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Chapter Four:

A Den of Rattlesnakes

Ammon’s Army: Inside the Far-Right People’s Rights Network

Chapter Four:

A Den of Rattlesnakes

People's Rights, Violence, Militias, & Far-Right Street Fighters

Despite all the talk of “rights” and “freedom,” 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.

“Even though I hesitate to compare us to rattlesnakes, right, we do on the Gadsden Flag certainly have a snake and it says ‘don’t tread on me’ well we’re going to flip that around because what we want to become, what we will become, we are going to be like a den of rattlesnakes—because we will be so venomous if our rights are even threatened one bit, we will be venomous. So people that would normally simply trample on rights will simply walk around us. They will go around because it is not worth their effort. They don’t want to get bit.”[34]

Not surprisingly, that sort of rhetoric has attracted numerous militia members, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and other far-right paramilitary types to People’s Rights.

Report researchers documented that state and area People’s Rights leaders have been members of at least 31 different Militia-type Facebook groups (militias, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, patriot, minutemen, etc.).[35] This includes memberships in groups like APIII-American Patriots the III% Old School, III% United Patriots, LFA III% Washington, Montana Militia, North Cascades Patriots, Oregon III%, Southern California Patriots, Southwest Missouri Militia, Washington III%, and the Washington State Militia.

Membership in militia-type groups is even more pronounced among People’s Rights Facebook group members. Report researchers found that 756 members of People’s Rights various Facebook groups are members of one or more of 203 different militia-type Facebook groups.[36] One member of Open Carry UTAH- OCU (An arm of, for instance, is Mark “from Michigan” Koernke, one of the most notorious militia leaders of the 1990s.[37]

Additionally, twenty-two members of People’s Rights Facebook groups were members of one or more of the Facebook groups dedicated to Matt Shea’s secessionist “Liberty State” effort.[38] In 2019, a state House report found that Shea “planned and participated in domestic terrorism against the United States before and during the armed takeover at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”[39]

In addition to the ties to far-right paramilitaries, there are People’s Rights area assistants who have been members of the Facebook group of Patriot Prayer, the group known for violent street clashes and Islamophobic rallies. Peoples Rights Oregon area 3 assistant, Jill Litzsinger, and Washington area 4 assistant, Kelli Stewart, were both members of the Patriot Prayer Facebook group (before it was removed from the platform). Throughout the summer at People’s Rights protests in Washington, Patriot Prayer founder, Joey Gibson, was a frequent featured speaker. Gibson is awaiting trial on felony riot charges after Patriot Prayer members attacked a group of anti-fascists in Portland.[40] [For more on Joey Gibson, select his profile]

Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer with Kelli Stewart. 

Patriot Prayer’s anti-left fanaticism is reflected in some members wearing t-shirts declaring that “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong,” according to press reports. This refers to the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who came to power through a CIA-backed military coup that overthrew democratically-elected President Salvador Allende. After seizing power, the Pinochet regime launched a campaign of brutal repression against left opposition.[41]

Patriot Prayer events have often included members of the racist reactionary group, the Proud Boys, in the crowd. Since their creation in 2016, the Proud Boys have become infamous for their racism, misogyny, and acts of street violence. People’s Rights activists have not shied away from the violence and racism of the Proud Boys.

During the presidential debate on September 30, President Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back” and “stand by.” While the Proud Boys were busy gaining new members and selling T-shirts with their newfound fame, a member of the People’s Rights Idaho Facebook group posted an image of the Proud Boys logo wrapped by that phrase, to which the activist attached the note, “That’s right!”[42] Another member added, “Good advice for all of us.”[43]

On August 31, People’s Rights Oregon area 1 assistant, Amanda Vital, circulated an announcement for September 26 Proud Boys rally in Portland.[44] The advertisement included the phrase “Free Kyle Rittenhouse,” the far-rightist who killed two Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

At least one People’s Rights area assistant has a history around the Proud Boys. Alicia Peterson, an Idaho area 3 assistant, posted pictures with Proud Boys in September 2017.[45]

People’s Rights activists have sought out conflict on playgrounds, in stores, and government buildings. On August 10, after being asked to wear a mask at Costco, and refusing to do so, People’s Rights leader Ammon Bundy said in a Facebook video, “You can’t even go to the store without feeling like a 1933 Jew…I mean I really can sympathize with them a little bit.”[46]

Later in the month, Bundy was arrested twice for refusing to leave an area of the Idaho Statehouse. In one of the episodes, Bundy and a group, none wearing community-protecting masks, was reported to have shoved police officers and broken a glass door to gain entry. Bundy would be banned from the building for one year.[47]

Ammon Bundy and cohorts showed up at a high school football game in Caldwell, Idaho on October 1. He and his group were asked to wear a mask, just like everyone else. They refused to wear a mask or leave Caldwell High property. They were given the option of watching the game from the park. They refused and became disruptive. After “a threat to the safety of the school was made” the school district was forced to end the game at halftime.[48] Bundy and his group frequently use force or threatening actions, to disrupt, postpone, or shut down public events.


