A new report says militia groups and far-right factions linked to the leader of a 2016 armed standoff with federal authorities at an Oregon wildlife refuge is gaining steam as the new front against government restrictions designed to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Kansas City Star reports.
The report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the Montana Human Rights Network says that Ammon Bundy started the People’s Rights network in March, which has since grown to over 20,000 members. The network consists of militia members, anti-maskers, conspiracy theorists, doomsday preppers and anti-vaxxers.
The report says that “a culture of violence and fear lies at the center of the People’s Rights message.”
“As Bundy told the crowd at the third meeting of the group, if local, state, or federal officials attempt to enforce laws that the group doesn’t like, People’s Rights is prepared to adopt a violent posture…Already there have been significant clashes and growing rage,” the report states. “In the context of the pandemic, it puts the lives of community members and public servants at risk, straining democratic institutions and damaging civil society.”
The report goes on to say that leaders of the network want governmental power to be used to protect the “righteous” against “wicked” liberals.
Read the full report here.