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Karl Manke is a seventy-seven year-old small town Michigander with a full head of silver hair, dark glasses, often wearing his barber’s smock. He fancies himself as both a novelist and “America’s barber,” yet he’s become most well-known as the symbol of armed rebellion against COVID-19 restrictions.

Manke had vocally defied Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s closure orders aiming to stem the spread of the coronavirus – a virus that had already infected more than 48,000 and killed 4,674 in the Midwestern state. Ryan Kelly, a real estate agent from Grand Rapids, had invited the militia to provide security for Manke.[1] When Manke unlawfully reopened his barber shop, the armed paramilitaries of a group called Michigan Home Guard were there to defend his actions. With militia groups at his side, Manke quickly became a celebrity in the broader national movement deploying armed resistance against COVID-19 restrictions.

The Michigan Home Guard at Karl Manke’s Barber Shop

The appearance of the Michigan Home Guard outside of Karl Manke’s barbershop on Main Street in Owosso, Michigan, a small town of around 14,000 residents some 40 minutes from the state capitol in Lansing, represents an addition to the tactics of organized far-right militias. However, it continues the prominent place that nationalist paramilitaries have played since “reopen” mobilizations emerged in April.

The Michigan Home Guard has been embedded in the “reopen” mobilization all along. On April 30, the group posted photos from the “America Patriot Rally,” an event that drew national attention when an angry mob of mostly unmasked protesters, some armed, confronted masked police officers with shouts of “Let us in,” “Lock her up” and “traitor.”[2]

During the same rally, armed protesters entered the legislative chambers, the intimidating and dangerous situation forcing some legislators to don bullet proof vests, according to State Senator Dayna Polehanki. A couple weeks later, the Michigan legislature cancelled the legislative session in the face of threats directed at Governor Gretchen Whitmer by members of the Facebook group, Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine group, which had more than 386,000 members.[4] Facebook eventually deleted the group, one of very few such groups the platform has moved to block – despite the fact that these frequently armed mobilizations are being organized on Facebook.

The group’s founder formed Stand Up Michigan, creating a new Facebook page and website to continue the effort. He had previously supported Manke’s reopening.[5] Individuals commenting on the Michigan Home Guard Recruitment Facebook page in support of Manke, and potentially seeking to join the militia, would choose the new Stand Up Michigan logo as their Facebook profile photo.[6]

In the vernacular of much of the COVID-19 insurrection, the Michigan Home Guard casts itself as a “non radical unit that was created for the protection of the people in Michigan and the United States and her constitution. We are not a racist, radical, right wing organization.”[7]   Formed in 2014, by 2017 the group began describing itself as “the Michigan branch of 3%ERS, a national group of 24k+.”[8] Touting itself “Michigan’s biggest and most active militia,” in September 2016 the group took part in a statewide “Militia’s (sic) of Michigan Leadership Meeting” in Okemos, boasting that “We are very happy to be a part of the regrouping of Michigan’s militias. We are still separate entities but we work and train together for the betterment of our state.”[9]

Michigan Home Guard at March 2020 Training

Despite its proclamation of not being a “racist, radical, right wing organization,” the Michigan Home Guard exhibits the far-right roots of the militia movement. Photographs from a late 2019 militia training show the group displaying patches of the Oath Keepers, exhibiting a willingness to sport the name of an organization known for promoting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim bigotry and taking part in anti-Muslim events.[10] In 2017 the group promoted a Second Amendment rally, which they shared to the Tea Party Patriots of Michigan Facebook page.[11]

In response to the very post in which MHG declared themselves, “not a racist, radical, right wing organization,” an individual asked, “Can I still sport a Confederate patch, although my beloved nephew is of a different color lol! I still fight the same!” Militia Home Guard member Don Church responded “Heck ya were (sic) not racist. The racist’s (sic) are racist.” The History of the Michigan Home Guard Facebook paged “liked” the request of a potential recruit to wear the badge of the Civil War-era slave state.[12]

Militias and the “Reopen” Mobilization

While the Michigan Home Guard’s armed mobilization, apparent embrace of Oath Keepers and willingness to endorse badges of the Confederacy may be shocking, in the context of the “Reopen” mobilization, they are not the least bit surprising.

