Tea Party envy
The idea that white supremacists are some rising force in America is absurd to normal people, but leftists are taking their fevered imaginings quite seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they are overcoming their distaste for the Second Amendment and are forming their own militia.
This corner of the resistance is a faction of a faction. The Smiths, Lawyer and most of the other shooters at this session at Whistling Pines Gun Club are members of the Colorado Springs chapter of the Colorado Action Network that goes by the more manageable acronym, COS CAN. It’s a group styled after the Indivisible project, which acts as a guide to resisting the Republican agenda by mobilizing a nationwide network of progressives to dog their elected representatives.
Indivisible was itself modeled after the obstructionist successes of the Tea Party when Democrats held a supermajority in Congress during former President Barack Obama’s first term.
Several Indivisible-inspired groups sprung up organically right after the election, but COS CAN has persisted as one of the most tight-knit and committed. The group of mostly women and their more understated husbands gets together regularly to call their congressional delegation, stage sit-ins at their offices and attend protests against whatever has sparked liberal outrage that particular week. And now, in true Colorado Springs fashion, some of them have added regular shooting practice and open-carrying at rallies to their tactical repertoire.
. . . . Gun culture, Sherrie explains, is the proverbial olive branch, or a way to say, “Hey, you can do guns with us and you don’t have to be a racist!” And counter-recruitment is a central tactic of Redneck Revolt: Go to a gun show, a NASCAR event, a flea market — predominantly white spaces — and strike up conversations with people about politics to divert them away from right-wing extremist groups to which they might otherwise be drawn.
“These people, they go over to the Three Percenters when they’re not even way off to the right,” says Kevin, referring to an anti-government paramilitary group known for defending “free speech” and white nationalist demonstrators. “And I’m like, ‘Why are you over there?’ And it’s just because they think the left is anti-gun.”
. . . . Redneck Revolt is committed to “community defense,” which essentially means acting as liberal-left protesters’ de facto security detail. The local chapter’s first appearance in this capacity was at the Aug. 20 rally in solidarity with the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, who stood up to the racists who descended on their city for a torch-lit march.
After myriad failed leftist attempts to create a Tea Party of the left, Redneck Revolt comes closest in terms of lacking leadership in a top-down hierarchical design.
There’s no official count of the chapters of Redneck Revolt across the nation, though it is known that the group mushroomed after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. National leadership wouldn’t grant an interview to the Independent, preferring to stay under the radar. The group de-emphasizes hierarchy, and chapters tend to form organically, though with vetting.
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