Militia Chiefs Plan "Continental Army" at 3rd Continental Congress
Expecting anarchy and martial law to break out in America at any moment, delegates from militias and far-right groups across the nation plan to meet near Independence, Missouri, Oct. 28-30 to establish a "provisional government" made up of members of the Patriot Movement.An ominous aspect of the Congress will be plans to establish a national "Continental Army" of militias.To be held in the small town of Harrisonville, MO, the Third Continental Congress is the brainchild of Northern Michigan's own Ray Southwell, with assistance from fellow Michigan Militia founder Norman Olson.Southwell and Olson are attempting to gather five delegates from each state to forestall their fears of anarchy and a second American revolution. Thus far, they claim to have delegates from more than 25 states.In a series of e-mail messages, Southwell says that goals of the Congress might include "the restoration of the Republic, Justice for All, and the formation of a Continental Army under a Congressional Committee of Safety."EVE OF DESTRUCTIONThe thought of a "Continental Army" of militias governed by Patriot Movement members may not be first on the wish-list of your typical soccer family mom and dad, but Olson and Southwell say that time is short and action must be taken."Without the Provisional Government in place, the alternative will be anarchy and chaos," Olson says. "When the present government falls, the likely scenario will be confusion, rioting, bank failures, food shortages, and the creation of martial law and the resulting dictatorship. The Constitution will be shattered!"Besides social upheaval, militia members feel their Congress is needed to counteract the U.S. Federal Government, which they perceive as evil."Millions of people are being tyrannized and oppressed by the federal government," Olson says. "Agents of various enforcement branches continue to rob, seize, arrest, and kill without accountability. There is no justice left in the corrupt courts. The Congress and Senate are filled with professional politicians who care little about the Constitution when it gets in the way of ambition and power."WHO'S WHO IN THE NEW ARMYOlson notes that the proposed Continental army would be made up of militia members and "loyal military members of the present federal army."This proposed militia army would "insure stability while the Provisional Government moves to protect and preserve the Constitution against the threat of a dictator" during the anticipated upheaval."My goal is NOT to plan a revolution, for revolution WILL come," Olson writes via e-mail. "My goal is NOT to point fingers, lay blame, or find fault, for few doubt the crimes of the present de facto government. My goal is NOT to cast support to politicians, or to shore up the broken machine that the federal government has become. Rather, My GOAL IS to establish the Republican Provisional Government."WHAT IT ISIn a separate message to militia members across the nation, Southwell shares his fears that the Congress will bring on a federal crackdown by the Clinton administration. "I say that the corruptdefacto government needs very little excuse to bring on martial law, an airplane explosion or a pipe bomb at the Olympics," he says.Militia members liken their Congress to the 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses held in the 1770s. They claim that their 3rd Continental Congress will be a "legislative body of the people" and a "lawful arm of government." They don't, however, expect their Republican Provisional Government (no relation to the Republican Party) to be recognized by the federal government.RAINBOW COALITIONA press release from Militia Headquarters in Alanson, Michigan, claims that more than half of the 50 states are electing delegates to the Congress, with the word spread via e-mail, fax and word-of-mouth.Five Michigan delegates were elected in a statewide election, including Clifford Brookins II, Detroit; Robert "Bob" Davis, Bay City; Allen Scott Woodring, Freemont; Southwell and Olson. Olson was elected as a write-in but declined because of his militia involvement. An additional delegate will be chosen prior to the Congress.Organizers are proud of their rainbow coalition of delegates, including Native Americans, Freemen, and the above-mentioned Brookins, an Afro-American who is head of the nation's first black militia in Detroit. "Each Michigan delegate will represent disaffected and estranged people who no longer feel that the federal government is responsive or has the integrity to rule justly," Southwell says.PARANOIA REIGNSJudging from the fears expressed in approximately a dozen e-mail messages to the Express from militia groups, there's a lot of pent-up paranoia out there among the paramilitary right.Some militia members believe, for instance, that the "End Time" predicted in the Bible is at hand, or that the federal government is a "death machine" bent on enslaving Americans. Undercurrents of civil war and revolution are hinted at, if not advocated.Here, for example, are the thoughts of Sarah Anderson of The People's Informer newspaper in Cherryfield, ME:"It is obvious there is a move of anarchy sweeping across America due to the frustrations, and anger that is built up from the corrupt government and all the corrupt systems, such as: the judicial, school, money (systems); and the unreasonable regulations they have for everyone to stressfully obey."BRAVEHEARTS WANTEDNot that Congress members expect the average American citizen to "get it" in terms of understanding their fears:"This congress will draw bravehearts with vision... exactly as it should be," Olson writes. "These people will be vilified and demonized by others in the patriot community and by the press. They will be called traitors and insurrectionists.... exactly as it should be. The role of these bravehearts is not to perfect the machine, but to create the prototype. They will go home to their towns and villages with the message of hope for those who have little left. They will have survived the danger and the threat of arrest and will have participated in a marvelous work. They will have been part of the Resurrection of the Republic.GOD ON THEIR SIDEA Baptist minister, Olson believes that God will play a hand in the Congress and its proposed government."If God is in this thing, and the people are of the purity and character to be used of God in this special work, then the message will be heard. The very fact that Americans are considering the creation of a provisional government alone, speaks volumes in the matter of how truly bad the situation is."Under this scenario, God will help lead the nation "out of the Babylon Corruption of the present government."FEW OPTIONSOlson, Southwell and other militia members writing on the Internet see their Congress as a last-ditch chance to avert an armed uprising.Olson writes, "I am reminded again of the options:" 1. Continue to maintain faith in the present political system, voting and supporting the government now seated. 2. Do nothing. Cower down and wait since this is the End Time talked about in the Bible... 3. Become a survivalist, a sovereign, an isolationist... pack up and head for the mountains either in deed or in thought. 4. Go on the offensive with arms and start a war of revolution. 5. Come out from the Babylon government and Resurrect the Republic with the very documents the Founding Fathers gave us. Completely ignore the de facto government, giving instead attention to the De Jure government that resides in the people.Militia writers are typically given to heroic posturing, end-of-the-world paranoia, and hyperbolic prose. Yet ultimately, one is left to wonder, how much of their own press releases do the paramilitarists believe? And at what point does the talking stop and the shooting start, generated by the fatalistic track and fascination of martyrdom?