From its inception, nationalist paramilitaries have been part and parcel of the broader insurrection effort. This has taken a variety of forms. “Reopen” groups and their members have supported militias and their actions, including boosting specific militia groups. Militia members have appeared as members of “reopen” groups, sometimes actively engaging in recruitment efforts in these generally private Facebook networks. Militia leaders and advocates have promoted “reopen” events, at times appearing as featured speakers or adopting security roles. And some militias have offered their services, a la the Michigan Home Guard, to rally to the armed defense of businesses defying COVID-19 restrictions.

The conflict over the Michigan barber shop reopening saw an uptick in one variety of the symbiotic relationship between the “reopen” mobilization and armed militias – that of “reopen” groups and their members voicing support for militias.

The administrator for the Reopen Springfield Missouri group posted an article about the MHG action, writing, “I support this business.”[13] Reopen America HQ posted a similar article with the hashtag “#Reopen Revolt.”[14] Tom Toby, an administrator for Reopen NC – New Hanover County, posted an article about the MHG action, commenting “Maybe the time has come…”[15]

Members of online “reopen” groups have also voiced support for the Michigan Home Guard action. A member of Reopen SC posted an article about MHG’s action, writing “AWESOME!!!”[16] A member of Reopen West Virginia posted a similar article, declaring that, “Things are heating up – The USA is a country founded on the idea of individual liberty; not on the idea of what is good for the collective. People’s patience for tyranny is running slim.”[17] A member of Reopen Pennsylvania posted such an article, asking “Where’s PA’s militia?” Another member responded, “Have you heard of the pa lightfoot militia. Just started talking to them. They have groups throughout the state.” Another member of the group indicated that they train with the North Carolina III%.[18] Members of other groups followed suit, including Ohioans Against Mandatory Masks, Reopen Washington State – #ReopenWA, and Re-Open Nevada.[19]

Support for nationalist paramilitaries in “reopen” groups, however, did not come just in connection to the Michigan barber shop confrontation. A moderator of Let Us Go Back to Work!!!!!!Enough is Enough!! posted a photo of armed activists, declaring “Why it’s important to keep an armed militia in society.”[20] Jonathan Sandlin, an administrator for Reopen America, posed the question, “Have you ever seen a fully armed protest shutdown? That’s why.” Multiple members responded favorably, specifically referencing the late April armed mobilization in Lansing, Michigan.[21]

Scott Koch, administrator for Reopen Arizona, posted a story about Ammon Bundy’s armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016, writing, “Something to think about when the city/government says they own the property.”[22]  Jamison Williams, administrator for Reopen California, echoed the core nationalist myth of the Three Percenters, writing, “Did you know that only 3 percent of all Americans fought for our FREEDOM against the British…We must not back down!!! Stay strong patriots…The fight has just begun.”[23]

Members of “reopen” groups have also promoted specific militias, militias generally, embraced their core identities, or claimed to be members themselves. A member of FULLY REOPEN CA NOW MOVEMENT posted an image of California State Militia Second Regiment leader Timothy “Piper” Brown, writing “The California State militia is on our side.” Another member posted some of the same images, declaring, “This is how we protest.”[24]

A member of Reopen Florida! promoted the Three Percent Republic of Florida as a “freedom fighter group,” while a member of Reopen Pennsylvania distributed the response of the South Carolina Lightfoot Militia Special Response Team to the late April Michigan protest, the group declaring “Outstanding!!!!!! armed protesters just stormed the state capitol building to confront Representatives now there’s a standoff between State Capitol Police and the armed protestors.”[25] A member of Reopen SC also posted information about the South Carolina Light Foot Militia Special Response Team, while a member of Reopen Montana posted contact information for the Lightfoot Militia.[26]

A member of ReOpen Nebraska claimed to be “one of the militia leaders here in Nebraska” and called for members to attend an April 25 “reopen” event in Lincoln.[27] A member of Reopen Missouri declared that, “We are the 3 percent that will fight to keep America free and not be pushed around by communist (sic).”[28] And a member of Reopen Texas circulated a request from a Freeport, Texas bar owner for “3%ers, Militia and Patriots to come secure her business which she opened today.”[29]

