Translation carried out by the project Newочем.
I get out of bed of a pickup truck with a rifle in his hands. “Keep your weapons ready!” — commanded by captain Payne. I move lightly. Unlike others, I don’t consider southern Arizona war zone, so I did not install the steel plate in your vest. In the background similar to the spetsnaz AR-15 the rest, my Ruger Mini-14 with a wooden bed a bit distracting from the overall picture. But everything else is fine — I have a camouflage cartoons (MultiCam — universal camouflage color — approx. Newочем), tan ankle boots and a walkie-talkie on his shoulder. I’m a pretty good fit.
We stand in the Parking lot of the Walmart store in Nogales. Captain Payne with a couple of people are going to restock. In the absence of our commander — Showtime. It’s a marine veteran, made three visits to Afghanistan. On his face with camouflage paint and beard as snow man. He sits in the cockpit, to go from your phone to Facebook, while the Destroyer, Huntsman, Spartan and I are standing backs to the truck with rifles in hand and watch for anything suspicious. The Mexican border five miles from here.
“Look, — says the Keeper, looking at the other side of the Parking lot. — Chevrolet Camaro with disks.” His hand casually rests on the camouflage buttstock AR-15 hanging on the tactical three-point belt.
“Well, you know that half of Mexicans chrome wheels on machines,” argues the Destroyer, saying that this machine is not necessarily belongs to a drug cartel. He squeezes the handle of the AK-47, prudently keeping the index finger on the receiver.
“The last time [there was] a toned machine — adds Spartan. With huge drives. Oral Mexican music. Twice we have traveled. And slow”. He spits out the seed.
Destroyer nods at the entrance to the Parking lot. “Here Sheriff,” he says. A police car pulls into the Parking lot.
“He’s looking at us,” says Huntsman.
“Of course,” replied the Destroyer.
“Keep your hands in sight! Police!” suddenly shouts the man in the shirt, standing among the vehicles in front of us. He indicates his weapon. My companions pull hands apart. Their rifles hanging on his chest. My rifle is not a tactical belt, so I continue to keep her in hand.
“Put the gun down!” — screams at me, another policeman in plainclothes.
The police approach us. “You who, the hunters?”
“The militia,” answered the Huntsman.
“Do you have ID?” I reach for her. “Keep your hands away from your pockets!” — barks one of them.
Drive two patrol cars, they are three police officers from the Nogales police Department. “So what are you guys doing here?” — asks one of them. Her name tag says “Hernandez”, she has short black hair with sharp strands.
“In fact, we are the eyes and ears of border patrol,” replied the Huntsman.
“Most likely, someone saw people in camouflage with rifles and thought: “damn.””, — suggested by another policeman.
“Awesome company” — tells a Destroyer, picking his teeth in a somewhat feigned tranquility.
“No, you guys aren’t terrible — not agrees to officer Hernandez. — I think local just not used to see people enjoying the right to carry guns on the street, and get scared when this happens. Don’t worry”. It conveys our identity on the radio and wondered how we ended up in Arizona.
“Well, at home, in Colorado, we are a Patriotic organization of the United three percent patriots” — starting with the Huntsman.
“That means you, of course, deploys, and you come for several days or…”
“Yeah, confirms the Huntsman. The commander decides who goes and who stays.”
“For what you do here, dick, says Hernandez. — Thank you.” She returns our documents. Police sit in the car and leave.
Destroyer looks at me. “You have a camera?” On my vest there’s camera.
“Well done,” — he nods approvingly.
“I’ll have to post this,” says Huntsman.
Prepared for the worst
Captain Payne takes us back to the base forward deployment, is an hour drive on a rough winding dirt road in the mountains of Patagonia. Destroyer says that it was the best time of his life meeting with the police. “The moral of the story: meetings with the police come prepared,” he says. Huntsman surprised at how friendly Hernandez was given her name. He noted that her hair was shorter than ours; the Destroyer calls it “it”. “How much feminists to screw in a light bulb?— he asks. Twenty. One to screw, and 19 to complain that men should do”.
“How to distinguish a Jew from the Slav?— asks the Huntsman. All. They are both ashes. Ha ha ha!” Huntsman parents immigrant from Germany. He has dual citizenship, and he is openly proud of its origins. Some call him a Nazi without approval or condemnation, but rather to tease.
Spartan, an employee of the transportation security Administration, too, laughing at a string of jokes, but says little. All of his emotions hidden behind a panoramic sunglasses, a bushy red beard and the Eastern keffiyeh, usually covering his head. The stoicism here is expected, and what I say rarely, not evident. I don’t lie to these guys, but not saying that I’m a journalist. I can tell them about your past militia: before you join the three percent of United patriots for this cross-border operations, I trained in the Militia of the state of California and 31 of the Protective Legion in Northern and Central California. I learned shooting, orienteering, the skills of patrolling, by non-parachute landing rules of radio communication, encryption, how to make a base forward deployment in dangerous situations and keep the defense. Like others, for security purposes, I used the Callsign. In California some of you knew me as a Sidewinder. Here call me Cali.
