Crime

FBI Arrests Trump Rally Attendees Who Assaulted Counter-Protesters

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Department of Justice says that the FBI successfully arrested three members of a Southern California-based white supremacist group called the “ Rise Above Movement.” The three men — Robert Rundo, Robert Boman and Tyler Laube — number among the group’s roughly 50 members.

The trio is being charged with planning and carrying out violence at political rallies on the West Coast. Rundo is one of RAM’s founding members, as well as the head of the group’s Twitter presence.

The three men are believed to have attended a “Make America Great Again” rally in March of 2017 in Huntington Beach, California, where they targeted and assaulted counter-protesters and journalists.

A month later, they attended a rally in Berkeley, instigating further violence. Then, in May, these men and other members of Rise Above Movement attended an “Anti-Islamic Law” event in San Bernardino, again physically assaulting counter-protesters.

Another group member, Aaron Eason, is also being sought by the FBI.

These arrests come not long after a federal grand jury in Virginia chose to indict four men — Benjamin Daley, Thomas Gillen, Michael Miselis and Cole White — for their roles in the violence that characterized last year’s deadly “ Unite the Right “ rally in Charlottesville. All men are known to be members of Rise Above Movement as well.

Federal prosecutors in Charlottesville have described Rise Above Movement as heavily influenced by European neo-fascist groups, which are motivated by “flaccid identitarian discourse” and hypermasculinity. The group was, at least in part, inspired by the film “Fight Club” and attempts to replicate some of its “shallow anti-corporate and anti-consumerist themes,” according to the prosecution.

Rise Above Movement represents just one of several groups, like the Proud Boys, which openly revolves around a male persecution complex, where men — particularly white men — feel as though they are under siege and have a duty to fight back. Rather than realize that the world is gradually rejecting racist patriarchy, these individuals are going kicking and screaming into the modern era.

These groups also have a great appeal to men who are frustrated that society hasn’t handed them success on a silver platter; their failures are not a product of their own shortcomings, according to this thought processes, so surely it must be people of color, feminists and liberals keeping them down.

Many people in the United States seem to believe that these individuals, if only they were exposed to some level-headed conversation, would see the light and let go of their resentment and hate. The unpleasant reality is that many of these individuals are still organizing and committing acts of violence and even murder.

And it may have something to do with a president who now openly calls himself a “ nationalist “ and continues to demonstrate a tolerance for hate speech.

Despite the rhetoric coming out of the White House and from the top of the Justice Department, it seems that federal law enforcement is still going to lengths to hold perpetrators of organized, hate-based political violence accountable.

Originally published at Care2.com on Nov. 1, 2018.

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