A member of both Reopen South Carolina 100% and III% Security Force boasted about performing security for an early May “reopen” rally, posting an image of militia members displaying the “OK” symbol that the Anti-Defamation League has included in its Hate Symbols Database.[30]

A member of Reopen of Catawba Valley (RCV) shared material from the North Carolina Minutemen and demonstrated the extensive paramilitary connections of some “reopen” activists, writing that, the Minutemen were “acting as a Liaison to bring together all NC Patriot groups for a meet and greet. We now have Militia, Light foot militia, Sons of Liberty, Sons of inherited liberty and APIII involved.” The individual encouraged other RCV members to contact the Minutemen.[31]And a member of Reopen USA posted recruitment material from the Patriot Legion Militia.[32]

Additional “reopen” groups with members promoting or praising militias, or mirroring their core myths (such as that of the Three Percenters), included Reopen America, Reopen NH, Reopen Colorado, ReOPEN Nebraska, Reopen USA, Citizens to Reopen California NOW, REOPEN AMERICA, Reopen California, Reopen Nevada Now!!!, ReOpen Iowa, Reopen NJ, Reopen Washington State, and ReOpen Ohio.[33]

When a member of Reopen California inquired “Does anyone have information on militias in Northern California?,” one member responded, “I’m ready to join. I have had just about enough of these demoRats, and illegal aliens.”  Another recommended that they look into Oath Keepers, while several others posted information about the California State Militia.[34]

A member of Reopen Minnesota who asked,  “Does Minnesota have a militia (sic)” was met with similar responses, including “Let’s start one” and “Lets (sic) do it.” Other members posted information about the III% United Patriots of Minnesota and the River Valley Patriots.[35]

Mike Dunn shared a post to ReOpen Halifax County announcing that he is the “founder of an organization that helps builds militias.” He continued, “Virginia Knights, 7,800 strong, stand in full support of reopening Halifax County Virginia, we will provide to the best of our ability, fully armed and trained citizens of Halifax County to ANY business, or place of worship, to stand guard over said business and defend said business against any entity that would desire to shut said business down. We have 5 squads (20 firearms) on standby to support any business wishing to open back up…This is an official statement.”[36]

Militia advocates organizing and headlining events

Overlooked in the discussion of the “reopen” mass mobilization is how these protests were kicked off by a far-right militia figure famous for previous armed confrontations with public officials. Ammon Bundy, the Idaho far-right leader known for his involvement in an armed standoff with the federal government in early 2016 at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at his dad’s Nevada ranch in 2014, was among the first to loudly and publicly declare a “liberty rebellion” against stay-at-home orders.

Bundy helped kick-off the “reopen” mobilization by hosting a small Easter service in an Emmet, Idaho warehouse on April 12. That service, though much smaller in attendance than the “1,000” Bundy predicted, became an act of defiance heard around the country.[37]

Two weeks later, Bundy led a protest outside of the home of a police officer. The officer had arrested an anti-vaxxer activist for misdemeanor trespassing after she refused to leave a closed playground in Meridian, Idaho. In video of that protest, a police officer could be heard telling the group the playground equipment was closed, but they could play in the grassy area. The anti-vaxxer activist repeatedly refused to leave the playground, and was ultimately taken into custody after she told the officer to arrest her. The same day, Bundy held a meeting in Emmett, where he called for more protests. Bundy publicly shared the addresses of the police officer, Idaho Governor Brad Little and Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen.[38]

Bundy announced that they were going to put them “on notice” and “serve” all three with a 13-page complaint against the stay-at-home orders. The act of “serving” pseudo-legal complaints to intimidate public officials has been a tactic in far-right paramilitary circles going back to the days of the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s.

