A MESSAGE TO THE PATRIOT MOVEMENT
Original video recorded Feb. 17th, 2017.
Over the past few weeks, Redneck Revolt has been communicating with a former member of a III% Patriot Militia based out of Ohio. Peter made contact with our organization after questioning the basis for an upcoming operation that his local militia group was asked to be involved in, that would have had III% members mobilize for an armed response against a Black Lives Matter protest. He expressed that after 5 years involved in various Patriot groups, a recent personal experience had made him decide he could no longer be part of an organization that treated other working people as the enemy. Peter had recently realized that the reasons he had gotten involved in the Patriot Movement, initially worries about government overreach after Sandy Hook, had been turned into a fear of Muslims, undocumented people, and groups like Black Lives Matter and “antifa”.
In the time since Peter first contacted us, we've worked to build a relationship, and grow alongside him. We feel that both sides have much to learn from each other, especially about Peter's personal journey to understanding his own participation in rhetoric and mobilization against other working folks, and now his dedication to fighting against the people actually responsible for destroying our communities. We look forward to working with Peter, as well as others coming out of the III% Patriots and other related movements as they work to leave behind old ideologies, and start to fight for real liberty for all people.
This is the transcript of the above video, which Peter made as part of a collaborative effort to reach out to current and former members of the III% and other Patriot Movements.
"My name is Peter.
First let me say this: I will never, under any circumstances, reveal the personal details or contact information of anyone involved in the III% movement. Likewise, any operational information I may possess will never be shared under any circumstances. The safety and security of those people that I have worked and trained with in the past remains a top priority for me. There is no force in the universe that can compel me to divulge information that may harm them or anyone they care about. This video is about returning to our roots.
Until a week ago, I was a zone executive officer for a nationwide III% organization. I have been a dues paying member of Oath Keepers, and I have cross-trained with various militias throughout the region I live in. In all, I have spent about five years dedicated to the Patriot Movement. Everything I did, I did with that cause in mind. Like many of you, I joined to protect our rights from government overreach. In my case, it was the widespread fear that the government was going to ban certain firearms, or confiscate them altogether in the wake of the Sandy Hook incident.
So why did I leave, after half a decade, and move to what can only be considered the complete ideological opposite side of things? What could motivate a diehard Patriot to change his views so radically, and in such a short amount of time?
In my case, it was something incredibly mundane. Somebody gave me a ride in a car. I’m from Northwest Ohio and the winters here are brutal. I’m a working class guy, and my wife and I only have one vehicle. So on that particular day, she had it but I still had errands to run, and that meant walking in fifteen degree weather for several miles. After I had been walking for about a half mile in blistering wind and awful cold weather, a car pulled over and turned on their four ways. I recognized the car from the gas station across the street, and knew it belonged to one of the guys who ran the convenience store. I also knew that he, and everyone else who worked in that store, was a Muslim. I approached the car and he motioned for me to hop in. Now, under normal circumstances, I probably would have declined. I'm not in the habit of hopping in cars with strangers, much less a car belonging to one of the people I’ve been told is a threat to not only my life but the existence of the United States. But it was cold and I still had several miles to go, so I hopped on in.
The car was clean and unremarkable, save for a tiny Koran hanging from the rearview mirror, and a Koran in the back seat. I figured I was about to get a lecture about how tough it was being a Muslim in America, and questions about why Americans thought it was alright to go and bomb the Middle East. Instead, he simply asked me where I was headed, which in this case was the UPS store. He drove me the rest of the way and then waited in the parking lot while I printed out a bunch of stuff, and then waited in line to ship it. When I came back out, he asked if I had anywhere else I needed to go. I was planning on stopping by the supermarket to grab some stuff, but insisted that I couldn’t ask him to drop what he was doing to chauffeur me around town. But he just waved his hand and we headed off to the market. Once again, he waited in the parking lot while I spent 30-40 minutes picking stuff up in the store. It was only once I had checked out that I realized that I had a fair amount of pork products, mostly bacon, and alcohol in my bags. I thought for sure that would elicit a dirty look of some sort, or a comment about how it was unhealthy or an affront against Allah. He didn’t give any of it a second glance.
I was, by this time, at a loss. I had been completely disarmed by his kindness and generosity. So, I asked him where he was from, and he told me he had been born in Pakistan, and learned English over there before moving here a few years ago. He then began to describe what an absolute hellhole his country had become, and that he was worried about his family who were still stuck over there. He explained that he was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week to try raise enough money to try and bring over his cousins legally, and expressed worry about his temporary work visa under the new administration. At no time did he bash the President or his executive orders. He merely said he was afraid he was going to have to go back to a life of abject poverty in Pakistan. He asked me about my life, so I gave him the short cliff note version and told him I had recently been married. He gave me a big smile, and congratulated me. About this time, we were pulling back into my apartment, but before I left, he invited my wife and I to his apartment for dinner in the near future. Not sure how to respond I gave him my number and thank him and exited the vehicle.
