The boogaloo movement, whose adherents are often referred to as boogaloo boys or boogaloo bois, is a loosely organized far-right, anti-government, and extremist political movement in the United States. The movement has also been described as a militia. Boogaloo adherents say they are preparing for, or seek to incite, a second American Civil War which they call the boogaloo. Boogaloo has been used on the imageboard website 4chan, an imageboard known for the posting of illegal and offensive content, since 2012, but it did not come to widespread attention until late 2019. Adherents use boogaloo, including variations so as to avoid social media crackdowns, to refer to violent uprisings against the federal government or left-wing political opponents, often anticipated to follow government confiscation of firearms.
The movement consists of pro-gun, anti-government groups. The specific ideology of each group varies and views on topics such as race differ widely. Some are white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups who believe that the impending unrest will be a race war. There are also groups that condemn racism and white supremacy, although attempts by some individual elements of the movement to support anti-racist groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter have been met with wariness and skepticism as researchers are unsure if they are genuine or meant to obscure the movement's actual objectives.
The movement primarily organizes online, and participants have appeared at in-person events including the anti-lockdown and the George Floyd protests. Heavily armed, boogaloo members are often identified by their attire of Hawaiian shirts and military fatigues.
Since 2019, at least 31 people affiliated with the boogaloo movement have been charged with crimes, including the killings of two security and law enforcement officers, a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, incidents related to the George Floyd protests, and the storming of the U.S. Capitol building. In mid-2020, several companies acted to limit the movement's activities and visibility on their social media and chat platforms
Naming and identity
Black and white version of the American flag, with the stars replaced by an image of an igloo and the eight stripe replaced with a red tropical print stripe.
A version of the boogaloo flag.
The term boogaloo alludes to the 1984 cult sequel film Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Following the film's release, the phrase "2: Electric Boogaloo" became a verbal template appended to a topic as a signal of pejorative parody. The boogaloo movement adopted its identity based on the anticipation of a second American Civil War or second American Revolution, which was referred to as "Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo" and became popularly known as "the boogaloo" among adherents.
Participants in the boogaloo movement also use other similar-sounding derivations of the word, including boog, boojahideen, big igloo, blue igloo, and big luau to avoid crackdowns and automated content flags imposed by social media sites to limit or ban boogaloo-related content. Intensified efforts by social media companies to restrict boogaloo content have caused adherents to use terms even further detached from the original word such as spicy fiesta to refer to the movement. The boogaloo movement has created logos and other imagery incorporating igloo snow huts and Hawaiian prints based on these derivations. Adherents of the boogaloo sometimes carry black-and-white versions of the American flag, with a middle stripe replaced with a stripe of red tropical print and the stars replaced with an igloo. The stripes sometimes list the names of people who have been killed by law enforcement, including Eric Garner, Vicki Weaver, Robert LaVoy Finicum, Breonna Taylor, and Duncan Lemp.
Adherents attend protests heavily armed and wearing tactical gear, and sometimes identify themselves by wearing Hawaiian shirts along with military fatigues. The boogaloo movement has also used other imagery popular among the far-right such as the Pepe the Frog meme.
Beliefs and structure
Groups in the boogaloo movement are far-right, anti-government, and pro-gun. The movement has also been described as a militia, and Lois Beckett, writing for The Guardian, has compared it to the right-wing anti-government militia and patriot movements of the 1990s and 2000s, stating that "supporters see the current federal government as illegitimate, while remaining deeply patriotic. They revere the constitution and see themselves as the true descendants of America's founding fathers. In their view, current US lawmakers are the equivalent of occupying British forces during the revolutionary war. Among the 'boogaloo' merchandise for sale online are images of George Washington armed with a modern, AR-15-style rifle". Mark Pitcavage, a researcher at the Center on Extremism of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has identified the boogaloo movement's contempt for law enforcement as the element that most strongly distinguishes them from other militia groups. Support for "unfettered gun rights" and "fierce opposition to most or all gun control" are central to the boogaloo movement, and adherents use the term boogaloo to refer to violent insurrection against the federal government or left-wing political opponents, often anticipated to follow government confiscation of firearms.