Bundy has become a folk hero to many in the “reopen” protest mobilization, with videos of his activities circulating widely through “reopen” groups on Facebook. Bundy was even given a prominent speaking slot at an early May “reopen” event in Boise, Idaho.[39]

Ammon Bundy at May 2 “Reopen” Rally in Boise, Idaho

On top of the examples of the Michigan Home Guard and Ammon Bundy, confrontations in support of businesses defying COVID-19 restrictions have taken place in several Texas towns, including at a Dallas hair salon, East Texas tattoo studio and “at least a half dozen cases around the state,” according to the New York Times.[40]

And in addition to militia advocacy taking place inside “reopen” groups, militia organizers and advocates have also actively joined the broader COVID-19 insurrection, at times playing a lead role at such “reopen” events. Christian nationalist Washington State Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) spoke along with Washington State Three Percent leader Matt Marshall and far right figure Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer at a May 9 “Hazardous Liberty” event in Olympia, Washington.[41] Shea is an advocate of paramilitary organization who has intervened to support armed standoffs with the federal government. He is also an anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ bigot. A mid-April “reopen” rally in Olympia, Washington had been organized by Tyler Miller, a Kitsap County-based Republican Party activist who had authored a resolution defending Shea when the state GOP removed him from their caucus for his paramilitary activity.[42]

Matt Shea also took part in a rally in Spokane, Washington. Members of the Eastern Washington Lightfoot militia and America Patriots III% were present at the event, according to the Spokesman Review. A leader of the Lightfoot militia claimed the group was providing security. Members of the Liberty State secession effort, a project supported by Shea, were also present. Others wore T-shirts from the far right America Redoubt and the anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering Infowars.[43]

Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes spoke at May 2 and May 9 rallies in Texas, slated to speak at the later with Christian nationalist “historian” David Barton.[44]

In a vein similar to the Michigan Home Guard, other militias have offered their services to business owners willing to defy state-at-home orders. As of May 1, the Oregon Patriots Militia announced that it “will officially be offering armed private business protection against State Troopers and local police looking to write up fines and keep people inside.” The group also promoted a “reopen” event.[45]

In addition to speaking at rallies and providing security, far right militias or their members have also promoted “reopen” events and/or the cause. This has included official promotion and/or attendance at such events or actions by the Oath Keepers (national), Washington State Militia, Virginia Militia – Rockingham County, Northern Nevada Militia, 7 Bravo III% Militia, Oath Keepers of Long Island, New York, North Carolina Oath Keepers, Nebraska Constitutional State Militia, Oath Keepers of Michigan, Eastern Washington Lightfoot militia and America Patriots III%, VA’s Constitutional Militia, Stokes County Militia, and the Three Percent Republic – Nevada.[46]

Tara Brandau of the Florida III% Security Force appeared at a Kentucky rally, taking the opportunity to be photographed with State Representative Savannah Maddox (R-Dry Ridge). Brandau has also been affiliated with the white nationalist League of the South, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.[47] Individuals with Three Percenter emblems were recorded at protests in Spokane, Washington, Lansing, Michigan, Pahrump, Nevada, Concord, New Hampshire and Columbus, Ohio.[48]

Three Percenter Tara Brandau and Kentucky State Representative Savannah Maddox

At least one miliita officially promoting “reopen” events has gone even further that the Michigan Home Guard’s embrace of those that might wear Confederate patches – the MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia:[49]

Other such groups with members promoting “reopen” events or actions include the NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia and FLORIDA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia.[50]

Not including militia groups officially endorsing “reopen” events and actions, members of non-Confederate paramilitary groups have also supported such activity. A member of the private Facebook group of the U.S. Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia wrote,

“All of the Militia Commanders NEED to Communicate with other Commanders and Develop a Battle Plan. Beginning with Protest, Defending Businesses that want to Open and if Necessary proceeding Onto a (sic) Operation Battle plan…When the Cops Fire the First Shot.. We Wipe them out like Rabid Dogs…We NEED a Bloody War against Leftists Liberal Politicians Screwing up the USA.”[51]

Another member of the same group wrote, “Get your ass back to work…Hang Your Governor.”[52] One more member of the same group promoted an event featuring Ammon Bundy.[53]

