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Following a weekend rally on the Clark County Courthouse steps, about thirty-five far-right protesters mobilized in Clark County, Washington on June 22, demanding that the sheriff pledge to “protect” a fellow activist from legal consequences for opening her business in defiance of state COVID-19-related restrictions.

Patriot Prayer Fan Kelly Carroll

Leading the event was Three Percent of Washington online member Kelli Stewart, while Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson staffed the speaker system. Trina Visser, a Three Percenter who helped publicize the event online, was also present. Kelly Carroll, the Vancouver pet shop owner who was the day’s cause célèbre, appeared in a Patriot Prayer t-shirt.[1]

Online Threeper Kelli Stewart and Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson

As far-right protestors caustically responded to the Sheriff’s comments – who met with the group by phone – the event dipped into the annals of far-right paramilitaries.

Stewart criticized Clark County Sheriff David Atkin’s statement that he was required to enforce laws passed by the legislature as meaning “we’re not a constitutional republic, we’re a democracy.” This refrain has long animated Posse Comitatus and militia activists, who also claim that the Sheriff is the highest power in the county. Steward also declared that “the Clark County Sheriff is a coward.”

Throughout the event, attendees named-dropped far-right figures, including paramilitary leader Ammon Bundy and “constitutionalist” Krisanne Hall.[2] The hostility toward Sheriff Atkins continued even as he agreed with them on some principles; indicated he was using the restrictions to educate people, and not enforcing them; and agreed to hold a meeting with Kelly Carroll.

Kellie Stewart proclaimed that the only Sheriffs in the state on their side are Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney – both of whom have stated they would not enforce COVID-19 restrictions.[3] Songer has indicated he would potentially arrest state contact tracers for trespass and, both absurdly and offensively, compared Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 restrictions to the actions of German Nazi leader Adolph Hitler – a common refrain in far-right circles.[4]

After leaving the Sheriff’s office, the group marched to the home of Vancouver prosecutor Kevin McClure, giving out the address in a video, Stewart implying that he is “targeting Christians” and accusing him of treason. Earlier in the day, Stewart indicated she was willing to protest outside of Sheriff Atkin’s home as well.[5]

Three Percenter Trina Visser Trying to Dox Vancouver City Prosecutor.


As the event unfolded, comments on Facebook demonstrated the ideas behind and animated by the far-right mobilization, one commenter calling for dragging CSPOA, or Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association, into the mix – a reference to the organization of far-right paramilitary advocate Richard Mack.

On June 20, Joey Gibson headlined a protest featuring Kelly Carroll that was promoted by People’s Rights of Washington and in the Three Percent online group.[6] Both events appear to be steps in Gibson’s effort to convert his image from unhinged anti-anti-fascist street fighter into a so-called “constitutionalist.”


[1] See People’s Rights of Washington. Facebook. June 22, 2020.

[2] People’s Rights of Washington. Facebook. June 22, 2020.

[3] Marzeles, Lou. Klickitat Sheriff says COVID-19 restrictions unconstitutional. Goldendale Sentinel. May 19, 2020; King 5 Staff. Snohomish County Sheriff Faces Potential Recall for Defying Washington’s State-at-Home Order. King 5. May 5, 2020.

[4] Marzeles, Lou. Sheriff says Contract Tracing plan violates rights. The Goldendale Sentinel. May 27, 2020.

[5] People’s Rights of Washington. Facebook. June 22, 2020.

[6] Gibson, Joey. Facebook. June 20, 2020.

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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