“There wasn’t anyone in local leadership who was going to hold these folks accountable.”Residents of Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint who have felt threatened or intimidated by the gun-bearing civilians echoed Schroeder’s sentiment: Some local elected leaders and law enforcement officials appeared to condone, and at times even encourage, the armed patrols.Multiple residents interviewed for this article said they felt this letter signaled city leaders’ approval of the armed residents’ and militia members’ behavior.“I can’t believe the council and the mayor would endorse this type of activity downtown,” said Dennis Brueggeman, who has lived on-and-off in Coeur d’Alene since 2002. Militia Standards and Principles of the Light Foot is a non-fiction text. “I needed to get the hell out of town,” she said. The Idaho Light Foot Militia (ILFM) is a militia with units across the state of Idaho.
The Idaho Light Foot Militia sent an email blast to 36 potential Twin Falls members Wednesday. The ILFM is organized as a light infantry unit. The Oath Keepers, created in 2009, have a similar ideology, but they recruit current and former police, military members and first responders.While the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters have chapters and organized groups throughout the United States, some people subscribe to the ideology of those groups without actually being members of them.“3% is almost more of a mindset than an actual group,” said Wasylko, who said that he agrees with many of the philosophies of the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers, though he is not an active member of any group.McDonald said the Three Percenter groups in North Idaho focus more on survival skills.“They’re more about sustainable living, more about being able to garden and grow your own food and how to get your own water and how to live off the land,” McDonald said. For Collin Beggs, a Sandpoint resident who owns a timber frame carpentry business, the presence of armed residents at the march in Sandpoint was startling.“I have lots of guns, and I grew up around lots of guns. “I guess the problem is that your extreme and my extreme may be completely different,” McDonald said.Many armed civilians insist racism played no part in their assembly.
In interviews, armed attendees of the protests claimed their intent was not to intimidate.Steve Wasylko, the owner of a firearms training institute who was one of the armed people in downtown Sandpoint, said that he didn’t “necessarily agree that people were intimidated.”“For the most part, we literally had people all night long in Sandpoint and in Coeur d’Alene, people driving by, honking, waving, saying thank you so much for being out here,” he said. Rebecca Schroeder doesn’t tell people her new address.As an outspoken progressive advocate from Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho, she’s grown accustomed to local animosity.But when online messages suggested she be put in a body bag, bullet casings appeared on her friends’ front porches, and armed civilians — some of them members of unofficial militia groups — began patrolling the streets downtown, she packed her bags and left her birthplace, taking her 13-year-old son with her to an undisclosed location.“It feels like letting them win by not being in Coeur d’Alene right now and fighting the good fight,” Schroeder said. “We could say outright like, ‘OK, neo-Nazi: bad, white supremacist: bad.’”Some, like Tony Stewart, secretary of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, say that there’s no comparison between the years when Butler and the Aryan Nations were active and now.“Comparing that with now is like apples and oranges,” Stewart said.But for Shawn Keenan, who was in his early 20s when his aunt and cousin were attacked, the armed groups demonstrate that the ideology of the Aryan Nations never really went away.“It’s the same mentality, the same philosophy. Some residents and legal experts say this response is legally misguided.The Coeur d’Alene press release penned by the mayor and City Council said the city could not curtail what they saw as civilians’ constitutional rights. Supply/Logistics teams: Procure and deliver equipment and provisions, and may also serve as messengers. In an interview with the Statesman, Waldrup said his legal assistant was told to “go live in Compton,” one young person at the march was called the n-word and another called a “n*****-lover” by people in the armed group.“I was appalled. Jeffrey Stankiewicz, a liaison officer with the Idaho Light Foot Militia. Constitution Party of Illinois Metropolis. Training Day 1-16-2010.
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