A member of Oath Keepers of Elkhart IN attempted to recruit other members to support barber shops opening in defiance of state restrictions.[54] Other militias with members promoting “reopen” events and/or the reopen cause have included the Oregon State Militia, Arizona III%, North Carolina Oath Keepers, Union of Three Percenter American Patriots, Indiana Militia, Oath Keepers of Massachusetts (MAOK), West Virginia Oath Keepers, Florida Minutemen, New Minutemen III%, APIII-American Patriot the III%, Virginia Militia, Colorado Unorganized Constitutional Militia, NEOK Green County Militia, III% Security for Intel, and Three Percent Republic – Nevada. [55]

A Reopen California member shared a video by Richard Mack, the former Graham County, Arizona sheriff and advocate of militia organizing who heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.[56]

Far right activists Haley Adams, who has appeared at multiple protests alongside Patriot Prayer and Proud Boy activists, promoted a reopen event as an online member of the Oregon State Militia page. She later attended the event in Seaside, Oregon.[57]

Finally, while a specific militia affiliation is unknown, armed activists were reported present, photographed or video-recorded at events in Concord, New Hampshire; San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Dover, Delaware; Indianapolis, Indiana; Frankfort, Kentucky; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Carson City, Nevada; Columbus, Ohio; Salem, Oregon; Raleigh, North Carolina and Boise, Idaho.[58]

“Reopen” and the Boogaloo

Some involved in promoting “reopen” events and activity have also promoted the idea of the “boogaloo,” the name used by militia activists for the pending civil war that some among them view coming. This strand of militia ideology is sometimes referred to as “blue igloo.” Boogalooers, sometimes called “Boogaloo bois,” are also known to wear “Hawaiian shirts” at rallies and wave flags featuring images of igloos.

A member of the REOPEN Wake County describing himself as the “chapter president for Johnston County” announced in the organization’s private group that he was “authorized by a separate group of Patriots who call themselves ‘Blue Igloo’, to release the following press release on their behalf about an event they have scheduled for tomorrow morning (May 1st).” The event referred to an armed march in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.[59]

Other members of “reopen” group have also promoted the boogaloo and the idea that civil war is impending. Examples from Reopen Texas and Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine appear below:

A member of Reopen NH mentions that “boogaloo bois” were present at a New Hampshire event, while a member of Kentuckians Against Excessive Quarantine promoted Boogaloo material in that group.[60] Indications of Boogaloo presence were reported in the press at events in Olympia, Washington, Raleigh, North Carolina and East Texas.

Militias, Far Right Mobilizations and Violence

The political mobilization of far right nationalist paramilitaries, and their attendant ideologies, has long been associated with violence. This legacy has been a seen all too often in the 25 years since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a terrorist act itself motivated by the confluence between white nationalist and militia activism.

The connection between the ongoing COVID-19 insurrection and the ever-present threat of violence reared its head in Colorado on May 1 when Bradley Bunn was arrested for possessing bombs and bomb-making material, telling federal agents he intended to use them at a “reopen” event in that state.[62] In March, Timothy Wilson was shot and killed in Belton, Missouri as FBI agents moved to arrest him in connection to an alleged plot to bomb a Kansas City hospital because patients there were being treated for COVID-19. Wilson had previously discussed bombing a mosque, synagogue and a group of black students, according to the FBI.[63]

Governors and mayors in several states have received death threats in connection to coronavirus restrictions, leading to arrests in both Washington and Michigan.[64]As described at the outset, the Michigan legislature cancelled the legislative session after threats were directed at Governor Gretchen Whitmer by members of the Facebook group, Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine.[65]

In Washington State, citizens who reported violations of COVID-19 restrictions also reported receiving threats after Reopen Washington State and the Washington State Three Percenters published their personal information. On its website, the Three Percenters, whose leader Matt Marshall had spoken at an Olympia “reopen” rally with militia advocate Matt Shea, announced that “God fearing Patriots” had this message: “Want to snitch on your neighbor? Don’t expect to hide behind you (sic) computer screen.”[66]

Whether all of these events are connected to specific militias remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that it is impossible at present to separate the mobilization of armed, nationalist paramilitaries from the broader “reopen” mobilization. The militias share overlapping ideologies and political enemies with the Tea Partiers, Trump supporters, and groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, that have also populated the mobilization.

