RightWing militias get to work with real coppers

In late February, the self-proclaimed commander of a rightwing militia group based in northern New Mexico issued an urgent proclamation to listeners of the group’s YouTube radio show.

“We have 2,500 people getting ready to come across at [the] El Paso-New Mexico state line,” said Larry Mitchell Hopkins, speaking under the alias Johnny Horton Jr., of the United Constitutional Patriots. “They are from South America, and MS-13, a very large group. … We are deploying men right now through the border, and we need more boots on the ground, we need all the help we can get, folks.”

In another radio broadcast days later, after Hopkins relocated to the state’s southern half, he bragged that the militia was working directly with Border Patrol agents: “We are working with the Border Patrol. They are working great with us. All their supervisors have been here. They check on us. They’ve given us a sector of work with them, and they’re really doing a good job.”…

In at least a few videos, militia members are shown speaking with Border Patrol agents, who allow the group to film their apprehensions of would-be immigrants. Hopkins told his radio listeners on March 1 that his group was working “hand-in-hand” with Border Patrol

…A network of local humanitarian charities and volunteers in El Paso, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque are coordinating to welcome hundreds of asylum seekers passing through daily. And as these efforts go forward, the local right seethes with resentment, buoyed by a white nationalist president who legitimizes and indulges their worst impulses on a near-daily basis.

Coercion, intimidation by threats of violence by gun-toting fools are the stock in trade of bigots and reactionaries for decades. They’re even wrongly characterized as vigilantes. More like lynch mobs would be closer to accurate.

Protesters have been teargassed by cops in 96 cities in recent weeks

This is astonishing:

“At least 99 law enforcement agencies — many in large cities — used some form of tear gas against civilians protesting police brutality and racism in recent weeks, according to an analysis by The New York Times. This brief period has seen the most widespread domestic use of tear gas against demonstrators since the long years of unrest in the late 1960s and early ’70s, according to Stuart Schrader of Johns Hopkins University, who studies race and policing.

“Thousands and thousands of utterly ordinary people who thought they were going to an ordinary protest event are finding themselves receiving a really aggressive police response,” he said. “That itself is a bit horrifying. The police have actually succeeded in making people more angry.”

What other conclusion can you reach besides this one: The rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution were ignored by the State and trampled upon.

Last time I checked, our Constitution didn’t say it was OK for police departments to attack demonstrations asking for redress of grievances. The use of teargas on crowds is not an acceptable response to democracy in action. Not allowed just because you’re wearing a blue uniform.