Governors of 30 U.S. states received letters today demanding they leave office within 3 days. The group, which has a “Restore America Plan,” calls for the forced removal of any governor that does not comply.
A Michigan-based militia group, Hutaree, faces charges in federal court of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate crimes and hate groups, reported a stunning 244% increase in 2009 in the number of right wing patriot groups, including militias. (Not all of the groups avocate violence as a way to achieve their goals.) The number of militias and patriot groups has grown steadily since 2000, fueled by a backlash against the immigration of non-whites and, more recently, the economic meltdown.
And it isn’t only in the United States.
Russia recently banned Adopf Hitler’s 1925 ‘Mein Kampf’ amid fears that it is feeding ultranationalist violence. Recent attacks on immigrants to Russia have increased, and the the human rights group Sova estimates that right wing fanatics killed 71 people in Russia last year.
Greece, currently in the midst of a deep economic crisis, has experienced repeated arson attacks on synagogues.
The BBC’s recent documentary, Generation Jihad, described how the Internet is used to indoctrinate young radicals.
1. What contributes to the rise in extremist groups?
2. Who is most vulnerable to the allure of extremist groups?
3. What is the difference between an extremist group and a political or social opinion you don’t agree with?
Additional Resources for Global Issues in Context Subscribers:
- U.S. Militant Separatist Movements: Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?, from History Behind the Headlines.
- Terror Begins at Home: Will the Obama Years See Another Militia Scare?, from the American Conservative, 23 March 2009.