And no national or state “reopen” group of which IREHR is aware has condemned the presence of armed far rightists in their midst.

As we have clearly seen above, a number of such groups have actively embraced paramilitary politics.



[1] Balingit, Moriah. Armed militia helped a Michigan barbershop open, a coronavirus defiance that puts Republican lawmakers in a bind. Washington Post. May 12, 2020.

[2] Beckett, Lois. Armed demonstrators demonstrate against COVID-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol. The Guardian. April 30, 2020. ; Egert, Denie. Facebook. Post to Oath Keepers. April 30, 2020.; Michigan Home Guard Recruitment. Facebook. April 30, 2020.

[3] Polehanki, Dayna. Twitter. April 30, 2020.

[4] Villareal, Daniel. Michigan Closes Down Capitol in Face of Death Threats from Armed Protestors Against Gov. Whitmer. Newsweek. May 14, 2020.

[5] McClallen, Scott. Facebook shuts down Michigan anti-quarantine group. The Center Square. May 13, 2020.

[6] See Michigan Home Guard Recruitment. Facebook. January 5, 2020. ; Michigan Home Guard Recruitment. Facebook. May 10, 2020.;

[7] History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. August 25, 2016.

[8] History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. June 7, 2017.; History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. About.

[9] History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. August 21, 2016.

[10] Michigan Home Guard Recruitment. Facebook. December 23, 2019.

[11] History of Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. February 9, 2017.

[12] History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. August 25, 2016.; for Don Church’s membership in the group , see History of the Michigan Home Guard. Facebook. July 15, 2018.

[13] Reopen Springfield  Missouri. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[14] See Re-Open Nevada. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[15] Reopen NC – New Hanover County. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[16] REOPEN SC. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[17] Reopen West Virginia. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[18] Reopen Pennsylvania. Facebook. May 11, 2020.

[19] Ohioans Against Mandatory Masks. Facebook. May 11, 2020.; Reopen Washington State – #Reopen WA. May 11, 2020.; Re-Open Nevada. Facebook. May 11, 2020.;

[20] Let Us Go Back to Work!!!!!!Enough is Enough!! Facebook. April 15, 2020.

[21] Reopen USA. Facebook. May 1, 2020.

[22] Reopen Arizona. Facebook. April 26, 2020.

[23] Reopen California. Facebook. April 28, 2020.

[24] FULLY REOPEN CA MOVEMENT NOW. Facebook. May 10 2020.; May 11, 2020.

[25] Reopen Pennsylvania. April 30, 2020; Reopen Florida! Facebook. April 29, 2020.

[26]Reopen Montana. Facebook. April 26, 2020.;  Reopen SC. Facebook. April 20, 2020.

[27] Reopen Nebraska. Facebook. April 20, 2020.

[28] Reopen Missouri. Facebook. April 22, 2020.

[29] Reopen Texas. April 30, 2020.

[30] Anti-Defamation League. “OK” and Other Alt Right Memes and Slogans Added to ADL”s Hate Symbols Database.; Reopen South Carolina 100%. Facebook. May 8, 2020.;

[31] Reopen Catawba Valley. Facebook. May 10, 2020.

[32] Reopen USA. Facebook. April 26, 2020.

[33]ReOpen Ohio. Facebook. May 5, 2020.; Reopen Washington State. Facebook. May 6, 2020.; Reopen NJ. Facebook. May 10, 2020.; ReOpen Iowa. Facebook. May 11, 2020.; Reopen California. Facebook. May 2, 2020.; Reopen Nevada Now!!!. Facebook. April 19, 2020.; REOPEN AMERICA. Facebook. April 25, 2020.; Citizens to Reopen California NOW. Facebook. May 1, 2020.; Reopen USA. Facebook. May 1, 2020.; ReOpen Nebraska. Facebook. April 20, 2020.; Reopen America. Facebook. April 30, 2020.; Reopen NH. Facebook. April 30, 2020. ; Reopen Colorado. Facebook. April 23, 2020.

[34] Reopen California. Facebook. April 28, 2020.

