Helter Skelter

Perhaps you consider it a rather unmelodic and puzzling Beatles tune.

Well then, you’re probably not as crazy and homicidal as Charlie Manson.

Charles Manson often spoke to the members of his “family” about “Helter Skelter” in the months leading up to the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in August 1969, an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and whites. This “chimerical vision involved reference to music of the Beatles, particularly songs from their 1968 double album The Beatles (commonly known as “the White Album”), and to the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. Manson and his followers were convicted of the murders based on the prosecution’s theory that they were part of a plan to trigger the Helter Skelter scenario.

But a lot of people are, and they are heavily armed.

A tiny Ohio town’s Black Lives Matter event was overrun by armed counterprotesters
By Hannah Knowles, Washington Post
June 16, 2020

Alicia Gee said she was preparing on a cheerful Sunday morning not for church but for a demonstration “long overdue in my little town.”

“A demonstration to show my neighbors there are people who care, to show my very monochromatic town that Black Lives Matter,” said Gee, who identified herself as a lifelong resident of the village of Bethel, Ohio — population roughly 2,800. It was a testament to the wide reach of the movement against racism and police brutality convulsing the country since George Floyd’s death in police custody, weeks of demonstrations that have swept from cities to suburbs and tiny Midwestern towns that haven’t seen protests in decades.

But the 80 or so expected demonstrators ended up dwarfed Sunday afternoon by some 700 counterprotesters — motorcycle gangs, “back the blue” groups and proponents of the Second Amendment, village officials said. Some carried rifles, a local news station reported, while others brought baseball bats and clubs. Police say they are investigating about 10 “incidents” from the clashes that followed, including a demonstrator being punched in the head.

By Monday evening — after another tense day of faceoffs — the mayor had imposed a curfew while citing “the threat of continued and escalating violence,” and Gee had a new message. “It is not a time for any type of Black Lives Matter supporters to be in Bethel,” she said in a video posted to Facebook. “It’s not safe.”

“Our purpose was not to create division in our community, and right now, that division has been just exploded,” she said, urging the mayor to “stand up” and denounce the people who she said had flocked to Bethel not to exercise their First Amendment rights but to “incite fear and hatred.”

Gee, a teacher, has told the Cincinnati Enquirer that she did not think of Sunday’s gathering as a protest — the Facebook event was called “Bethel’s Solidarity with Black Lives Demonstration.”

“I guess in my mind, we only think about protests happening in the city,” she told the Enquirer. “I’ve always gone to cities to protest. And then to see that something was happening in Hazard — I was like, if Hazard, Kentucky, can have a protest, Bethel can have something.”

But she wrote on social media that she was driven to the streets by the deaths that have rallied people around the country to protest police violence against black Americans.

“The events of the last few weeks [have] made it perfectly clear to me it’s time for my comfort to be put by the wayside, it is time for me to use my body, my voice, and my [privilege] to show my town that it is not ‘fine,’ that it’s not just ‘city folks’ that have the right to peacefully assemble, and that Black Lives Matter even if there are just a few in our town,” she wrote.

All six of Bethel’s police officers were on duty at the demonstration Sunday, according to village officials. Some county deputies were scheduled to help, but most were pulled away on an urgent call at the last minute, they said. And those who remained were stretched thin by violence initiated by the counterprotesters, mostly shoving, Dotson said.

One video, which the poster said showed his “niece getting pummeled by bikers,” captured an altercation in the crowd amid chants of “Blue lives matter!” and “All lives matter!”

“This ain’t Seattle!” a man yells in another video. “We’re not in a Democratic state here!”

Bethel resident Abbi Remers wrote on Facebook that her brother was “sucker-punched from behind.”

“Counterprotesters started walking down on the other side of the street from up town, yelling obscenities and threatening us … ripping signs out of our hands, ripping the hats and masks off of our faces, ripping things out of our pockets,” she wrote, above a photo of a man’s bloody face.

People disbelieve me when I say this is what is coming, win or lose in November. I certainly hope I am wrong but believe me I’ll be standing close to the egress.

Oh, maybe you think it an isolated incident.

Armed civilians, suspected gunman arrested after man is shot at Albuquerque protest
By Katie Shepherd, Hannah Knowles, and Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post
June 16, 2020

Protesters in Albuquerque wrapped a chain around the neck of a bronze statue and began tugging and chanting, “Tear it down,” shortly before sunset Monday. Their efforts to pull down a monument to Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate suddenly stopped as four shots rang out.

Most people instinctively turned toward the noise, videos from the scene show. A few screamed. Just yards away, a group of men sporting quasi-military garb and carrying semiautomatic rifles formed a protective circle around the gunman.

The gunshots, which left one man in critical but stable condition, have set off a cascade of public outcry denouncing the shooting and the unregulated militia presence. On Tuesday morning, the Albuquerque Police Department announced that detectives had arrested Stephen Ray Baca, 31, in the shooting.

Baca was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and firearm enhancement, according to a criminal complaint.

The victim, Scott Williams, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and immediately received aid from bystanders, according to the criminal complaint. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

“The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a ‘civil guard,’ were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in a statement. “To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry — with an implicit threat of violence — is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.”

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (D) said the statue would now be speedily removed as an “urgent matter of public safety” until authorities determine a next step.

Police have released little information about the suspected shooter and have not said whether they think he has any connection to the armed group. In a Facebook post, New Mexico Civil Guard Curry County denied that the gunman was a member, writing that their affiliates responded to prevent further violence.

A spokesman for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday confirmed that Baca’s father had worked for the department, but said he had not been employed there since 2001. “Despite false rumors, the suspect has no connection to BCSO,” Sheriff’s Deputy Connor Otero said in an email.

Otero declined to say whether Baca or the New Mexico Civil Guard were previously known to the sheriff’s department.

The New Mexico Civil Guard, which identified itself to a New York Times reporter covering the protest Monday, has a controversial history. The right-wing group has repeatedly shown up at Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks with guns and in quasi-military garb.

On Facebook, the group has shared materials encouraging people to arm themselves, promoted military training on infantry tactics and “ambushing,” and shared multiple posts opposing the leveling of monuments to Confederate figures in the South and Oñate in New Mexico. Members of the group recently told the Eastern New Mexico News that their aim was to protect businesses from damage during protests. They said they had been in contact with police and were following guidance given to them by officials.

Eh, you’re probably right. I’m too alarmist.

Accused Killer Of California Cops Was Associated With Right-Wing ‘Boogaloo Movement’
by Tommy Beer, Forbes Magazine
Jun 16, 2020

The FBI announced Tuesday that Steven Carrillo, the U.S. Air Force sergeant who allegedly murdered law enforcement officers in California during protests earlier this month, was associated with the right-wing Boogaloo movement, and that Carrillo chose the timing of his attacks to “take advantage of a time when this nation was mourning the killing of George Floyd.”

  • Last week, Carrillo was charged with murder after he ambushed Santa Cruz deputies and threw pipe bombs at police on June 6, killing Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller and wounding four other officers.
  • On Tuesday, the FBI announced Tuesday that Carrillo has also been federally charged with the murder of federal security officer Pat Underwood, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on May 29 in Oakland.
  • A suspected accomplice, Robert Alvin Justus Jr., has been arrested as well.
  • Justus was allegedly the driver of the van used in both the Oakland Federal Building shooting and the Santa Cruz attack.
  • Before he was apprehended, Carrillo reportedly scrawled the word “boog” and “I became unreasonable” in blood on the hood of a car.
  • “Boog” is short for boogaloo, which, according to NBC News, is a far-right anti-government movement that began on the extremist site 4chan and aims to start a second American civil war.
  • The phrase “I became unreasonable” has seemingly become a meme in public Boogaloo communities on Facebook.
  • Authorities say they also found a “boogaloo” patch in the van the duo used.

During Tuesday’s press conference, FBI agent Jack Bennett said Carrillo and Justus purposefully chose the protest as the locality of the killing to blend in better and to take advantage of community grief over the police killing of George Floyd. “There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland … They came to Oakland to kill cops,” Bennett said. Carrillo has been charged with 19 felonies related to the attack, and the charges carry enhancements of “lying in wait,” which means that Carrillo will be eligible for the death penalty. However, prosecutors have not said if they will pursue death. According to an ATF official, the weapon used in the fatal shootings was a homemade so-called ghost gun without a serial number. “This firearm is a machine gun with a silencer attached to its barrel,” said the official.

What? You didn’t know you can build an AR-15 out of a Receiver and replacement parts?

The Receiver is also a replacement part.

Attorney General William Barr and other top government officials, including President Trump, have frequently blamed Antifa activists for the violence stemming from recent demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. However, last week NPR published a review of court documents of 51 individuals facing federal charges related to protests, and none is alleged to have links to the Antifa movement. Among all the cases brought by the Justice Department thus far, the only extremist group mentioned in court documents is the right-wing “Boogaloo movement.”

“Elements of The Boogaloo have evolved from a gathering of militia enthusiasts and Second Amendment advocates into a full-fledged violent extremist group, which inspires lone wolf actors and cell-like actors alike,” said Joel Finkelstein, director of the Network Contagion Research Institute. “Given recent events and the inability of law enforcement to grasp and intercept this new mode of distributed terror, we think an increase in these kinds of violent attacks against police are almost inevitable.”

Forbes Magazine ladies and gents. Hardly Jacobin.