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A slightly rusty gang marches up to the Capitol. The Lansing State Capitol, the capital of Michigan, is like an impregnable castle in front of them. But they are not harmless. They’ve been here before.
In April, they penetrated the innermost chambers of the elected representatives. Some of them planned to kidnap the state governor and kill police officers. This is how they were to govern the state government just before the election on November 3 and lay the foundations for a civil war in the United States.
The police are the enemy
Most are men. Militaryly equipped over Hawaii shirts. Almost all with heavy AR-15 rifles, a semi-automatic assault weapon that has been used in a number of mass shootings. They carry their weapons with pride.
Why do they carry weapons?
– First: Because we have a right to it. Secondly: the police respect us more when we are armed, says a man named Dicardi.
– And you do not like the police?
– We are probably not their strongest supporters, he says with a strong understatement.
Dicardi and his armed friends have a lot to blame on the police. On social media, they joke with jokes about “barbecue-roasted pig” – a code word for killing the police.
Hawaiian shirts and igloos
From “Boogaloo Bois”. Med i. Although there is one armed woman among them.
It started with a 1984 movie: “Breakin ‘2: Electric Boogaloo”. Someone who wanted to prepare for “the coming civil war in the United States”, copied the movie name and fixed a bit on the title: “Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
Eventually, it was reduced to just “Boogaloo” or sound-like variations such as “Big Igloo” or “Big Luau” – a party in Hawaii. Therefore, they have flags and badges with illustrations of igloos and penguins. To create identity and community, they often wear Hawaiian shirts under the bulletproof vests.
– They are easy to spot. And then they are fun and relaxing, says Dicardi.
Do not like any authorities
Boogaloos do not like the authorities. They are libertarians, everyone should have as much freedom as possible and the authorities should not interfere in the life of the individual.
They hate the child welfare service, the Agency for Alcohol, Tobacco and Weapons (ATF) – which checks who has illegal weapons and explosives – and health authorities that introduce rules to close businesses due to. of covid-19.
Boogaloos have been a driving force behind protests against government closures of bars, restaurants and gyms both here in Michigan and many other states. Then they like to show up with heavy weapons.
Most of all, they hate the police. It is also one of the reasons why some boogaloos have marched with Black Lives Matter in demonstrations against racism and police violence. They have a common enemy: the police.
Will fight for their weapons
– They are the ones who kick in your door and take your weapon, Dicardi says.
Phoenix is the only girl with a weapon and bulletproof vest in the assembly. She does not like the police either. Or some other authorities, for that matter.
– The authorities need far too much. I protect my freedom and my privacy. They have too much information about people – which they should not have.
– What happens if after the election there are new laws that make it forbidden to have semi-automatic assault weapons such as AR-15, and the police come to take the weapon from you?
– I’m willing to fight if they come after me. There will be violence and unrest in the country if it should happen, says Phoenix.
Andy does not think the police will have a chance.
– Come and take them, I say.
– That will not happen. There are more weapons in this country than there are people.
Dicardi also sets a clear limit on the right to keep his weapon.
– I want to defend myself and my weapon. Everyone in the movement will do it.
Will speed up the civil wars
He believes there will be unrest and violence around and after the election. The Civil War is in full swing, according to Dicardi.
– The government is increasingly pitting people against each other. It goes in that direction. It will happen. We are worried and scared. But I’m prepared.
One of the many repeated messages on Boogaloo’s pages on social media is “Get weapons for the upcoming battle” and “We want it to happen.” The Accelerationists are those within the movement who work to accelerate a possible civil war in the United States. No one thinks it will be beautiful.
– It will be more like in Syria, says Dicardi.
– Groups and factions facing each other across the country. There will be madness and chaos.
There has already been a lot of chaos and crime. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Some have shot and killed police officers. Many have been arrested and charged with other serious crimes.
“Stop the tyranny”
Boogaloo is an anarchist movement without a central ideology and control. Some of the groups advocate white supremacy, others are against racism. The only thing everyone agrees on is that the state ‘tyranny’ must be stopped. If necessary with violence.
After an hour in front of the Capitol building, the boogaloo finally manage to gather for a joint pose on the stairs in front of the building. One of them grabs a megaphone to hold an impromptu appeal:
– Let’s kneel, he urges.
The congregation follows him, with their heavy weapons over their shoulders.
– For people who suffer due to the authorities’ abuse of power. We are all deprived of our individual independence. The first thing we must do is destroy these centers of power.
Then they sing the national anthem: “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”