Within the span of about two hours, which is roughly how long it took to do all those errands and that's how much time he donated to a complete stranger, my entire perspective on immigration, Muslims and the threats facing our country had been shattered. I honestly didn’t know what to do next. Here I was, an executive officer in an organization that views Muslims as dangerous individuals bent on establishing a global caliphate, people who had to be resisted for the safety and security of everyone in the Western world, and now I was being invited to dinner at one of their houses. Not only had I been invited, but I had accepted his invitation, without even really thinking about it. The conversation I had with him was the same type of conversation I had with many of my other friends or even associates in the patriot movement, except for the part about living in Pakistan, because I'm reasonably sure that nobody in the III% Movement has ever lived in Pakistan. He wasn’t a monster. He just wanted a better shot at life. We all want a shot at a better life.
So I got to thinking: what was the real threat facing us as poor and working class people? Now granted, there are dangerous Muslims, and violent Muslims. There are also violent Christians, violent Jews, Sikhs and Hindus. There are violent environmentalists, violent white nationalists and so on. Every group has people who want to inflict violence on whoever they perceive as the enemy, and if there is no enemy around, they frequently target segments of their own population. It’s not a Muslim or an immigration problem. It’s a human problem. I began to seriously examine the type of things I had been exposing myself to on social media. Alternative news stories decrying the horrors of Islam and the global jihad. Articles praising Trump and a resurgent right wing ready to make America safe and free from the threat of attack. Page after page of borderline racism. Stories about how Black Lives Matter and other groups like them were planning on killing white people and taking over states for themselves. How we needed to get prepared for a civil war.It was one big feedback loop of propaganda and indoctrination, and what's more absurd is that I had willingly added all of this to my news feeds.
So I started to dig a little deeper. Who actually prospers from a race war or a war against immigrants, Islam, or any other group of poor people? The rich do. If we are so focused on the differences between ourselves, and so wrapped up in preparing to fight, or actually fighting each other, they are free to push their agenda and literally get away with murder without us even noticing. It reminded me why I joined the Patriot Movement in the first place: not to fight Muslims and activists in the street, but to ensure that government and the people behind government don’t step too far over the line. That working class people remain the ultimate check to government tyranny through the auspices of the 2nd amendment. I came to understand that we had been subtly maneuvered, and by "we" I mean the III% Movement, the Patriot Movement, that we had been subtly maneuvered into shifting our attention and efforts towards ensuring that illegal immigrants stayed out, that Muslims were kept in check, and that groups like Black Lives Matter were resisted. It didn’t make any sense anymore. Those people want the same things we do. Better quality of life. Less government intrusion. More justice and accountability. The only difference is the way we were going about getting those things. We should be uniting the working class and poor people across the country, not dividing along racial and religious lines. That is precisely what the rich want. They want more division. More strife in the working class.
We’ve been played for fools. In my case, what started as a noble endeavor to ensure my children enjoyed the same constitutional rights I enjoy now has turned into an ugly slugfest of anti-Islamic memes on social media, horror stories about black power groups and the dangers of immigration. Every now and then I see an article about the NSA or the infringement of 2nd amendment rights in the state, but it was quickly overwhelmed by the deluge of propaganda urging us to go and resist people that look or believe differently than we do.
So, I want to applaud you for coming this far, for realizing that there is a problem in America, and for having the moral and ethical conviction to want to do something about it. But I urge you to consider very carefully what you want to stand up for. I still believe that the men and women in the Patriot Movement want to see this country healed. We are not racists. We are not anti-Islam. We have been horribly misled. Unfortunately, many within the Patriot and III% Movement have woken up only to fall back asleep again. They are being used as pawns in a game that is moving us closer and closer to civil war between poor, working class people.
If you really want to make a difference and if you truly care about the well being of America and it’s citizens you should find an alternative way to fight back against government tyranny and the oppression of the rich elites that control our elected and appointed officials.
This video I'm doing now is on behalf of a group called Redneck Revolt. If you haven't heard of them, I urge you to look them up on Facebook, or google them. They're doing the type of things that we need to be doing.
More politicians is not the answer. This cannot be solved through voting. We can't vote away these issues. This has to come from the bottom up, not the top down. The III% Movement taught me that we, the people, have the power in this country. We need to use that power to free ourselves from what can only be described as slavery without chains.
I am not advocating violence or attacks against anyone. I am advocating something far more powerful: unity and the rebuilding of our communities into groups that aren’t reliant on government to thrive and succeed. We’ve bartered away our liberties and freedom for convenience and the illusion of security, and that illusion has to end. You can either stand for the freedom and liberty of all working class people or you can remain a pawn in the game of the elite, but not both.
Please do look up Redneck Revolt. They have their hearts in the right places, and they have the organizational skills and resources to get this off the ground. Thank you again."