"American Insurrection" PBS Frontline April 13, 2021

The PBS Frontline film “American Insurrection” is directed by Richard Rowley and lists Ford Fischer, owner of News2share, as Consulting Producer, and correspondent/narrator A.C. Thompson. Production companies include ProPublica and Berkeley Journalism. The main link is here for the complete film. YouTube has an age-restricted copy of the film.

The PBS Frontline link for “American Insurrection” contains extra links for (1) Steven Carillo’s path to the Boogaloo Bois and intent to start a “Civil War”, April 13, 2021; (2) Boogaloo’s combination of guns, military training and criminal records, Feb. 1, 2021; (3) Members of several well known hate groups at the Capitol Riot, Jan. 9, 2021; Capitol Rioters planned for weeks hidden in plain sight, and the police weren’t ready, January 7, 2021.

The film starts with Charlottesville, shows the carnage from the car attack on camera, and repeats Trump’s “very fine people” remark. It then documents a “fight club” in California with members with security clearances and military members. It then shifts to coverage of the Proud Boys, pitted against Antifa. The tone of narration does not take Antifa’s “Marxism” (in Portland) very seriously. Then it mentions the 2018 synagogue attack in Pittsburg, and then the El Paso attack in August 2019. The film says that the Lobby Day in Richmond on Jan 20, 2020 (just before the pandemic would blow up) had many people from Proud Boys and various militias and w.s. groups. I was there on the perimeter that day and did not notice anything alarming as the day was peaceful. One right-wing leader says he can travel anywhere in the US and find people to house him.

The film then covers the protests following police profiling resulting in deaths like George Floyd’s. But right away Trump and others on the more moderate right insisted that leftist protesters were destroying private businesses and property of ordinary people who were not involved in their oppression. It then covers an attack on a FRBank in Oakland CA by someone with much deeper supremacist connections, with a ghost gun with no serial numbers. This led to a shootout on a property near Santa Cruz. This led to the discovery of the “Boogaloo Bois”. Elizabeth Neumann is interviewed, and compares the threat posed by the far Right vs. far Left. The far Right is said to be much more dangerous at scale, but the far Left may seem more menacing to ordinary Americans who want to stay out of politics but are viewed as accomplices by the (Communist-leaning) far Left. The film then moves to the kidnapping plot against the Michigan governor after her severe COVID lockdowns. Armed militia came into the Capitol April 30. The “Michigan Militia” had been mentioned as far back as Timothy McVeigh in 1995. Thompson finally talks to Croft about the kidnapping plot, and Croft looks at the US as a junta. Every American make age 17-45 is legally part of the unorganized “militia” he says. In rural Virginia Thompson finds more evidence of determination for some sort of overthrow. The film compresses the weeks of challenges to the 2020 election (Nov 14) and gets to Jan. 6 with Trump urging the crowd on. On Dec 20, someone on Facebook actually asked me to house them, and I have nothing to do directly with radical groups, but some people misinterpret me because I am not on the Left either. Trump wasn’t going to accept the electoral college certification, which finally came at 4 AM Jan. 7.

Thompson interviews Kroll, about the movement of fringe ideology into the mainstream. At the end, Ford Fischer discusses the way the Proud Boys changed from earlier activities, when many though thought of them as silly and wondered why Patreon was banning anyone who had ever been in association with them! Specifically, the PB changed their "uniform" to all black?? The PBS DVD is not yet showing on Amazon.) There is a shift from white supremacy and fascism or neo-Nazism to general anarchy and anti-government. Curiously, there is a trans-colors flag in one of the last scenes. Luke Broadwater has a NYTimes article about why the Capitol police were unprepared; they were told to be.


American Insurrection Film

Posted by Bill Boushka at 8:29 PM Labels: Capitol riot, PBS frontline 1 comment: Bill Boushka said... Ford's segment appears at about 1:15:10 on the PVS video and at about 1:14:30 on the YouTube.