Snakes in the Grass: Spencer Sunshine on the Militia Movement
In this episode of the IGD podcast, we sat down with longtime antifascist researcher and analyst Spencer Sunshine to talk specifically about the militia movement. We start off by tracing the movement as an outgrowth of Christian Identity, an explicitly fascist and neo-Nazi variant of Christianity, which was able to intervene and mobilize within the farm crisis in the 1970s and 1980s. We then discuss the ‘popular front’ militias that grew out of a combined response from white nationalists and others on the far-Right to the Ruby Ridge standoff in the early 1990s, which in part imploded after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
We then discuss how the current movement, made up specifically of the Oath Keepers and the 3%ers grew in the Obama years and moreover how these groups have come to support and stand behind the current Trump administration. We also talk about the recent move by Oregon Republicans to officially use militia groups as security at GOP events and the political implications of such actions. Lastly, we talk about the splits and tensions between the Alt-Right and groups like the Oath Keepers, as well as their similarities. With militia groups escalating calls for violence and a desire to see conflict with ‘internal enemies,’ we hope that this podcast serves as a helpful introduction into the modern militia movement and its political orientation.
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