[35] Reopen Minnesota. Facebook. April 14, 2020.

[36] Mike Dunn. Shared to Reopen Halifax County Virginia. Facebook. May 4, 2020.

[37] Siegler, Kirk. In Idaho, Far Right Republicans Defy Cornavirus Health Restrictions. NPRWBEZ 91.5. April 13, 2020.

[38] Terhune, Katie, “Ammon Bundy publishes address, stages protest at home of Meridian officer behind playground arrest.” KTVB7 News. April 24, 2020.

[39] US Militia Norther Command – America’s Militia. Facebook. May 3, 2020.

[40] Fernandez, Manny and David Montgomery. Businesses Chafing Under Covid-19 Lockdowns Turn to Armed Defiance. New York Times. May 13, 2020.

[41] The Washington 3%. Facebook. May 10, 2020.

[42] Wilson, Jason. The far right groups behind a wave of protests against COVID-19 restrictions. The Guardian. April 17, 2020.

[43] White, Rebecca and Jared Brown. Hundreds protest stay-home order at courthouse, shout down politicians hoping to reopen the economy. Spokane Spokesman Review. May 1, 2020.

[44] Reopen California. Facebook. May 2, 2020.

[45] Oregon Patriots Militia. Facebook. April 26, 2020.; April 27, 2020. ; White, Rebecca and Jared Brown. Hundreds protest stay-home order at courthouse, shout down politicians hoping to reopen the economy. Spokane Spokesman Review. May 1, 2020.

[46] Three Percent Republic – Nevada. Facebook. Events.; Stokes County Militia. Facebook. Arpil 27, 2020.;  VA’s Constiutional Militia. Facebook. May 1, 2020.; OathKeepers of Michigan. Facebook. April 19, 2020.; Reopen Nebraska. Facebook. April 29, 2020.; North Carolina Oath Keepers. Facebook. Events.; Washington State Militia. Facebook. Events.; Virginia Militia – Rockingham County. Facebook. April 27, 2020.; Northern Nevada Militia. Facebook. April 25, 2020.; 7 Bravo III% Militia. Facebook. April 17, 2020. , ; Oath Keepers. Facebook. Events. Accessed April 30, 2020.

[47] Hale, Joe. Coronavirus Roundup: Beshar calls comments made by elected leaders at protests ‘reckless.’  Louisville Courier Journal. May 3, 2020.; Photo is from Jeff Hoover. Twitter. May 3, 2020.

[48] Reuters. Americans protest coronavirus restrictions. May 1, 2020.; MSNBC. May 1, 2020.; Hebrock, Robin. Reopen Nevada rally in Pahrump, another scheduled for Saturday. Pahrump Valley Times.  May, 6, 2020. ; 4WBZCBS Boston. Hundreds Protest NH Coronavirus Stay-at-Home Order. May 2, 2020.; Anderson, Natasha. Armed protestors gathered outside statehouse demand DeWine reopen Ohio. May 1, 2020. Fox8.

[49] MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia. Facebook. April 29, 2020.

[50] FLORIDA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia. Facebook. April 15, 2020.; NORTH CARONLINA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia. April 24, 2020.

[51] US Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia. Facebook. May 13, 2020.,

[52] US Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia. Facebook. April 29, 2020.

[53] US Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia. Facebook. May 3, 2020.

[54] Oath Keepers of Elkhart IN. Facebook. April 22, 2020.

[55]Three Percent Republic – Nevada. Facebook. May 3, 2020.;  III% Security Force Intel. May 6, 2020.; NEOK Green County Militia. Facebook. April 16, 2020.; Colorado Unorganized Constitutional Militia. Facebook. April 15, 2020.; Virginia Militia. Facebook. April 25, 2020.;  APIII-American Patriot the III%, Old School. Facebook.; New Minutemen III%. Facebook. April 23, 2020.;  Florida Minutemen. Facebook. April 21, 2020.;   West Virginia Oath Keepers. Facebook. April 26, 2020.; Oath Keepers of Massachusetts (MAOK). Facebook. April 24, 2020.; Indiana Militia. Facebook. April 23, 2020. ; Union of Three Percenter American Patriots. Facebook. April 19, 2020.;  Oregon State Militia. Facebook. April 17, 2020.;  Arizona III%. Facebook. April 24, 2020. ; North Carolina Oath Keepers. Facebook. April 23, 2020. ; Oath Keepers of Long Island, New York. April 27, 2020.

