The Very Real Threat of “Boogaloo”

By Peter Galuszka

White protestors have smeared a statue of Arthur Ashe, the African-American tennis star who faced systemic racism when he was growing up in Richmond.

True, the Ashe memorial had earlier been defaced by “Black Lives Matter” messages spray painted on its base. On Wednesday, a small band of protestors painted over the “BLM” statements with “White Lives Matter” pronouncements.

One of the protestors, a white man who called himself “Everybody,” claimed he had grown up in Richmond and drove off in a sedan with South Carolina plates, according to the Richmond-Times-Dispatch.

What is disturbing is the prospect of violent conflict, perhaps involving fast-firing, assault-style rifles, between opposing camps.

Much has been made of the so-called threat posed by ANTIFA, said to be a radical left group that is prepared to use violence at protests, which have been largely peaceful in Virginia and across the country.

Although conservatives have made a big deal about ANTIFA, there has been little evidence that they are masterminding the massive national protests that have occurred in the past few weeks after police in Minneapolis and Atlanta killed African-Americans.

The flip side is the so-called “Boogaloo” movement of hard-right, armed activists. According to this morning’s  Washington Post, law enforcement is worried that the loosely organized, social media-based group may instigate violence at peaceful demonstrations.

Advocates of the movement are said to wear Hawaiian shirts and carry assault-style rifles. Some are reported to have military training in handling weapons and making bombs. Federal prosecutors in California, Texas, Nevada and Colorado have charged suspected Boogaloo advocates with weapons violations.

It isn’t known whether the people who spray-painted “White Lives Matter” on the Ashe memorial are members of Boogaloo but there has been push-back from what appeared to be white supremacists. Protestors at the Robert E. Lee statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue recently found themselves surrounded by large pickup trucks driven by armed whites. They scattered as the trucks drove through the demonstration. Several people were later arrested by police.

In 2017, protests at a “Unite the Right” demonstration at Charlottesville, violent skirmishes between far right and leftist advocates left one women dead after a white supremacist drove his car at high speed into a group of people. Two Virginia State Policemen monitoring the demonstration died when their helicopter crashed.

At demonstrations in Virginia, men decked out in combat dress and holding guns often show up as a kind of “militia” but their real goal is intimidation. They are almost always young white males with beards and flak jackets.

Another example of how deadly such confrontations can get occurred in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 3, 1979. Members of the Communist Workers Party held a “Death to the Klan” march that drew KKK members and the American Nazi Party. In a shootout, five people were slain.

The possibility of armed conflict between opposing factions is perhaps the most frightening and dangerous thing about the current wave of protests. Once the guns go off or the pickups roar through crowds, many innocent people could get killed.

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53 responses to “The Very Real Threat of “Boogaloo”

  1. But, but Peter, the Richmond Federal Building was marked for arson by ANTIFA… This is serious. Somebody attaked it with spray paint. Remember, these ANTIFA people have already struck at a federal building. They parked a truck with barrels of ANFO outside the McMurrah center…. oh wait, no. That wasn’t ANTIFA, now was it?

  2. Congratulations, Peter, you have come far in your understanding. Yes, the Boogaloo threat is real. It is heartening to read that you agree that the threat of violent left-wing groups is real as well. And it is most heartening of all to see you acknowledge that the events in Charlottesville involved violent extremists of both sides.

    For the record, I have noted the threat of right-wing violence on this blog on several occasions. I have emphasized the threat from ANTIFA and other left-wing extremists mainly because so many people are in denial that the threat exists. (Nancy Naive’s snarky comment above is a case in point.)

    The fact is, the extreme left and extreme right feed one another, citing the others’ existence as justification for their own extreme actions.

    • yep – you’re spinning once again. How about this. Can you provide a reference that identifies the extreme groups – both sides?

      The “both sides” narrative is “popular” but as far as I can tell the primary “left” group is Antifa – and to this point, I’ve seen very little real evidence that they have been involved in the protests across the country but we ARE now seeing armed militia groups… showing up to “challenge” any would-be “leftists”…

      Just for giggles and grins – we ARE seeing some of these militia folks being photographed and arrested and exposed as to who they are and where they work.

      Have any “Antifa” folks similarly been “exposed”?

      The militia groups DO seem to be organized. They have a significant presence on social media. How about Antifa? Are they also on social media?