Some boogaloo groups are white supremacist or neo-Nazi and specifically believe that the boogaloo will be a race war. Some boogaloo groups have condemned racism. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has said that "few of [the boogaloo movement's] adherents are interested in aligning with Black Lives Matter or antifascist protesters against police brutality". According to The Guardian, "there's real disagreement, even among experts who monitor extremist groups, about whether the 'boogaloo' movement as a whole should be described as 'white supremacist'" and that analysts from the ADL and Middlebury's Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counterterrorism (CTEC) have argued that "a significant number of 'boogaloo' supporters are genuinely not white supremacist". The researchers have described the movement as having two wings: "one advocating for race war and one obsessed with societal breakdown and rebellion against the government". However, "other experts say that lip service from some 'boogaloo' supporters about wanting to be a multi-racial movement should not be taken seriously". According to Joan Donovan, director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, "[w]e're equivocating for the sake of an imagined audience. The idea that you would dismantle the US government at this stage is to undo the protections that have been granted to black people, queer people, disabled people, to stop foreign policy related to immigration. There are always racialized and eugenic sub-themes in these groups. That's what war is, at its base. It's about who should live. I don't think you can get away from the ways in which the rhetoric supports a white supremacist ideology, once you start talking about the kinds of policies or strategies they think need to be implemented".
While boogaloo groups are often described as a part of a larger boogaloo movement, J. J. MacNab, a George Washington University fellow researching anti-government extremist groups, has said that she does not agree with this characterization: "since the majority of participants were radicalized elsewhere prior to donning a Hawaiian shirt—either in anti-government militant groups such as the Three Percenters or the militias, or in white supremacy groups—the Boogaloo shouldn't be considered an independent movement at this time". Speaking to the United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism on July 16, 2020, MacNab testified that the boogaloo movement "isn't really a movement. It's a dress code, it's a way of talking, it's jargon. The people who belong to it came from other extremist groups, usually on Facebook. They might have been militia, they might have been a white supremacy [group]. They picked it up somewhere and they donned that Hawaiian shirt, and yet they're treated as a separate movement, and the problem is you're ignoring the underlying areas that they came from". Bellingcat and the SPLC have also stated that other groups with their own distinct identities have adopted the boogaloo meme, including militias, groups comprising the patriot movement, and the Proud Boys.
Members of boogaloo groups typically believe in accelerationism and support any action that will speed impending civil war and eventually the collapse of society. According to The Economist, boogaloo group members have supported to this end the "spreading of disinformation and conspiracy theories, attacks on infrastructure (such as that on New York's 311 line) and lone-wolf terrorism". Some participants in the movement claim that the group and its ideology are nothing more than online jokes, but law enforcement and researchers maintain that people connected to the groups have been implicated in plans to commit real violence. The Tech Transparency Project has observed that while public posts on boogaloo Facebook pages tend to be satirical, members of private boogaloo groups "exchang[e] detailed information and tactics on how to organize and execute a revolt against American authorities". Some of the private groups ban the sharing of memes to keep conversation focused on serious topics. The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) has also commented on the mix of serious and joking content, writing that "this ambiguity is a key feature of the problem: Like a virus hiding from the immune system, the use of comical-meme language permits the network to organize violence secretly behind a mirage of inside jokes and plausible deniability".
The boogaloo movement has attracted some active-duty members of the military and veterans. While the number of active and former military members is believed to be small when compared to the overall size of the movement, extremism researcher Kathleen Belew has stated that their participation "is not a problem we should take lightly" due to the threat that they could "dramatically escalate the impact of fringe activism, pass on explosives expertise, [or share] urban warfare expertise". Following the filing of terrorism charges against three Nevada men with ties to the Department of Defense (DoD), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) stated in a June 2020 report: "Racially motivated violent extremist (RMVE) movements that subscribe to boogaloo have engaged in conceptual discussions about recruiting military or former military members for their perceived knowledge of combat training.... NCIS cannot discount the possibility of DoD affiliated individuals sympathetic to or engaged in the boogaloo movement." As of June 2020, four men who have been arrested and found to have ties to the boogaloo movement, including the alleged perpetrator of the May and June 2020 killings of two security and law enforcement officers in California, have been veterans or active military servicemen.
Groups in the boogaloo movement are described by researchers and journalists as far-right. Some groups have also been variously described as being alt-right, libertarian, or right-libertarian. According to Alex Newhouse, a digital researcher at Middlebury's CTEC, "the way we know the 'boogaloo' movement is a far-right movement is because they draw a line directly from Waco and Ruby Ridge. They hold up things like the McVeigh bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building and the armed response to Ruby Ridge as heroic moments in American history", which they view as citizens standing up to government oppression. Newhouse also identified the choice by adherents of the movement to provide armed protection to private businesses during anti-lockdown protests and George Floyd protests as evidence that the movement is rightwing, saying that leftists would not be likely to do the same as they are more likely to view large corporations as an integral component of capitalist exploitation. According to Newhouse, this emphasis on the importance of private property is part of what makes the boogaloo movement "very much an extreme right libertarian ideology".
The groups and individuals often self-identify as libertarian, although a few individuals have also described themselves as adherents of related ideologies, including anarcho-capitalism and minarchism. There are also "a few apparent anarchists", including some self-identified "anarchists". Pitcavage described the "anarchists" who have adopted "'boogaloo' rhetoric" as generally being right-wing anarcho-capitalists, not what he terms "left-wing anarchists". MacNab has stated that "most boogaloo members are libertarian anarchists who hate cops". The SPLC notes that "a look at the movement's origins and its online communities make it clear that its politics are much more complicated than straightforward libertarianism". The Daily Beast reported in October 2020 that the varying ideologies of groups within the movement cause confusion about its overall ideology, and that some adherents intentionally obfuscate the movement's ideology in order to attract more followers.
In June 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tweeted in reply to a Politico article about the boogaloo movement that an intelligence bulletin released by the agency "does NOT identify the Boogaloo movement as left-wing OR right-wing" and stated that "they are simply violent extremists from both ends of the ideological spectrum". The Guardian refuted the DHS' description of the movement, saying that experts on extremism concur that the boogaloo movement is right-wing. Daryl Johnson, a former DHS analyst, told The Guardian that he believed the DHS' claim that the boogaloo movement was not right-wing was "playing politics". Johnson further stated that the boogaloo movement is "an ultra-nationalist primarily white movement of people who belong to the militias. Could there be somebody that has different sympathies that's part of it? Sure. It's predominantly rightwing"
Items of significance:
Shooting of Duncan Lemp
Main article: Shooting of Duncan Lemp
On March 12, 2020, Duncan Lemp, a boogaloo Facebook group leader, was fatally shot by police in a no-knock raid of his home in Potomac, Maryland. Police had obtained a no-knock search warrant based on a tip that Lemp was violating a restriction from possessing firearms, although Lemp's family has said they were unaware that he was under any such restriction. Lemp's family has also asserted that he was asleep when he was killed by police. Some far-right groups have theorized that Lemp was killed by police for his anti-government beliefs and his position in the boogaloo movement. J. J. MacNab, a fellow of the George Washington University extremism program, has described Lemp as a "martyr" of the boogaloo movement and warned that the increase in anti-police sentiment among boogaloo group members following his death may lead to violence against the police in the "foreseeable future". Some adherents of the boogaloo movement use phrases including "we are Duncan Lemp" and "his name was Duncan Lemp", which The New York Times has said they "repeat... like mantras". Adherents of the boogaloo have posted to Lemp's girlfriend's Instagram account promising to someday avenge his death.
A large crowd of people stands in front of the Virginia State Capitol
Demonstrators at the 2020 VCDL Lobby Day in Richmond, Virginia on January 20, 2020
Adherents of the boogaloo movement have been observed at pro-gun rights demonstrations, protests against COVID-19 lockdowns, and the George Floyd protests which began in May 2020 and continued through the year. Believers in the movement can also appear unexpectedly at events and protests initiated by others with apparently different affiliations.
In January 2020, members of boogaloo groups attended the 2020 VCDL Lobby Day, a gun rights rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency for the day of the rally in response to intelligence that indicated there was "a threat of an armed militia groups storming our capital". Under half of the 50,000 attendees predicted by organizers actually appeared at the demonstration and the event ended peacefully. The rally, which is an annual event, was particularly contentious in 2020 due to a number of gun control bills that were progressing through the Virginia legislature following the 2019 mass shooting in Virginia Beach. These included allowances for localities to ban firearms from venues and functions, red flag legislation that would allow law enforcement to confiscate weapons from those considered a risk to themselves or others, a law that would require background checks to buy or transfer a firearm, and a law that would impose a limit on the number of handguns that could be purchased in a month.
Adherents of the movement were also observed attending the anti-lockdown protests that began in mid-April throughout the United States, including in Washington, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. They viewed the lockdowns and related restrictions, which were imposed by state and local governments to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as governmental overreach and some described them as "tyranny". Some members of boogaloo groups offered armed protection to businesses who wished to reopen in defiance of state shutdown orders.
They also were a part of the raid on the Capitol this year.
Participants in the boogaloo movement often wear Hawaiian shirts along with military fatigues to identify themselves at protests such as this VCDL Lobby Day gun rights demonstration on January 20, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia.
WRITEUP ABOVE IS COMPLIMENTS OF WIKIPEDIA
HOMELAND SECURITY : Labeled them as a Violent Extremist Group.
THE FOLLOWING ARE ARTICLES AND YOU TUBE VIDEOS TO REVIEW.
Virginia 2nd Admentment Rally 2020
They seem like any other Patriot group, but they are not.
What do you think?
They seem to be around when ANTIFA and BLM are around. Have you noticed?
ARTICLES TO REVIEW:
So what do you think? Are they like a Militia, Oathkeepers, ANTIFA, BLM etc?
Please Feel free to comment on anything I post in these Blogs. Ty!