[56] Reopen California. Facebook. May 1, 2020.

[57] Oregon State Militia. Facebook. May 7, 2020.;  Levinson, Jonathan. Far-Right Groups Plan Rally To Reopen The Oregon Coast. Oregon Public Broadcasting. May 14, 2020.; for more on Haley Adams, see Zielinski, Ales. Undercover in Patriot Prayer. Portland Mercury. August 26, 2019.; Wilson, Jason. Arrests and clashes as rival right and left rallies descend on Portland again. The Guardian. November 18, 2018.

[58] Gieson, Chaco and Karl Mondon. Photos: Angry protestors defy coronavirus state-at-home orders around US. The Mercury News. May 2, 2020.; Curtis, Chelsea and Kaila White. About 500 gather at the capitol to protest stay-at-home order. Arizona Republic. May 3, 2020.; Reuters. Americans protest coronavirus restrictions. May 1, 2020.; Tuohy, John. Staty-at-home critics chastise Holcomb at Statehouse protest. Indianapolis Star.   May 2, 2020.; Loosemore, Baily et al. 1,000 people protest Beshear’s coronavirus rules. Courier Journal. May 2,2020.; MPRNews. Photos: Protestors Circle Minnesota Capitol to protest stay-at-home orders. May 2, 2020.; Rindels, Michelle. Protesters outside governor’s mansion in Carson City attract police presence. The Nevada Independent.  May 2, 2020.; Anderson, Natasha. Armed protesters gathered outside statehouse demand DeWine reopen Ohio. May 1, 2020. Fox8.; The Oregonian. Protesters rally to ‘reopen’ Oregon, lobby against state-at-home-order. May 2, 2020.; Staff and wire reports. Protestors in NH, Maine call for an end of COVID-19 restrictions. Edge Radio. May 2, 2020.; Shaffer, Josh and Andrew Carter. Armed group marches in downtown Raleigh to protest coronavirus stay-at-home order. The News & Observer. May 1, 2020.

[59] Reopen Wake County. Facebook. April 30, 2020.

[60] Justin Smith. Shared to Kentuckians Against Excessive Quarantine. May 7, 2020; Charles Matthew. Shared to Reopen NH. May 1, 2020.

[61] Associated Press. Virus Restrictions Fuel Anti-government ‘Boogaloo’ Movement. VOA. May 13, 2020.; Fernandez, Manny and David Montgomery. Businesses Chafing Under Covid-19 Lockdowns Turn to Armed Defiance. New York Times. May 13, 2020.

[62] Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint. U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. May 2, 2020; U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Brief in Support of Motion to Restrict. May 3, 2020.

[63] Kosnar, Michael and Phil Helsel. FBI says man killed in Missouri wanted to bomb hospital amid coronavirus epidemic. NBC News. March 27, 2020.

[64] Mele, Christopher. Man Faces Terrorism Charge After Threatening to Kill Michigan’s Governor, Officials Say. New York Times. May 15, 2020.; Bryan, Zachariah. Man charged in death threat to Inslee over COVID-19 response. HeraldNet. April 29, 2020.; Groppe, Maureen. Facing death threats and no pay, majors are on the front-line of the coronavirus pandemic. USA Today. May 26, 2020.

[65] Villareal, Daniel. Michigan Closes Down Capitol in Face of Death Threats from Armed Protesters Against Gov. Whitmer. Newsweek. May 14, 2020.

[66] O’Sullivan, Joseph and Jim Brunner. Washington residents report threats after naming businesses that could be violating coronavirus rules. The Seattle Times. May 9, 2020.

Chuck Tanner and Devin Burghart

Author Chuck Tanner and Devin Burghart

Chuck Tanner is IREHR's research director. Devin Burghart is the executive director of IREHR.

More posts by Chuck Tanner and Devin Burghart