogaloo movement.
The word boogaloo refers to the prospect of a second civil war in the US by playing off a reference to a movie sequel, Breakin 2: Electric boogaloo. For some in the anti-government boogaloo movement, any such civil conflict carries the possibility of an insurrection against an overbearing state and the law enforcement officers who serve it, particularly agencies tasked with enforcing restrictions on gun rights. But others who use the term conceive of the boogaloo as a race war.
Apart from the podcast host, who broadcasts under the name Hobbs, and the producer, Ben Backus, the questioners included a man identifying himself as Rick, an administrator of the North /K/arolina Facebook page; a man identifying himself as Justin, an administrator of the now-absent Thick Boog Line Facebook page; and Cameron Purser, a North Carolina man who runs Flytrap Firearms Consulting, a firearms training business.
Also questioning Jorgensen was a man identifying himself as Squid, an administrator of the Patriot Wave: V 2.0 (PW2) page, which currently has 10,000 followers. A group associated with a previous, since-banned incarnation of that page were responsible for the first high-profile public appearance of the boogaloo movement, when they paraded masked and armed at a large pro-gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, in January.
While some boogaloo adherents articulate a racially inclusive, universalist form of anti-government ultra-libertarianism, the PW2 page features dozens of memes which reference fascist, white nationalist, and accelerationist neo-Nazi imagery.
Several memes featured on the page venerate white soldiers of the Rhodesian army who fought to maintain white supremacist minority rule in that country before it became Zimbabwe.Several other PW2 memes positively couch images of Nazi Germany and second world war German soldiers.
Other memes feature a reference to Marvin Heemeyer, aka Killdozer, a Colorado businessman who demolished several buildings with a modified bulldozer in 2004 before taking his own life. The Heemeyer incident was referred to by Steven Carillo, the accused double killer and apparent boogaloo sympathizer who allegedly scrawled a Heemeyer quote in blood on the hood of a police cruiser before his arrest on 6 June.
Alex Newhouse is the Digital Research Lead at the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute, and has recently published two research papers on the boogaloo movement.
Upon viewing a selection of PW2s memes, Newhouse wrote in an email: While Patriot Waves memes do not explicitly promote Nazi ideologies, they are clearly evocative of more fringe and extreme Nazi accelerationist communities, and the allusions to Rhodesia and South Africa are clearly racist dog whistles which attempt to stoke fears of white displacement and genocide.
Cassie Miller, a senior researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center who has written on the boogaloo movement, said: Patriot Wave reflects the overlap between the so-called boogaloo movement and the racist far-right.
The questioners ask Jorgensen about a range of policy areas, including taxes, veterans affairs, and second amendment issues.
Squid, however, asks about Jorgensens views on the boogaloo movement as a whole.
Jorgensen replies, Oh, can you please explain that to me again?, and appears not to know about the movement, despite recent arrests of alleged violent extremists who identified with the movement.
Squid explains the purpose of the movement as basically liberty and justice for all.
Well, I am definitely for liberty and justice for all, Jorgensen replies.
On Jorgensens appearance on a boogaloo related podcast, Newhouse, the extremism researcher, says: When politicians make outreach to boogaloo communities, they are mainstreaming this explicitly revolutionary, anti-government movement that has already been linked several instances of real-world violence.
He adds: Boogalooers routinely celebrate and call for deadly violence against journalists and government officials, which means that politicians who ally with them may tacitly legitimize anti-democratic actions, such as armed intimidation and confrontation of political opponents.
In an email, after being given examples of troubling images on the PW2 page, Jorgensen declined to specifically repudiate the support of the boogaloo movement, writing: I welcome the support of anyone who will reject violence and bigotry in favor of non-aggression, peaceful persuasion, and voluntary cooperation.
Asked if the boogaloo movement were anti-government extremists, Jorgensen wrote: The media tend to lump together peaceful protesters and those who advocate violence, and paint the entire group as being violent.
She added: The boogaloo movement is highly decentralized and comprises both those who are aligned with the principle of nonaggression, and some who run counter to it.
Squid, the PW2 administrator, denied that the group were racist in an email, writing that they were constitutionalists.
Dozens of boogaloo groups, including many of the largest ones, have been promoting Jorgensens candidacy in recent days, and a dedicated Jorgensen meme group involves many self-identified boogaloo adherents.
Facebook, meanwhile, banned hundreds of boogaloo-related accounts, pages, and groups on Instagram and Facebook on 30 June, explaining the move as designating a violent US-based anti-government network as a dangerous organization.
The Libertarian party formally condemns racism in its platform. However in 2017, after the Unite the Right rally, the partys leadership had to issue a public denunciation of white nationalism.
This was necessary because lawyer and recently accused domestic abuser, Augustus Sol Invictus, was a featured participant, having previously run in a primary to be the partys Florida senate candidate.
Asked about how the Libertarian party will keep extremists at a distance in future, Jorgensen wrote: The Libertarian Party is the only political party that favors non-aggression as a fundamental principle. Every Libertarian Party member has signed a pledge that they oppose the initiation of force for the purpose of achieving social or political goals.
See original here: