Tuesday, January 12, 2021

UPDATED: Armed Protests? Or Not Really?

You've undoubtedly seen the headlines:

FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week

The headlines are similar at all the other MSM outlets--it's always about "armed protests" in all 50 state capitals.

The claims are said to be based on an "internal FBI bulletin." Some of the sites, like CNN and ABC, claim that you can read the FBI bulletin further down their pages, but that's not precisely true. You can't read the actual bulletin. What you can actually read is a further statement that the FBI put out after the leak was publicized. That statement appears to be intended to clarify the media hype.

However, this AP account does contain what purports to be a direct quote:

WASHINGTON (AP/WTNH) — Every state is now on high alert after the FBI sent out a warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-election Joe Biden’s inauguration.

This stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

An internal FBI bulletin warned that, as of Sunday, the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of some extremist groups, the officials said. The bulletin was first reported by ABC.

“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said, according to one official. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The FBI issued at least one other bulletin — they go out to law enforcement nationwide on the topic — before the riots last week. On Dec. 29, it warned of the potential for armed demonstrators targeting legislatures, the second official said.

Here's how I read this:

Two LE officials who received the bulletin from the FBI stated that the FBI warned that nationwide protests are being planned. The FBI ("investigators believe") believes some of the persons involved are members of "extremist groups." However, the reporting we're presented is somewhat disjointed: on the one hand we're told of "armed protests" being planned, but on the other hand the focus seems to be on "some people"--individuals who are believed to be members of "extremist groups." But those individuals would likely be a subset of any larger group of protesters. The point is, it's hard to know what the FBI bulletin actually says from these media presentations, without a much larger context. The media report states that two LE officials "read details of the memo", but in fact what we're presented with as a quote is only one sentence, with no further context.

Protests are currently being planned. It's possible that "some" people who participate will be members of "extremist groups". A previous bulletin, issued two weeks ago, warned of a "potential" that "armed demonstrators" could "target" legislatures--but that hasn't actually happened so far. Moreover, in what would such "targeting" consist? Targeting with chants--or with gunfire? All that is coyly left unclear. Nor is it suggested--as far as we are allowed to know--that armed protesters will be conducting their activities in violation of any applicable laws. For example, in states that prohibit open carry, will protesters arrive armed in defiance of the law, spoiling for confrontation? That is not suggested.

None of this truly sounds like "armed protests are being planned"--not in the sense that those words seem intended to convey by the media reporting. In fact, it's not entirely clear what an "armed protest" actually is. Is the FBI really saying that the call has gone out for protesters to show up with firearms? Clubs? Mace? Molotov cocktails? BYOW, type unspecified, but be armed and ready to use those arms? Again, we unfortunately don't have the full context of the bulletin, but my guess is: not really. It sounds to me like the actual FBI is aware is that some people may show up armed. That has been a feature of past demonstrations in open carry states, or concealed carry states. In my mind that's not the same thing as staging an "armed protest" as such. "Armed protest" sounds to me like a call to armed "insurrection" or at a minimum, violent reaction to any LE attempt to limit their activities or, perhaps, a display of weapons to intimidate. That is exactly how Dem state officials are portraying these supposed protests, specifically using the word "insurrection" to characterize the "mostly peaceful" DC protest.

Now, here is the only full FBI public statement on this that's available, seemingly intended as a clarification:

“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. 

As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

What this tells me is that the FBI's focus is on persons--individuals--who they suspect may "incite violence" and thus pose a threat to "peaceful protesters ... and other citizens." That presupposes that most of the demonstrators will be peaceful and that the FBI recognizes that the protests are not being organized--like Antifa protests--to disrupt public safety. Moreover, the characterization--"those threatening ... safety"--could also include members of Leftist groups seeking to provoke violence--not just those, armed or otherwise, participating in any planned protests. 

The picture that emerges from this clarifying statement suggests that the FBI's real concern is that there may be individuals who will seek to incite violence in the context of possibly large protests and counter protests in which some participants may be armed. Individuals seeking to incite violence don't necessarily need to be armed themselves. Such individuals may seek to provoke an armed response, as we have seen in some instances this summer. Once again, any suggestion that the FBI possesses information that armed protesters intend to target legislative buildings is absent from this clarifying statement. The bottom line is, this is the sort of thing the FBI gets paid for--to anticipate these sorts of possibilities.

But the media reporting looks very much like an attempt to hype a largely hypothetical threat. It looks more like the usual attempt to marginalize all Trump supporters as probably armed and dangerous and crazy "insurrectionist" revolutionaries who are seeking to overthrow the social and political order--as established by the "interagency". We can look forward to a continued barrage of this sort of 'reporting.'

UPDATE: TGP has posted--and warned against--a flyer purporting to advertise for an "armed march" from the "Washington Memorial" [sic] to the White House on 1/17/21. If by "armed march" this flyer is inviting people to show up at the Washington "Memorial" visibly armed, that's a sure fire way to get your ass arrested in DC. Might that be the intent of this anonymous flyer? Get supposedly gullible right wing dopes to show up armed so they can be arrested and held up to the public as "domestic terrorists"? IMO, more likely than not.

TGP notes:

Notice there is no organizing group listed on the flyer.

That’s weird.

It doesn't even look like something a conservative group would design--red background, yellow letters and stars? I don't think so.