  3. Jim,
    How patronizing. I really didn’t acknowledge left wing extremists. That’s your reading.

    • I’ll acknowledge the existence of a violent Left Wing. They’ve been known to recklessly drive nails into trees. The SLA was a violent leftist group and the Weather Underground. Mostly though, the violent left are unorganized and opportunists. The violent right? Now they are organized.

  4. Both groups exist. Both crave violent confrontation. Only a blind partisan sees only one as a threat and not the other. Those who ignore history…..It wasn’t Harriet Beecher Stow who started the Civil War but John Brown.

    • I have no doubt what-so-ever that both groups “exist”. But I’m pretty sure “Antifa” is not that organized and more boogeyman than an organized threat. Not so true of the 2A types and I’m sure you’ve seen some of their social media posts… where they do “organize” and when they show up there is no doubt what-so-ever – they’re wearing “uniforms” and armed to the teeth. When I see Antifa do that also – then I’ll buy the “both sides” argument.

      • Repeat: “only a blind partisan….”

      • “2A types”, eh?

        ALL of us?

        • Well.. take a look at the “protestors”. How they are dressed…compared to how the 2A folks typically dress…
          is there a difference?

          • “…compared to how the 2A folks typically dress”

            I know you won’t believe this, but military garb is NOT the “typical” dress of 2nd Amendment supporters. Are you perhaps basing your bigoted and unfair generalization of 2nd Amendment supporters on the photos the morons at NBC and CNN published after the recent 2A rally in Richmond? Or some other rally? Of COURSE they publish photos of people in military garb, because those are the photos that get people like you all wound-up about the “imminent” threat from “violent right-wing extremists”.

            I have my own pictures from the rally earlier this year and they show the overwhelming majority of those in attendance dressed no differently from any other group that might attend an outdoor event during the winter.

            Your hypocrisy is amazing. You are willing to paint those with whom you disagree with a broad brush and categorize them as “the [fill-in-the-blank] types” but you become much more open-minded and understanding if someone makes a generalized statement about someone with whom you are in agreement.

  5. “White protestors have smeared a statue of Arthur Ashe, the African-American tennis star who faced systemic racism when he was growing up in Richmond.”

    Never happened. White criminals may have smeared the statue, white vandals may have defaced Ashe’s memorial but not white protesters.

    We have to draw a line between peaceful protest and criminal activity.

    “The possibility of armed conflict between opposing factions is perhaps the most frightening and dangerous thing about the current wave of protests. Once the guns go off or the pickups roar through crowds, many innocent people could get killed.”

    Maybe defunding the police isn’t such a hot idea.

    As for the existence of Antifa …

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/26/politics/tim-kaine-son-charged/index.html

    “Some of the counter-demonstrators, equipped with face and head coverings and goggles, broke away and attempted to enter the rally from the second floor staircase by pushing and shoving,” a news release from Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. “During the disturbance, they employed smoke bombs, mace and fireworks, thereby creating a chaotic and dangerous situation.”

    That was 2017. Today you have some folks from the left who have taken over six city blocks in Seattle with a bit more than smoke bombs, mace and fireworks.

    Let’s see … escalating tensions between increasingly well armed groups while liberals look to defund the police and use unarmed social workers instead.

    What could go wrong?

    Is anybody surprised by the surge in gun sales?

  6. The Greensboro event was a shootout. In c’ville armed militia did show up with rifles. Protestors on both sides used clubs and aerosol can flame throwers. If several sides gun up and go at it, it would be very bloody. As I have posted here before, I have been through such a situation in Moscow. It was an awful experience.

  7. ” ANTIFA, said to be a radical left group that is prepared to use violence at protests”
    Wow, “said to be a radical left group”?

    “which have been largely peaceful in Virginia and across the country.”
    Excepting of course the beatings, murders, burnings and lootings. How many of those fit in a ‘largely” exactly?

    We seem to have reached to point now where the “acceptable viewpoint” is, “all that ‘stuff’ you have seen over the last month on the screen? Didn’t happen. Evil right wingers made it all up.”

  8. “When “both sides” get armed to the teeth and start having gun fights.. I’ll get back.”

    Yep, that’s being a proactive citizen

  9. AG Barr has stated that their investigations have confirmed that groups from both sides of the political spectrum have used the protests across the nation as cover for their own agendas. These groups have included white supremacists and anti-government militias even though this may seem counter-intuitive to many people. As for Charlottesville, the Friday night tiki march to the grounds by chanting bigots did not include “fine people”. It is a fact that the murder that occurred there was committed by a white supremacist. As advertised, the event was intended to unite the right.

  10. re: “shootouts”

    yeah, we’ve had them… Tulsa, Red Summer, Greensboro (1979).

    and yes , we’ve had violent left wing groups… in the past….in the 60’s

    and , we may have today – but I have not seen many at all .. what I’ve seen is “boogeyman” hysteria from the right…

    When I see folks on the left ..Antifa, etc… that look like this lined up opposite the 2A militia folks , I’ll take notice:

    I just haven’t seen any “left” organized and armed like this

    • http://imageshack.com/i/pnekRnE0j

      https://newrepublic.com/article/154110/antifa-arming-trump-crackdown

      and many more, including images from right here in Richmond

      But, it’s easy not to see when you don’t look

      Of course, when the local political leadership allows you full range to destroy and intimidate and orders the police to stand down, you DON’T have to be very heavily armed.

      The Democrats of American are approaching Soviet levels of mendacity these days.

    • Again you libel people who support the 2nd amendment. What is it with you?

      By the way, it was NOT “2A militia folks” who recently violently invaded and took over a significant section of a city in this country. That act was performed by violent left-wing extremists – the very people you refuse to believe exist.

      • I think most 2A folks are fairly recognizable by their gear and outfits.

        Most of the cities have not been “taken over by extremists”. There were and still are some folks who are not really protestors hiding among the protestors but the police are starting to recognize them and most of the cities are largely not “taken over by violent extremists”.

        I do believe there are some violent left wing extremists but they are not widespread in the cities…. there are no organized groups that are marching together… that I’ve seen in different media… and I would expect such an appearance by organized groups to be heavily covered, photographed, etc.

        I’m just not seeing that. Where is the organized Antifa in the streets?

        • “I think most 2A folks are fairly recognizable by their gear and outfits”

          What the hell is it with you and the use of the term “2a folks” and “2a types”? Do you really think we are all the same? Do you REALLY think that everyone who supports the 2nd amendment wears military gear? Really?

          BY the way, are you EVER going to run out of straw men or do you have an entire warehouse full of them? Please point out the part of my post where I said that most cities have been taken over by left wing extremists.

    • PS – I don’t know how to post pictures to this site but I invite you to take a look at some of the photos of the “peaceful protesters” who are “guarding the border” in Seattle. They look a lot like the guys in the photo you posted.

      • You can post pictures that are “published” on the web ..sometimes.. if they are jpg image links…

        here’s one: https://4.img-dpreview.com/files/p/E~TS590x0~articles/7870883704/Fox_News_Altered_Photo.jpeg

        and this:

        Fox News is taking heat after publishing a digitally altered image and a misleading photograph last week in its reporting on Seattle’s Black Lives Matter protests in Seattle, Washington.

        Last Friday, Huffington Post reporter Michael Hobbes shared a set of pictures that shows Fox News clearly composited an image of a person carrying a rifle over two photographs of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). While the editing job is far from subtle if you look closely – note the lighting discrepancies between the backgrounds and the gun-wielding subject, as well as the extra area of red between his torso and left elbow – the fact the same individual was used in two separate images makes it clear this was a post-production job.

        lmao Fox News is photoshopping an armed guard into pictures about the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone to make it look more dangerous than it is

        • Perhaps you misunderstood. I meant, I cannot get pictures to upload/post on this site.

          • no I explained badly. You have to find a photo that is on the web and can be referenced as a jpg image.

            you cannot upload but you can post the URL to the jpg image

  11. You’ve GOT to be KIDDING – in that second picture.

    Those guys are no more Antifas than the man in the moon… it’s got
    false flag written all over it.. patches on their arms that say ANTIFAS?

    really?

    We have 2A folks out in dozens of cities in all their regalia… you cannot miss them! Other than pictures like this – which are laughable.. how many ANTIFAS have been out in the cities carrying weapons?

    it’s boogeyman on steroids!

  12. Warren. Dem “mendacity?” Really? How about Trump’s documented 19,000 lies over four years?

    • Peter, not to defend Trump but I’d be interested in your citation for that 19,000 DOCUMENTED lies which works out to about 15 per day, every day for 3 1/2 years. Must have kept someone pretty busy…

      OABTW, I voted Johnson last time.

  13. Hahaha-
    “it’s got false flag written all over it.”
    Hahah
    What? Not the Russians?

    Yep, mendacity, see above.
    A case of “Who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

    By the way the second picture came from that notorious right wing new source . . . The New Republic

    • got anything from 2020 about Antifa?

      we’re still in boogeyman territory…

      how about armed Antifa in the protestors in the cities lately?

