National Mobilizations, A Failed Recall Campaign & Local Political Violence: What Does this Moment Tell Us about Far-Right Movement Building?

What to make of the failures of last week’s sparsely attended “Justice for J6” mobilization in D.C. (left) and the California gubernatorial recall campaign (right)?

THE FAILED CALIFORNIA RECALL ELECTION

Bear with me for a brief detour. There was an election in California last week — less than a week before what was supposed to be a huge far-right mobilization across the country. It’s an important part of this equation.

HAS THE FAR-RIGHT OVER-REACHED IN THIS MOMENT?

As soon as the far-right lost the California recall, all of a sudden it wasn’t a big deal. As soon as they didn’t turn-out mass numbers in last weekend’s promised national mobilization, we’re hearing — see, we told you these mobilizations aren’t a big deal.

THE NATIONAL FOCUS NEEDS TO BE LOCAL

We and other anti-extremist groups have been tracking the enmeshed connections among re-open, anti-mask, and anti-vax leaders and organizations, including their interplay with the GOP and Big Lie/ January 6th insurrectionists. (See, for example, PRA’s report, Anti-Vaxx Events in New York Highlight Alignment Among Far-Right Militias, Alternative Health Promoters, and Local Politicians.)

ANTI-MASK/ ANTI-VAX VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION IN THE NEWS

The links below are only a fraction of what has appeared in my news feed in recent months. They document just some of the violence and intimidation directed against health care workers; school board members; principals, teachers, and even students; city councilors and state legislators; journalists, judges, store clerks, restaurant servers, and those just going about their day while wearing a mask — at their homes, in their workplaces, on the streets, in sporting arenas, at public meetings, in medical facilities — in at least half the states in the nation, in every region of the country:

