Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mobilizing Resentment

At Public Good Project, we have archived under Special Reports and on this blog documentation and analysis of the mobilizing of anti-democratic resentment. When we began in the mid 1990s, our focus was on combating militias and Anti-Indian vigilantes.

In our report Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound, as well as in his report Racist Origins of Border Militias, former Public Good research director Paul de Armond demonstrated the value of research as an organizing tool. Rather than reacting to vigilantism with moral platitudes, our response, was to investigate the network established to channel discontent, and bring the force of law to bear on their criminal activities.

By focusing on gathering evidence, we were able to deny political futures to the worst, deprive others of funding, and send eight of the most dangerous to federal prison. As an aside, we found mainstream media a hindrance in comprehending the movement as it unfolded; only after felony charges were filed did it begin to resemble a coherent medium. Perhaps most importantly, we also discovered that this phenomenon of armed vigilantes as a political pressure group in the US had recurred ten times in the last ninety years.

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