  14. Well those goal posts keep moving now don’t they . . .

    The very first picture was from Seattle this week

    Anything else? Perhaps their names and addresses?

    And somewhere else out there in my feed ,if I can dig through it, is a picture from this week of an armed group in front of The Secret Sandwich Society on Grace street.

    Irony = people whose response to everything is “But . . . Trump” complaining of “boogeymen.”

  15. Sorry, I pay attention to the news and I’ve just not seen this.

    If Antifa was on the street armed to the teeth like the 2a guys, it
    would be all over the news… and it’s not.

    • You see, that’s what has deeply and totally changed. No, Larry, no you would not.

      • yeah you would.. it would be all over FAUX News… and in the WSJ and other top-tier news organizations. It would even be on CNN.

        And Donald Trump would go ape-crap … and order the military
        to shut them down…

        still a skeptic… when I see “both sides” have a shoot-out in front of Robert E Lee on Monument Avenue I might be convinced.

        And if that ever happened – I can assure you – BOTH sides would be arrested and hauled off to the hoosegow and it would be all over the news… and it’s just not.

        Not saying it’s not possible. It’s happened before in our history but right now it’s boogeyman stuff.

        • ” …when I see “both sides” have a shoot-out in front of Robert E Lee on Monument Avenue I might be convinced.”

          Are you advocating violence? That’s very unlike you….

          😉

          • No. The opposite. I do NOT see the extreme left and extreme right having shoot-outs – yet.

            but we keep hearing that the “extreme left” is “armed” and “violent” and out and about to engage in violent behaviors.

            Here is what I sam seeing mostly:

            folks wearing shorts and face masks and sneakers… they just don’t strike me as extreme left…

            it looks like this in city and city…

            I know there have been some looters.. and such but that’s not like organized armed leftists threatening to do battle…

            the last time that happened – Charlottesville – it was on every single new outlet… for days. I’m NOT seeing anything like that now. I HAVE seen the 2A folks in Richmond and Michigan and a few other places – out in force.. carrying weapons and they don’t typically dress in short and sneakers.. and don’t wear masks…

    • “If Antifa was on the street armed to the teeth like the 2a guys, it
      would be all over the news… and it’s not.”

      No it wouldn’t. It does not fit with the “left is good” “right is bad” democrat good” republican bad” mantra of modern American “journalism”.

      Seriously, this stuff is right in front of your face and you are simply so set in your beliefs and what you “know” that you will not even consider the possibility that you are wrong.

      • there is left, right and in-between media… are you saying that no media at all would post legitimate pictures?

        how am I supposed to believe what is being claimed if you cannot show a legitimate picture not one that has been doctored or put out by folks that are not credible?

        • You’re trying to trick me into entering an endless loop.

          Since you consider anyone who disagrees with you to be non-credible, then no matter how many photos I post you will claim they lack credibility.

          Sorry, I’m not falling for it.

          🙂

          Seriously, though, the information is out there, and I am not your research assistant.

  16. No it just lives on social media where it is rampant. Hence, hard to understand how Jim says that so many people are in denial. What is his basis for this statement?

  17. I don’t support or defend either antifa or boogaloo, but here are the facts:

    None of the those arrested during the demonstrations have any involvement in the antifa movement. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/06/10/51-protesters-facing-federal-charges-yet-no-sign-of-antifa-involvement/#451508434138

    However, the boogaloo boys have killed and wounded law enforcement officers and demonstraters. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/17/boogaloo-steven-carrillo/

  18. John Harvie. The sources for the Trump lies are The Washington Post and Forbes.

  19. Larry, I think the boogaloo people wear Hawaiian shirts. Dead giveaway
    Wayne to post an image why not email the url to Jim bacon

  20. Just took a look at the picture of “Nathaniel Bacon and his followers burn Jamestown” on the blog. Kind of an interesting jux-a-position during these times.

  21. The basic theme in BR is that government, science, institutions and liberals are inherent evils that must be kept under control or really bad stuff happens… 😉

    oh.. and anyone to the left of the hard core right is by definition a leftard.

    • I have not done the research and am responding to the information on BR. With regard to Jamestown, the caption does not state occupy, capture, but instead burn. Thus it would appear that to some extent the property of their fellow colonists was destroyed.

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