Aaron Katersky at ABC first reported these supposed "armed marches". He openly refers to the January 6 protest as "the Capitol insurrection." Here is some of his reporting:

Jan 11

The FBI has "received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January. They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur," according to a bulletin obtained by 

Jan 11

A group is calling for “storming” state, local, and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Trump is removed prior to Inauguration Day, per an FBI bulletin obtained by 

"Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January," according to an FBI bulletin obtained by @ABC

I'll believe this when I see it. Anything's possible--there may be some loons out there posting nonsense like this on the internet somewhere. My first guess is: Leftist trolling.


    'Agent Provocateur' Tactics Seen at Jan 6 US Capitol Protest—Interview With Michael Yon | Crossroads

    Michael Yon says he detected ANTIFA cells, using tactics developed by the Hong Kong protesters, to lead demonstrators into the Capitol building.

    1. There are several other proofs of note: facial recognition software, eye-witness accounts, and video that clearly show many were let into the Capitol and they were not all Trump supporters.


    2. It should've been outright obvious, that ANTIFA cells would attend, to exploit whatever chances existed to make waves.
      I'll guess that they were surprised, that there were *no* impediments (e.g. ret. or off-duty unarmed LEs, w/ MAGA yellow vests) to their leading crowds thru the Capitol Bldg. doors.

    3. Sounds more like the return of the Steele dossier.

      Rob S

  2. "...the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve."

    You mean like stopping the burning and gutting of cities by BLM and Antifa militants? That kind of support? I must have missed that.

    Steven Hayward has a good post over on Powerline: The Deep State Is Rattled. He seems to be the only guy on that site without a defeatist post-election attitude. Here's the most memorable paragraph:

    "Beyond the security question, this person told me the mob action has been a psychological blow on the DC bureaucracy which didn’t think such an open expression of tangible disrespect for the government was possible. In other words, the capitol mob was a blow to their status, and Washingtonians believe the entire protest represents more than just anger at the election outcome: the disrespectful spirit of the day represents a real threat to their power going forward. This is one reason for the paranoia of Democrats at the moment, and they worry that more such protests are not only possible but likely. Part of the reason there is such fury on the left to run Trump out of office right away is that DC is genuinely afraid of him and his followers. Machiavelli might approve. Hence the calls to deploy national guard units in DC in large numbers for Inauguration next week."

    They fear him because Trump has proven progress can actually be made: peace treaties in ME, a booming economy, trade deals that actually benefit Americans, etc. The left cannot allow its voters to be self-sufficient and independent. Now, if Trump would set up his own 'shadow' government and continue his war against the liberal leftist politicians trying to destroy him - and our country... That might make the next four years enjoyable to watch.


  3. Correct analysis. The objective is to make DEMONS out of Trump supporters--'the others'--so as to make the final round-up a benevolent action, designed to keep the State peaceable.

  4. FWIW, I frequent many forums of Trump supporters. They are all warning that the planned protests are Antifa false flag ops and to stay miles away.


  5. This comment - "The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights." Should have been followed by this comment: "The FBI also respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their Second Amendment rights, pursuant to local laws and regulations."!

  6. There goes the 2nd Amendment. I wonder when Dekulakization will begin.

    1. Dekulakization started with 'Fourteen days to stop the spread' in March 2020.

  7. I saw a flyer on someones post for JAN. 20th" MILLIOM MAN MILITIA MARCH" in Washington DC. then yesterday I saw on Gateway Pundit a WARNING that was flashing saying it was a set up, and not to attend.

    1. " was a set up, and not to attend"

      Clever psychological warfare. Heads they win, tails we lose.

      So Trump supporters don't get to have any rallies, out of fear of being setup.

      And even if they don't go, antifa can disguise themselves and can go and start some violence, and the media will spin it as Conservatives were involved.


  8. what's a double standard mean these days? Has Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster or similar changed it now with the Woke world?

    FBI/DOJ Scare mongering will not build credibility.

  9. Unless the right learns to organize we are going to be up against a brick wall of infiltration issues. Black Bloc or disguised as right wing patriots I say ANTIFA will be bused in wherever possible to insure bad things happen.

    Regardless of the media spins I do not trust the FBI or DOJ in this. Not even in the tiniest of ways. The pet monkey Black Bloc and BLM have causes billions in destruction nationwide and I am not seeing the arrests and prosecutions in any level worth noting.

    Additionally the data manipulation by both agencies is astounding when it comes to speaking of ultra right, militias, white supremacists, right nationalist or any conflation of terms you wish to use. They pour the focus on those subjects and do so by intentionally mincing the data involved. When you tear into it though you realize that their going as far as counting the 9/11 and Pulse Nightclub victims as deaths attributed to white nationals violence.

    We are all going to have to learn to let the newspeak roll off like water on a ducks back. Racist, Nazi and so on are being replaced with Insurrectionist, domestic terrorist and others.

    The set up's are real, the talking points are undeniable. The level of sophistication in this rings as true military level psyops, info and cyber warfare. Ukrainian colour revolution level.

    I'm starting to sound like Alex Jones (ugh)... I think 2021 said to 2020 "hold my beer".

  10. I’ve seen several articles on this today. All seemed to have come from the same source (same basic information) and all made a point of including a threatening remark that “there’d be war” (paraphrased). Only one of the articles said that that was, however, just one tweet. The others didn’t add that qualification. What a surprise!