The Associated Press reports that the FBI has issued an intelligence note warning police that an anti-government group’s call to remove dozens of sitting governors may encourage others to act out violently. The group, “Guardians of the Free Republics,” wants to “restore America” by dismantling parts of the government, according to its website. Governors receiving the threats include Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Jim Doyle (D-WI), Chet Culver (D-IA), Jim Gibbons (R-NV), among others.
While much of the rhetoric from the group resembles the style of patriot extremist organizations, their concerns seem to stem directly from economic anxiety. The group’s broadcasting affiliate, Republic Broadcasting Network, advertises survival kits, gold buying guides, and other hallmarks of a movement in America which believes that the country is heading towards economic collapse. The website also promotes tea party protests, calls for revolution, videos from Glenn Beck, and sympathetic articles about recent right-wing domestic terrorist activities, like the suicide attack on an IRS building in Austin earlier this year.
Guardians of the Free Republics’ call to dismantle the government has gained traction on right-wing tea party websites. The groups’ proclamation is posted on ResistNet, the popular tea party forum, as well as Tree of Liberty, a tea party forum known to have been frequented by users which supported Hutaree, the Christian militia recently arrested in Michigan.
One YouTube user, jonah70757, has enthusiastically posted links and audio broadcasts rallying support for Guardians of the Free Republics’ call for revolution. The user brandishes various weapons, seemingly in preparation for a violent revolution, and posts videos about militias, tea parties, and conspiracies about President Obama’s birth. Watch a ThinkProgress compilation of jonah70757’s videos:
A Department of Homeland Security report, ridiculed by Republican lawmakers last year, details that extended economic downturn with real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit could foster an environment for extremists to recruit new members who may not have been supportive of these causes in the past. Indeed, the New York Times reported last weekend that many of the tea party and other anti-government protesters have been “jolted into action by economic distress” and are themselves unemployed or facing underwater mortgages.