Debating the militia

Richard Gibson rgibson at
Tue Jun 2 17:51:38 PDT 1998

I spent a lot of time with militia people in Florida. They were lawyers, judges, construction workers, MD's, carpenters, public employees, unemployed, men, AFL leaders, women, kids....the organizing influence was usually a combination of some prominent respectable people along with some mouthy local wacko. I did a lot of shooting with these folks. Black people and white people were shooting on the same grounds, not at each other. Most of the militia folks hated the government, often for good reason, liked to shoot and feared the government was moving to disarm them, as it is. Few of them could hardly be considered organized, though the leadership was--and could be seen as fascists if you could believe they are sane. The rank and file folks were along for the shooting, little else. Many of them believed in the black helicopter conspiracy, etc., but it didn't take much to point out the rich are getting richer, etc. During one anti-Klan demo I helped lead in north-central Florida, militia people quietly provided security. In short, from what I saw, the militia is not a monolith.

At 12:14 PM 6/2/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Katha asked about meeting with the Militia people. One of my baskeball
>friends joined. I was asked to give talk to a progressive group up in
>Paradise. CA, but when I got there it was set up as a debate with the
>militia people. Some were cookes; some were highly intelligent, but
>working with wierd information which they accepted on faith, since all of
>their friends believed and discussed the same garbage.
>If you want, Katha, I can probably put you in touch with the Butte County
>who is running for Auditor today.
> --
>Michael Perelman
>Economics Department
>California State University
>Chico, CA 95929
>Tel. 530-898-5321
>E-Mail michael at
Rich Gibson Director of International Social Studies Wayne State University College of Education Detroit MI 48202

Life travels upward in spirals.

Those who take pains to search the shadows

of the past below us, then, can better judge the

tiny arc up which they climb,

more surely guess the dim

curves of the future above them.

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