Three: The Online Army


Five: The Posse Rides Again


[34] Marr, Lori. Facebook. Video. April 9, 2020.

[35] People’s Rights area leaders had been members of these Militia Facebook groups: A well-regulated Militia, American Patriot 3% SE WA State, American Patriots, APIII- Oregon Private Group, APIII-American Patriot the III% Old School, AR2 Patriot Network, California Patriots pro Law & Order, California State Militia Training Connect, Constitutional Militia, Constitutional Patriots of Walla Walla, III% United Patriots, III% United Patriots of Oregon, LFA III% Washington, militia meeting room, Montana Militia, North Cascade Patriots, Oregon III%, Oregon III% Zone 5, Oregon III% Zone 4, Patriot Network Summit, Patriot survivalist group, Patriot Unity Project, Patriots and 2nd amendment supporters of Oregon, Southern California Patriots, Southwest Missouri Militia, T.A.P.S-True American Patriot Society, The Heirs of Patrick Henry Northwest, Three Percenters – Oregon, U.S. Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia, WA Patriots A.R. 2, Washington State Militia.

[36]  People’s Rights Facebook group members were members these militia groups on Facebook: **25th Battalion 42nd Field Force Lightfoot Militia (GRANT COUNTY CIVILIAN DEFENSE FORCE), Patriots Prepared, 25th BN/42nd FF Light Foot Militia, 2nd Amendment Patriots,  3% Patriots, 417 2nd Amendment Militia of Missouri, 7 Bravo III% Militia, A well regulated Militia, A well regulated Militia — Groups, A well regulated Militia Group, ALABAMA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, Alabama Patriots, Alamo Militia TSM, American Constitutional Patriots, American Patriot 3% SE WA State, American Patriot Militia, American Patriot Warriors, American Patriots, America’s Militia, APIII- Oregon Private Group, APIII- Utah Group, APIII% Washington Recruits, APIII-American Patriot the III%, Old School, APIII-Iowa Group, APIII-Nebraska Group, APIII-Southern California Group, APIII-Washington Group, AR2 Patriot Network Illinois, Arkansas Patriots, Benton Franklin COS, Bowie’s Volunteers Texas State Militia, Bullets And Bacon Appalachian Freedom Militia, C.S.P.O.A. – Constitutional Sheriffs Peace Officers Association, California Patriots pro Law & Order, California State Militia Training Connect, California Valley Patriots, Central Pennsylvania 2A Patriots, Christian Patriots of the United States, Civilian Defense Guard, Colorado Militia, Colorado Patriots For The Republic, COLORADO UNORGANIZED CONSTITUTIONAL MILITIA, CONFEDERATE MILITIA, Constitutional Defenders Of Texas, Constitutional Guard of Washington State, Constitutional Militia, Constitutional Militia of America   III%ers, Constitutional Patriots of Walla Walla, Continental Militia Network (CONMILNET), Coop of Constitutional Militias, Defend America/Patriots Rise Up, Discussion Group – Kitsap Patriots, Fernley Militia, FLORIDA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, Florida Militia, Florida Militia Region 4 Delta Company, Freedom Keepers – Texas, FREEDOM MILITIA, Freedom Warrior Militia, Great American Patriots III%, Idaho Patriots, III United Patriots of Washington, III% Militia national contingency, III% United Patriots, III% United Patriots of California, III% United Patriots of Colorado, III% United Patriots Of Colorado Zone 3, III% United Patriots of Idaho, III% United Patriots of Iowa, III% United Patriots of Kansas, III% United Patriots of Louisiana, III% United Patriots of Nebraska, III% United Patriots of Oregon, III% United Patriots of Texas, III% United Patriots of Utah, III% United Patriots of Washington, III% United Patriots of Wyoming, III%ers Call for war against islam pansies, III%ers Statewide Information and Education, Illinois State militia public page, Irregulars of Ohio Reserve Militia, Kentucky Militia, LFA III% Washington, LOUISIANA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, MAGA Militia, Michigan Militia, Militia and Patriot Training Connect, militia meeting room, Million Unmasked Patriots, Minute Man Militia USA, Minutemen Idaho State Group, Minutemen Oregon State Group, Minutemen South Carolina State Group, MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, Mississippi minute Man militia, MISSOURI INFANTRY PATRIOTS  Confederate Militia, MISSOURI INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, Missouri Militia A/4th/8th Recruiting Page, MISSOURI PATRIOT’S RISING, Montana Militia, Nebraska Constitutional State Militia, NEOK Green Country Militia/Outreach, NorCal Patriot Prayer, NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, North Cascade Patriots, Northeast Nevada Unorganized Constitutional Militia, Northern Nevada Militia, Ohio Militiamen, Ohio Patriot Network, oklahoma militia, Oklahoma Volunteer Militia, OPM, Oregon III%, Oregon III% Zone 1, Oregon III% Zone 3, Oregon III% Zone 5, Oregon III%, Zone 4, Oregon militia, Oregon Patriots Militia, Oregon State Militia, PANHANDLE PATRIOTS – D.O.W.N., Patriot Alliance, Patriot Movement AZ (GROUP), Patriot Network Summit, Patriot Rally Point, Patriot survivalist group, Patriot Unity Outreach Project, Patriot Unity Project, Patriots [][][]%, Patriots Against Governmental Overreach, Patriots and 2nd amendment supporters of Oregon, Patriots for America!, Patriots For The Reclamation Of America Washington State Chapter, Patriots In The Tri Always, Patriots of America Kitsap County, Pierce County WA Militia, Pissed Off Patriots of America, REBEL SOUTHERN COUNTRY OUTLAWS, Red Pilled Patriots, Southern California Patriots, Southwest Missouri Militia,  STOKES COUNTY  MILITIA, T.A.P.S True American Patriot Society, Take Back America Patriot Group, Tennessee Volunteers Militia, TEXAS MILITIA NORTH TEXAS TMNT, Texas Militias and Patriots,  The Christian Militia, The Connecticut Three Percent, The Heirs of Patrick Henry Northwest, The Original Patriots Against Antifa (PAA), THE PATRIOT CONNECTION / CALIFORNIA CHAPTER, The Patriot Connection Washington,  THE PEOPLE’S PATRIOT PROJECT, The Real Texas Militia, Three percent, Three Percenters – California, Three Percenters – Montana, Three Percenters – Oregon, Three Percenters – Utah, Trump’s Militia, U.S. Militia Northern Command – America’s Militia, U.S. Patriots, U.S. PATRIOTS WOLFPACK  NATION MAIN PAGE’, United Patriots of Oklahoma, United States Militia, UUC MILITIA RECRUITING, VA’s Constitutional Militia, VA’s Constitutional Militia, VIRGINIA INFANTRY PATRIOTS Confederate Militia, Virginia Militia – Rockingham County, Virginia Militia Alliance, Virginia Minutemen Militia Information, Virginia Patriots, WA Patriots A.R. 2, Washington Constitutional Patriots Network, Washington Sons Of Liberty Riders, Washington State Militia, Washington State Militia (1), Washington State Militia (2), Washington State Militia (3), Washington State Oath Keepers, Washington State Patriots Preppers & Pioneers III%,  Washington Unorganized Constitutional Militia, We the People ARE the Militia, WE The People ARE the militia, Well Regulated Militia, Wenatchee Militia QRF, West Coast Patriots III% Washington, West Coast Patriots National, West Virginia 34 Mountain Militia, West Virginia Patriots, Z12 WA – Three Percenters, Z13 WA – Three Percenters, Z4 WA – Three Percenters.

