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Pamela Hemphill, an early activist in the People’s Rights network, was charged yesterday for her role in the January 6th nationalist insurrection in Washington D.C.

Hemphill of Boise, Idaho, is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, an anti-vaxxer, and an early opponent of COVID-19 related public health measures. She was charged in federal court with four misdemeanor counts, including violent entry or disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct in a restricted building.[1]

Hemphill’s involvement in the violent actions at the U.S. Capitol surfaced after she posted a video filmed inside the Capitol building on Facebook.[2] In the lead-up to the Capitol riot, Hemphill had declared, “It’s not going to be a FUN Trump Rally that is planned for January 6th, its (sic) a WAR!”[3]

Though Pam Hemphill is reported to have distanced herself from the group in recent months, her involvement in the People’s Rights network stretches back to at least the April 9th, 2020 meeting at which Ammon Bundy first publicly floated the name “People’s Rights” for the then-emerging group.

At the meeting, Hemphill live-streamed an interview with Bundy, asking him the event’s purpose. Bundy responded that it was aimed at “organizing to assist individuals to claim, use, and defend their rights” – a refrain that would become a slogan for the far-right group.[4]

By this time, Hemphill had already begun promoting the group’s main text-based outreach tool.[5] In March 2020, Hemphill supported Ammon Bundy’s opposition to COVID-19 related restrictions, declaring, “WE Love You Ammon Bundy for all you do for our Country.”[6]

Pam Hemphill and Ammon Bundy

Pam Hemphill and Ammon Bundy

Hemphill’s posts in the lead-up to January 6th were not the first time the far-right activist had expressed the idea that her movement was at war with its political enemies. In May 2020, Hemphill had written,

“We are at WAR. The leftist wants a socialist country, PERIOD. They’re using the virus as a way to close businesses down in the name of ‘it’s for public safety. (sic) The bottom line is they want Trump out of office, at any cost…It will be a war between Leftist and the Right. The government is setting us up for division through contract tracing and forcing employees to wear mask.”[7]

Pam Hemphill - We are at war

Pam Hemphill – We are at war

Hemphill also took up the spurious and antisemitic comparison between Hitler’s Germany and COVID-19 policies, declaring them to be a “NAZI tactic” carried out by “Brownshirts.” Such comparisons are common among People’s Rights activists, including Ammon Bundy. Hemphill has also been an opponent of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to address police racism and violence in the U.S., absurdly calling the group “racist” and promoting a “Back the Blue” rally to counter BLM in Boise in June 2020.[8]

Pam Hemphill is also an opponent of indigenous-led efforts to address treaty rights violations and environmental justice issues, authoring a 2019 book assailing the participants in the mobilization to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and defend the treaty-protected resources of the Standing Rock Sioux.

In a video from the April 9th, 2020 incipient People’s Rights event, Hemphill assailed tribal gaming, a manifestation of tribal sovereignty, oddly linking it to her view that COVID-19 was deceptively framed and is simply a “flu”:

“It’s a flu. Of course they want to put a name on it, Corona virus 19, so it scares you to death. Just like the Native Americans did that with gambling. They changed it to “gaming.” Names are changed in order to get your attention. And then…use fear. Fear is the biggest thing, weapon, that somebody who wants to control you can use.” [9]

Hemphill’s far-right activism had preceded the April 9th event, foreshadowing an affinity for the kind of violence that burst into the national headlines on January 6th. In March 2020, Hemphill had joined Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson at a pro-Trump rally in front of the Idaho Capitol building. Hemphill wrote, “I’m so proud to stand with Joey Gibson and our wonderful patriot friends who stand with God…Like Joey Gibson’s page ‘Patriot Prayer.’”[10]


Pam Hemphill and Joey Gibson

Pam Hemphill and Joey Gibson

Joey Gibson, who has been active with People’s Rights in southern Washington, is currently facing felony riot charges for his actions outside of the Cider Riot pub in Portland in 2019. Hemphill would post an update on the Cider Riot case, asking that people “Send letters in behalf of Joey Gibson to Trump asking him to intervene regarding his court case.”[11]

A day after the Boise state capitol event, Hemphill posted a photo of a Virginia militia speech, writing, “I am so proud of the Three Percenters.”[12] To date, at least 9 Three Percenters have been charged in relation to the Capitol insurrection.[13]

Hemphill’s People’s Rights activism would have her rub elbows with a number of the group’s key leaders. For example, at the April 9th, 2020 People’s Right event, Hemphill mugged for a photo with Diego Rodriquez, a Boise-based dominion theology advocate and an early People’s Rights activist like Hemphill.[14] In May 2020, Hemphill shared a video of Rodriquez, writing, “I have never been so proud to stand with a True Patriots (sic) Diego Rodriquez and Ammon Bundy.”[15] Hemphill also urged people to subscribe to the North Idaho Exposed YouTube channel of People’s Rights activist Casey Whalen.[16] Also in May 2020, Pam Hemphill traveled to California to speak on behalf of People’s Rights.[17]

Hemphill and Rodriquez

Hemphill and Rodriquez

Hemphill also promoted other far-rightists, including circulating a Redoubt News interview with Christian nationalist paramilitary advocate and former Washington State legislator Matt Shea.[18]

Pam Hemphill’s far-right activism also lead her to rub elbows with far-right Idaho State Representative Heather Scott at a June 2020 “Liberate America” event.[19] In September 2020, Scott praised the People’s Rights network during a virtual presentation. Scott told the group, “I should be clapping for you guys.”[20]

Leading up to January 6th, the People’s Rights network had encouraged members attending the event to use it as a recruiting tool.[21] Yvonne St. Cyr, who faces two misdemeanor charges in connection to the insurrection, is also reported to have attended People’s Rights meetings.[22] In addition, Ruby Lefeau, a Washington State-based People’s Rights activist (and close ally of the Proud Boys), participated in the January 6th protest in Washington D.C. but is not known to have participated in the Capitol riot.




[1] Scholl, Jacob. “A fifth Idahoan faces charges in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. She lives in Boise.” Idaho Statesman. August 3, 2021.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Reilly, Ryan J. Twitter. August 4, 2021.

[4] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. April 9, 2020.; Boone, Rebecca. “Boise woman charged in connection with Jan. 6 insurrection.” Associated Press. August 4, 2020.

[5] Hempill, Pam. Facebook. April 9, 2020.

[6] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. March 26, 2020.

[7] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. May 15, 2020.

[8] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. June 28, 2020.; Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. June 30, 2020.

[9] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. April 9, 2020.

[10] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. March 7, 2020.

[11]Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. March 7, 2020.

[12] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. March 8, 2020.

[13] Pulber, Dinah, Axon, Rachel, Wedell, Katie, Mansfield, Erin, Collier, Zschkina and Tyreye Morris. “Capitol riot arrests: See who’s been charged across the U.S.” USA Today. August 4, 2021.

[14] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. April 9, 2020.

[15] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. May 18, 2020.

[16] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. May 18, 2020.

[17] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. May 25, 2020.

[18] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. May 18, 2020.

[19] Hemphill, Pam. Facebook. June 18, 2020.;

[20] Suppe, Ryan. “Heather Scott praises Bundy group during Emmet meeting: ‘I should be clapping for you guys.’” Spokane Spokesman-Review. September 5, 2020.

[21] Boone, Rebecca. “Boise woman charged in connection with Jan. 6 insurrection.” Associated Press. August 4, 2020.

[22] Druzin, Heath. “Another Idahoan Charged in Connection with Jan. 6. U.S. Capitol Riot.” Boise State Public Radio. August 3, 2021.

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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