Confronting Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA

By George Michael | Go to book overview

6

The watchdogs’ response to the far right

Introduction

The watchdog groups take a multifaceted approach to countering right-wing terrorism and extremism. Several of these efforts have already been covered in previous chapters. This chapter reviews some of the more important initiatives in greater detail. The first section looks at measures aimed at militia-style organizations. The second section examines hate crime legislation. The third section discusses the use of civil suits to silence far-right organizations. The fourth section looks at efforts to combat the far right on the internet. The fifth section covers various training and educational programs. The sixth section examines intelligence sharing. The seventh section highlights some examples of NGO-driven prosecutions. The eighth section discusses efforts to keep the far right out of the market place of ideas. Finally, some concluding observationss are offered.


Measures aimed at militias

Anti-paramilitary training statutes

One obvious concern to both watchdogs and government alike is paramilitary training by extremist groups. Even prior to the contemporary Militia movement, other segments of the far right have occasionally gained notoriety for this type of activity. For example, during the 1980s, Louis Beam’s Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Glen Miller’s North Carolina-based White Patriots Party and the Illinois-based Christian Patriots Defense League gained notoriety for their occasional paramilitary training drills.

These activities quickly caught the attention of watchdog groups, who wasted no time in looking for ways to curb this trend. The ADL took the lead in this effort by crafting legislation which proscribed paramilitary training by unauthorized groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center followed suit and introduced its sponsored legislation as well. When the contemporary Militia movement surfaced in 1994, more attention was brought to this issue. The watchdogs were ready to respond with a media campaign to heighten public awareness of the fledgling movement and its potential for danger. In 1994 the ADL issued a

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Confronting Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables viii
  • Series Editors' Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Who Are the Watchdogs? 10
  • 3 - Overview of the Contemporary American Far Right 39
  • 4 - The Far Right and Terrorism 93
  • 5 - The Us Government's Response to Right-Wing Extremism 129
  • 6 - The Watchdogs' Response to the Far Right 171
  • 7 - Conclusion 190
  • Notes 207
  • Bibliography 260
  • Index 277
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