WASHINGTON – “Let’s arm ourselves”. “Hang them”. “We do not take prisoners”. The messages this time do not come from loose dogs of the far right or from militiamen living isolated in caravans with skulls printed on the glass. But from the social accounts of unsuspected. One is that of the Republican students of Iowa State University. The other belongs to the chief of police of a town of 1300 in Arkansas. After the presidential victory of Joe Biden the attention level of the FBI has risen. But what is striking in these hours are not the hateful messages of supremacist and far-right groups, but those launched by people inserted in the civil fabric, while in recent days thousands of supporters of Donald Trump they took to the streets to protest. The message from the Iowa State University students came shortly after Joe Biden’s victory was announced. “Everyone, you must arm yourselves – they wrote on Twitter – expect these people to try to destroy your life, the elites want to take revenge on us”.The president of Iowa State College Republicans, Ryan Hurley, argues that the message was written to protect the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to own weapons. “Our spirit – added Hurley. – is to defend this right. Sick people have twisted the message. The intent is not violence ”. The same account, on September 28, had posted a photo of the Democrat Ilhan Omar, Somali who grew up in Minnesota, accompanied by the message: “We find people like this who come here to hate us, threaten us and deceive us. It’s time to #DeporOmar ”, to deport Omar. On Election Day, the same account posted the image of Pepe the frog, a cartoon used by white supremacists in a racist and homophobic way. The message that appeared over the weekend made the rounds of the media.
The spokesperson for Iowa State, Angie Hunt, said the university was aware of the post. “Any possibility for student organizations to arm themselves is prohibited. Any conduct that violates the regulation will be prosecuted “. In Marshall, Arkansas, the police chief was forced to resign after protests over hateful messages he posted on social media. In one he had immediately written the announcement of Biden’s victory, “death of Marxist democrats”. And then: “no prisoners, no survivors”. In another, policeman Lang Hollan posted an image of some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton e Barack Obama, dressed as prisoners. Below, the inscription: “I pray that all these people will be hanged, drowned and skinned. Anything less is unacceptable ”.
The FBI monitors the movements of paramilitary groups on social media. Donald Trump’s constant accusations, without evidence, of “election fraud” could trigger acts of violence but also isolated gestures. In San Antonio, Texas, a supremacist group distributed thousands of flyers with attacks on Democrats, Black Lives Matter and abortion. In Salem, the capital of Oregon, hundreds of Trumpians demonstrated over the weekend. A Republican candidate defeated in the race for the Senate, Jo Rae Perkins, she addressed the crowd with a message: “I appeal to heaven, we need to pray for Trump, for his family and for his mandate”. Groups of Black Lives Matters, after the police request, have moved away to avoid contact. In Sacramento, California, clashes between Republican and Democratic supporters, but without serious injuries. In Lansing, Michigan, five hundred Trumpians headed to the government headquarters to report fraud. In Phoenix, Arizona, a “Stop the Steal” protest march halted theft, as well as in Albany, New York State, Columbia, South Carolina and Austin, Texas.The risk of violence is widespread. According to a study by Spicenter.org, there are at least 940 “hate groups” in the US, including supremacists, skinheads and religious fanatics. They are mainly concentrated in the eastern part. In Pennsylvania there are thirty-six, from the supremacists of the “American Freedom Union” to the skinheads of “Blood and Honor Social Club”, from the neo Nazis of the “Fueuerkrieg Division” to the Ku Klux Klan of “East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire”. Twenty-seven in Michigan, fifteen in Wisconsin, thirty-two in North Carolina. The FBI is monitoring all sites to see if there could be a dangerous link between racist movements and anger over Trump’s defeat. The specter of a creeping Civil War appears unlikely, but it has not yet been dismissed.
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