“’The militias will absolutely seize on [Trump’s comments],’ said Steven Gardiner, who tracks militias at the progressive thinktank Political Research Associates. ‘The possibility of armed factions with military-style rifles showing up at polling places is very troubling.’”
“ ‘The relationship between the militias and the current administration is call and response – it’s not always clear who’s leading the chant. Sometimes it’s coming from the militias, sometimes it’s coming from the president,’ Gardiner said.”
“The summer saw the proliferation of incidents across the states of far-right militia groups confronting Black Lives Matter protesters. Gardiner’s team at Political Research Associates has carried out as yet unpublished research that records almost 600 such appearances of small but frighteningly well-armed bands of Trump supporters and far-right extremists.”
“A troubling aspect of Gardiner’s findings is that since the late summer there has been a gradual rise in militia events ending in violence. ‘The number of serious incidents of outright violence, shootings, vehicular assaults or menacing with a pointed gun is on the up,’ he said.”
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