  1. School Employee in Newberg Shows up to Work in Blackface, Claiming to Protest the Vaccine Mandate (9/20/21)
  2. Carmine’s hostess attacked after asking diners for proof of vaccination (9/17/21)
  3. People Give Nazi Salutes During Ohio School Board Meeting Over Mask Dispute (9/16/21)
  4. A customer who refused to wear a mask in a Wells Fargo bank waited in the parking lot to violently ambush the manager at the end of his shift, report says (9/12/21)
  5. Colorado Officials Shut Down Vaccine Clinics After Staff Face Harassment (9/9/21)
  6. Cawthorn pushes anti-mask, anti-vaccine rhetoric at Johnston County school board meeting (9/7/21)
  7. ‘They are going to hang you’: Woman harasses Texas county judge at H-E-B over mask mandate (9/7/21)
  8. Rural Oregon school superintendent fired after enforcing state mask mandate (9/3/21)
  9. Three men with zip ties confront Arizona principal after student told to quarantine (9/3/21)
  10. An Anti-Masker Just Tried to Zip-Tie a School Principal Over COVID Rules (9/3/21)
  11. ‘The war will soon commence’: Proud Boys exploit a new grievance to mainstream political violence (9/1/21)
  12. LA City Council President: Today when I was at work, a group of demonstrators showed up at my home while my family was inside. They trespassed on my property — calling out for me, filming both my home and the contents inside my car. (9/1/21)
  13. Portland Restaurant Workers Say Customer Attacks Are at an All-Time High (9/1/21)
  14. Pro-Trump PA GOP Candidate Says He’ll Rally ’20 Strong Men’ To Boot Pro-Mask School Board Members (8/30/21)
  15. The Education Department is investigating five states with mask-mandate bans, saying the rules may violate laws protecting students with disabilities. (8/30/21)
  16. At protest in Santa Monica today before the vote on mask-mandate, Jason Lefkowitz has the home addresses of each LA City Council member on his sign. (8/29/21)
  17. Michigan reporter says he was punched while covering anti-mask event (8/28/21)
  18. The Absurdity of Police Comparing Vaccine Mandates to Nazi Germany (8/27/21)
  19. ‘Toxic and impossible’: Hostile school board meetings have members calling it quits (8/29/21)
  20. As kids head back to school, battles over masks are pitting parents against governors (8/26/21)
  21. A Florida dad tried to enter a school maskless. When a student confronted him, he assaulted her, police said. (8/26/21)
  22. She Joined The School Board To Serve Her Community. Now She’s In The Crossfire (8/26/21)
  23. Anti-Masker Florida Dad Arrested for Attacking High School Student (8/25/21)
  24. Anti-Asian, anti-vaccine hate roils Orange County government — Los Angeles Times (8/25/21)
  25. Proud Boys, extremists joining anti-vaccine protests being held across Ohio (8/24/21)
  26. Man Drives Car Into COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Workers in California (8/23/21)
  27. An Alabama man who called himself the ‘vaccine police’ told pharmacists at a Missouri Walmart that they will be ‘executed’ if they continued giving COVID-19 shots (8/22/21)
  28. Man targets church’s COVID testing tent after stealing 20-ton forklift and going on destructive rampage (8/17/21)
  29. An enraged parent in Marysville, WA grabs a flag pole and charges at the members of the School Board, causing the Board to adjourn. (8/18/21)
  30. August 24 school board meeting canceled | Salem-Keizer School District 24J (8/15/21)
  31. “Anti-vaxx” / Proud Boys rally in Los Angeles off to a great start. (8/14/21)
  32. California: Father Beats Teacher Over Mask Dispute on First School Day (8/14/21)
  33. Dad Threatened by Anti-Maskers at School Board Meeting Still Traumatized (8/13/21)
  34. Homophobic anti-mask school board official flips out while resisting arrest (8/11/21)
  35. Tennessee parents at school board meeting threaten doctors, nurses over masks: ‘We will find you’ (8/11/21)
  36. Anti-Vaccine Group Now Leading Fight Against Masks in Schools (8/6/21)
  37. First they protest masks in racist fury. Then hotbed of loud, wrong Missourians attracts COVID-19 (8/2/21)
  38. Tennessee Pastor Goes on Deranged Rant About ‘Nonsense’ Delta Variant, Shouts at Congregation to ‘Not Get Vaccinated!’ (8/2/21)
  39. Republicans Encouraged Racist Assault On St. Louis Health Official (7/31/21)
  40. Anti-Vaccination Protest Returns to Harlowe Restaurant and Gets Violent (7/29/21)
  41. Anti-Vaxxer Allegedly Threatened Fauci With Scalping, Torture, Death (7/27/21)
  42. A Georgia restaurant is standing by its ‘No Vax, No Service’ rule despite ‘threats of violence,’ owner says. Margorie Taylor-Greene attacked the restaurant on social media. (7/27/21)
  43. Eugene band Local band High Step Society canceled a concert scheduled for Wednesday night after they say members of the anti-vaccination community threatened the venue (6/24/21)
  44. An anti-vaxxer came within inches of mowing down health workers with her SUV at a county vaccine site in Tennessee earlier this week, according to local police (5/27/21)
  45. St. Paul anti-vaxxer now charged after posting videos stealing COVID-19 vaccine (5/14/21)
  46. Hundreds gathered with Ammon Bundy in Utah to burn a symbolic needle labeled MEDICAL TYRANNY (5/5/21)
  47. Woman brutally attacked with hammer for wearing mask: This is where anti-mask discourse was always headed. (5/4/21)
  48. Ammon Bundy publishes address, stages protest at home of Meridian officer behind playground arrest (4/24/21)
  49. Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism (2/28/21)
  50. Inside the COVID vaccine protest that targeted Dodger Stadium (2/4/21)
  51. People’s Rights protesters force lockdown at Clark Co hospital in Vancouver, WA (1/29/21)
  52. California Lawmakers Threatened By Anti-Vaccine Activists During Public Hearing (1/15/21)
  53. Far-right anti-vaxxers target Pfizer vaccine companies as ‘coronavirus rebels’ call for ‘violence’ (11/16/20)
  54. Victim says he was attacked for wearing mask on subway (8/31/20)

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Western States Center

Western States Center

Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy.