One year after January 6, millions of Americans support violence| Local News

One year after January 6, millions of Americans support violence

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Even that lower number isn’t that reassuring when you map it to the American population as a whole. Ultimately, Kalmoe said, “Millions of Americans – and perhaps tens of millions – think violence against their partisan opponents is at least somewhat justified. “

It’s even harder to measure how many Americans are actually willing to to commit Political violence.

Arrests are an indicator. In the year since the storming of the United States Capitol, at least 725 people have been arrested for some level of involvement in the riot. Many of them were Trump supporters who were not involved in anti-government militias. But several dozen were members of radical groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, who led the charge in the building.

Both groups saw their fundraisers and membership plummet after Jan.6, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been bleeding money since January, like hemorrhaging money,” Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the Proud Boys, told the Journal. Former Oath Keepers said the group’s membership has fallen to around 7,500.

But their true level of support could be higher. In September, more than 38,000 email addresses allegedly originating from the Oath Keepers’ private chat rooms were leaked online. The list included everyone from current members to people who had simply signed up for the group’s mailing list, noted Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “In other words,” Segal said, “the data was subject to interpretation.”

Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center who has tracked the growth of Proud Boys locals, said the continued normalization of right-wing political violence has given the group new legitimacy.

“I think they are operating from a position of strength in our current political moment,” she said.

Citing January 6, the Biden administration attempted to reorient federal law enforcement agencies around tackling local extremism:

  • In March, the office of the director of national intelligence assessed domestic violent extremists as an “increased threat.”

  • In May, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said: “The greatest terrorist threat to the homeland we face today is posed by isolated offenders, often radicalized online, who seek to attack easy targets. with easily accessible weapons. “

  • In June, the White House unveiled its strategy for combating domestic terrorism, an entire pillar of which is to prevent radicalization before it begins.

The federal government does not officially track the size of extremist groups because it is legal to join them. Membership also tends to be fluid, which means it’s difficult to determine if Biden’s strategy is working.

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