November 2, 2020

An October 2020 report issued by the Department of Homeland Security concludes that “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists — specifically, white supremacist extremists — will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland”

There has been a recent realignment of white supremacist groups and anti-government groups toward being politically active. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project collects “real-time” data on armed conflicts all over the world, including the United States.

ACLED’s most recent tracking map of “right-wing” groups shows:

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group map shows that any protest activity near you may depend on what groups are already active there — and it does vary by state.

Since the Three Percenters show up on a lot of watch lists, it might be useful to have some background on them. MilitiaWatch has been documenting that group for several years.

The Boogaloo Bois have also gotten a lot of attention since this summer, and the Proud Boys are also considered to be one of 2020’s more active armed groups. They often appear alongside other militia and white nationalist groups.

Left-wing groups also have the potential to cause disruption.

Protect the Results is trying to map protests. Reuters says, “The ‘Protect the Results’ coalition of over 130 groups from Planned Parenthood to Republicans for the Rule of Law, has about 400 events … planned to date. Participants are prepping to demonstrate ‘as early as the afternoon on Wednesday, November 4,’ the day after Election Day, and await a SMS message.”

(Screenshot, Protect the Results)

Disrn, a conservative news site founded by the creator of satire site The Babylon Bee, reports, “Left-wing activist group ShutDownDC has posted a plan to shut down the country and force President Trump from power if the presidential election is too close to call.” The group says the plan says, “Where we can, we need to be in the streets, on the highways, or at the sites of power and power holders. In our jobs and lives we must refuse to allow those taking control the legitimacy of the power they seek through strikes, slowdowns, and boycotts, and public refusal to accept an illegitimate ruling party.”

(ShutDownDC)

“In order to really win,” the document says, “we will need to force some pillars of power (business, military, media, or other major institutions) to decide to side with the people, or at least get out of the way.”

IsThisaCoup.com says it is tracking whether it thinks President Donald Trump is trying to steal the election.

HoldtheLine is also a group that has been planning what it calls a vote protection watch.

Other non-right-wing key names from ACLED include:

Antifa-The loosely organized anti-fascist movement known as ‘Antifa’ engages in two primary activities relevant to the behavior under review in this report. Local and interstate networks of antifascists organize counter-mobilization against right-wing street organizing, including against many of the groups analyzed below. The majority of ‘Antifa’ energy is spent towards counterintelligence operations, primarily doxxing right-wing activists and organizing publicly and semi-publicly available information. Antifa-affiliated activists are also rarely armed and do not exhibit a pattern of recruitment, training, and integration into a chain-of-command, like most militia and armed groups.

Not F___ing Around Coalition (NFAC) is a burgeoning Black separatist movement that, in many ways, is a direct reaction to many of the groups analyzed below. The NFAC is an all-Black, armed activist movement started and led by an Atlanta DJ known as Grandmaster Jay. They have appeared in opposition to mostly-white right-wing militia movements and continue to call for retribution for Breonna Taylor’s death at the hands of the Louisville police.

This article originally appeared in Covering COVID-19, our daily briefing about the coronavirus and other timely topics for journalists. Sign up here to receive Covering COVID-19 in your inbox every weekday morning. 

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Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested broadcast journalism and multimedia teachers and coaches. After nearly 30 years working as a reporter, photojournalist, producer,…
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