[37] Open Carry UTAH- OCU (An arm of “Members.” Open Carry UTAH- OCU (An arm of Facebook group. Accessed September 30, 2020.

[38] Database search found members of People’s Rights Facebook groups were members of Liberty State Spokane County Chapter, Yakima County Liberty State, Liberty State Chelan – Douglas County Volunteers, Grant County in Liberty State, and Ferry County Liberty State.

[39] Gutman, David, Brunner, Jim, and O’Sullivan, Joseph. “Washington Rep. Matt Shea engaged in domestic terrorism against U.S., says state House report.” Seattle Times. December 19, 2020.

[40] Shepard, Katie. “Patriot Prayer Leader Joey Gibson Will Face Criminal Charges In May Day Riot, His Lawyer Says.” Willamette Week. August 15, 2019.

[41] United States Institute of Peace. Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. October 4, 2002. The Pinochet regime’s anti-left campaign included killing 1,068 people through political violence, execution, and torture, and having 957 “disappeared after arrest,” according to the 1993 Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. On Tusitala and the t-shirt, see instance, Latino Rebels. A ‘Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong’ T-Shirt Got Attention at Portland Far Right Rally. August 6, 2018.; KOIN 6 New Staff. “‘Pinochet Did No Wrong’: Who is Pinochet.” KOIN 6 News. August 4, 2018.

[42] Macloud, Baron. People’s Rights Idaho. Facebook. September 30, 2020.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Vital, Amanda. Facebook. August 31, 2020.

[45] Peterson, Alicia. Facebook. September 14, 2017.

[46] Bundy, Ammon. Facebook. August 10, 2020.

[47] Blanchard, Nicole. “Unlike in years past, Idaho State Police forego citations, arrests in Capitol protest.” Idaho Statesman. August 25, 2020.; Brown, Ruth. “Ammon Bundy removed from Idaho Capitol twice in less than 24 hours. He’s banned for a year.” East Idaho News. August 26, 2020.

[48] Foy, Nichole. “Idaho high school football game stopped at halftime after dispute involving Ammon Bundy.” East Idaho News. October 3, 2020.

Ammon's Army

Inside the Far-Right People's Rights Network

A Special Report of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the Montana Human Rights Network

Copyright © 2020. Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.