Anti-government group threatens to 'protect' Minneapolis MAGA rally
On Thursday, Donald Trump will bring his roving band of fascist enthusiasts to Minneapolis’ Target Center arena for one of his overblown and overrated campaign rallies. There are sure to be major protests, and the harsh reality is that the majority of people around and inside of the arena this Thursday are unlikely to be wearing red MAGA hats. As if on cue, the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group best known for carrying assault weapons to protests and believing in “deep state” conspiracy theories, say they will be in attendance. Twin Cities publication City Pages reports that the Oath Keepers are putting out calls to protect Trump supporters at the rally. The Oath Keepers’ website posts videos from a similar 2016 Trump rally, at which anti-Trump protestors chanted as MAGA folks entered the building. The Oath Keepers claim that these Trump supporters were attacked. I guess they just didn’t find that footage? They only discovered nonviolent footage? Got it.
One of the more believable and frightening claims made by the Oath Keepers is that they have lots of law enforcement and military members and connections. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers them a hate group, and for good reason. Here’s founder Stewart Rhodes explaining things as he sees them.
“Imagine that Herr Hitlery [Hillary Clinton] is sworn in as president in 2009. After a conveniently timed ‘domestic terrorism’ incident (just a coincidence, of course) … she promptly crams a United Nations mandated total ban on the private possession of firearms. … But Hitlery goes further, proclaiming a national emergency and declaring the entire militia movement (and anyone else Morris Dees labels ‘extremists’) to be ‘enemy combatants.’ … Hitlery declares that such citizens are subject to secret military detention without jury trial, ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques, and trial before a military tribunal hand-picked by the dominatrix-in-chief herself. Hitlery then orders police, National Guard troops and active military to go house-to-house to disarm the American people and ‘black-bag’ those on a list of ‘known terrorists,’ with orders to shoot all resisters.”
Trump has already created a local straw villain to fight—Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Mayor Frey and local officials reportedly sent a security bill to the Trump campaign in advance of the rally in the hope of recouping at least some of the costs such an event imposes on a major city. A little over a week ago, Donald Trump tweeted that there would be a “civil war” if he were to be impeached and removed from office. The Oath Keepers responded by all-cap yelling, “This is the truth. This is where we are. We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859. That’s where we are.” And so here we are.
But here’s some basic math: One group walks around with assault weapons, gains control over all three branches of government due to obvious anti-democratic chicanery, and STILL whines about being oppressed while threatening violence. Another group wins an election, softly moves into the process of investigating arguably the most transparent examples of corruption in our country’s history—with zero weapons—and somehow this is a civil war.