Convictions for plan to riot at Pride event

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ASPartOfMe
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21 Jul 2023, 9:34 am

White nationalists convicted of planning to riot at Idaho pride event

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Five members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front were convicted Thursday of misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot at a Pride event.

A Kootenai County jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Michael Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty after about an hour of deliberation, news outlets reported.

A total of 31 Patriot Front members, including one identified as its founder, were arrested June 11, 2022, after someone reported seeing people loading into a U-Haul van like “a little army” at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d’Alene, police have said.

Five members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front were convicted Thursday of misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot at a Pride event.

A Kootenai County jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Michael Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty after about an hour of deliberation, news outlets reported.

A total of 31 Patriot Front members, including one identified as its founder, were arrested June 11, 2022, after someone reported seeing people loading into a U-Haul van like “a little army” at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d’Alene, police have said.

Documents found with the group reportedly outlined a plan to form a column outside City Park and proceed inward, “until barriers to approach are met.” Once “an appropriate amount of confrontational dynamic had been established,” the column would disengage and head down Sherman Avenue.

Sentencing is today.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 21 Jul 2023, 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

KitLily
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21 Jul 2023, 9:38 am

I must say ASPartOfMe you are an expert news source. Always there with interesting information. Well done!


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ASPartOfMe
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21 Jul 2023, 9:38 am

KitLily wrote:
I must say ASPartOfMe you are an expert news source. Always there with interesting information. Well done!

Thank you


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goldfish21
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21 Jul 2023, 1:20 pm

Good.

Never mind the countries where being born gay is a crime punishable by death, this kind of crap happens in the USA.. and even here in one of the most left leaning citie where Pride is largely a party, we still have homophobia And with the attacks on Pride events in the USA I noticed a larger presence of VPD with long guns out and about to deter any sort of attacks by whackos that think human rights aren't for LGBT people. So, even though it's evolved to largely become a party, where people from around the world come to experience the freedom we have here, Pride - even here - is still a protest.. a protest against the awful treatment LGBT people receive by the likes of these chucklefucks who are about to be sentenced for their crimes. And, of course, against all other forms of prejudice and bigotry LGBT people live through.

Go rot in jail, as*holes. Hope you're there for a very long time to think about just how backwards your thinking about fellow humans really is. Long enough for some sort of reform to occur so you're truly not the same thinking person you were when you committed your crimes.


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21 Jul 2023, 1:41 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Good.

Never mind the countries where being born gay is a crime punishable by death, this kind of crap happens in the USA.. and even here in one of the most left leaning citie where Pride is largely a party, we still have homophobia And with the attacks on Pride events in the USA I noticed a larger presence of VPD with long guns out and about to deter any sort of attacks by whackos that think human rights aren't for LGBT people. So, even though it's evolved to largely become a party, where people from around the world come to experience the freedom we have here, Pride - even here - is still a protest.. a protest against the awful treatment LGBT people receive by the likes of these chucklefucks who are about to be sentenced for their crimes. And, of course, against all other forms of prejudice and bigotry LGBT people live through.

Go rot in jail, as*holes. Hope you're there for a very long time to think about just how backwards your thinking about fellow humans really is. Long enough for some sort of reform to occur so you're truly not the same thinking person you were when you committed your crimes.


I am worried the jail sentences will be too short. Remember, this is Idaho we're talking about. A state 10x crazier than Texas and Florida put together. A state I frequently refer to as "Utah on crack", despite Coeur d'Alene not being in the Mormon-dominated south of the state.


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goldfish21
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21 Jul 2023, 2:22 pm

I have never heard that about idaho. I've never heard much of anything about idaho, tbh.

I've been there at least once.. we spent a night or two in Sandpoint when we were on a family road trip when I was a kid (9 at the oldest). I remember playing with a bunch of kids at the beach and American kids about my age were asking us questions about Canada.. like if we lived in igloos, and if we had electricity. And they were serious. It wasn't like they were cracking jokes.. that's literally what they thought Canada was as soon as you crossed the border... ice, snow, igloos, and a complete lack of modern infrastructure. Kind of like how movies portray all of continental Africa to be mud huts vs. the reality of modern cities in many countries. Pretty nuts how peoples' perceptions of the world can be shaped so narrowly via lack of information. I'm not even a world traveller and IMO I know a whole lot more about other countries and places.. and did as a kid, too. Like wtf do they teach kids in school down there? What do their parents teach them? What sort of TV programming are they restricted to? Wild how limited and sheltered some entire large groups of peoples' lives are.


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21 Jul 2023, 9:53 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
I have never heard that about idaho. I've never heard much of anything about idaho, tbh.

There is a history there
Ruby Ridge, 1992: the day the American militia movement was born
A firefight between six US marshals and two boys and their dog began a movement founded on anti-government ideology. The internet age has spread its message wider

Idaho's fight against the far right, then and now
Quote:
In 1974, an engineer named Richard Butler bought 20 acres of farmland in Hayden, Idaho, a few miles outside of Coeur d'Alene. There, he established a compound and organization for neo-Nazis called Aryan Nations. The property held a neo-Nazi church, a modest home where Butler and his wife lived, a watchtower and barracks for young white men.

"Butler's goal was to choose five states and make that a white enclave and drive people out that weren't white," said Tony Stewart, a resident of Coeur d'Alene and founding member of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. The "white homeland" that Butler sought to establish would be in the Pacific Northwest, and he made North Idaho its starting point.

"They were very quiet until 1980, and in 1980 they targeted a Jewish restaurant in Hayden, Idaho," Stewart said, noting that the group vandalized the establishment with anti-Semitic graffiti.

After that, the group's criminal activities escalated to include bombings, bank robberies, and even the firebombing attempted assassination of Bill Wassmuth, a prominent local Catholic priest and human rights activist. Aryan Nations had also assumed a key role among racist organizations. Every year it hosted an annual conference that drew Klan members and neo-Nazi skinheads, among others, from around the nation.

But in 1998, members of the compound committed a crime that would bring the group's days in North Idaho to a close. On a July night, an Indigenous woman named Victoria Keenan and her 18-year old son were driving along the road next to the compound. When the son dropped something from the car, they retraced their path. Aryan Nations members heard the car backfire, and started giving chase, shooting as they pursued the Keenans' vehicle.

The Keenans were injured when their rear tire blew out and the car stopped in a ditch, where neo-Nazis beat them through the windows with rifles. Traumatized by the incident, Victoria Keenan reached out to members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, including Stewart and a local attorney named Norman Gissel. Gissel brought their story to the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Led by SPLC attorney Morris Dees, the Keenans won a $6.3 million judgment against Butler and the Aryan Nations. The result bankrupted the organization, and the compound property was auctioned in 2001.

After the dissolution of the compound, Butler remained in Hayden, Idaho, and died in 2004 at the age of 86.

A new far right unites against a fresh target
Today, North Idaho continues to occupy a special place in the imagination of the far right as a potential haven for hardline conservatives. Most recently, a survivalist author rebooted the concept by proposing the "American Redoubt" in 2011 – a geographical territory comprised of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Washington and Oregon, as a territory for Christian conservatives. Many local residents say these proposals have produced noticeable results.

"There's been a real influx of individuals in the last 10 to 12 years here. And some of them moved here escaping diversity, and they say so," said Stewart. "And so if Butler was here and it was his organization today ... a number of them might join because they truly are racist."


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