My joining the militia began with creating a new account in Facebook. I used my real name, but from private information I have published only what is married and what I worked as a welder and a prison guard in American corporations correctional institutions. My avatar was a picture Gastroscope flag. I found and “liked” page of the militias: a Nation of Tripotential (Three Percenter Nation), the Soldiers patriots (Patriotic Warriors) and the Militia of the state of Arizona (Arizona State Militia). Then Facebook offered an infinite number of other militias, communities, and their I also liked. To maintain the activity in the profile, I shared the records of the other people blogging about the attempts of Barack Obama to impose martial law and the dangers of crossing the border by the Syrians. I post memes about the American flag and about the importance of police officers ‘ lives (police lives matter, by analogy with the Black Lives Matter movement for the rights of black — approx. Newочем). Then I sent dozens of requests to friends users groups of Facebook related to the militia. Some reacted in disbelief: “What a strange you have a profile, so I ask why you added me????” — wrote one of them. But many immediately accepted my application. After a couple of days I already had more than a hundred friends, and virtually any member of the militia, while on my page, could very likely find that we have at least one mutual friend.
Then I came across “Operation Spring break” — a closed group of three-percent United patriots on Facebook. I sent a request and when its approved, I saw a post that asked, who will go to operation in April. I wrote “Go”. The purpose of the operation anywhere in the posts is not mentioned, because all it is about aware — to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Finally announced coordinators base operational deployment in the farm Park is San Rafael, Arizona. No one ever ask about me. All I needed was to come. The list of necessary equipment was long and included, including weapons, medicines and wearable video camera. The idea was that the tapes could refute the false accusations against the militias. I used this camera to film everything he saw and heard. One eyebrow does not lead.
Members of the United patriots three percent believed cross-border operations the opportunity to give back to the country, at the same time experiencing his training and honing the skills before the upcoming battle. Like most militia, they believe that the disintegration of society is inevitable. There are many theories as to why “the shit will fly fan”. Some believe that the economy would collapse. Or inside the country will start riots caused by the movement Black Lives Matter. Could happen a disaster. Maybe the government will cancel the right to the free possession of guns and impose martial law. While many participants in the broader “patriot” movement are preparing for this, members of the three-percent United patriots consider themselves men of action, watchdogs of the nation’s blind, ignorant sheep.
When we drove up to the database, returning from the store, captain Payne reports on the radio of our arrival. This is the Protocol for all who enter and leave. Two men with rifles patrol the perimeter, and if we announce our approach, they may take us for enemies. This is not the only security measures: I was told that in the dried-up bed of the river bordering the base, installed three motion sensor, sometimes the militia stand in position on the tops of the nearby hills, and most of the food is prepared with fat or pork to protect against possible spies of the Muslims.
Noon, people are sitting, playing cards or staring at the fire, sleep in tents. More than forty people came here from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and other States. Almost all white, but there are a couple of Hispanics. It’s roofers, electricians, heavy equipment operators, welders, prison nurse and a bounty hunter. Most are in the infantry of the militia, as I do, but some more specific obligations. Scorpio controls the radio communication on short waves from a van with a long antenna sticking out on the roof, and located close to the buzzing generator. A man from Oregon is preparing Breakfast and dinner under the large pergola area. The doctor of the camp, a Tramp, sitting under his canopy, staring at the cell phone. Someone grumbles at the team from local news channel Alabama, which is shooting near the base and almost disrupted one of the night operations to include floodlights next to the fence on the border.
With gnarled Mesquite tree hanging lifelessly modified American flag corner with 50 stars replaced by the Roman numeral III surrounded by thirteen stars. This is the flag of tripotential, symbolizing their core belief: during the war for independence only 3% of the colonists in America played a role in the overthrow of the British, and would require 3% of modern Americans to start the “rebirth of the Republic of the founding fathers”. The idea originated in 2008 with the participation of Mike Wunderbar (Mike Vanderboegh), a former member of the militia and far-right blogger, who died in August. Mike Wunderbar said trehproudnyi “ready to fight, to die, and if they are forced oppressors to kill” to defend the Constitution.
The philosophy of tripotential quickly turned into a spontaneous popular movement, which became part of the revival of the militia of the right wing after Obama’s election in 2008. When you search Amazon displays more than four thousand results, from baby clothes to iPhone covers with the logo of the militia. In the Internet you can find more than 300 pages on Facebook, websites and forums tripotential. In their main group in Facebook more than 15 thousand participants, although the actual number of people included in active, real militia groups, is difficult to calculate.
A former marine and the head of the IT Department by the name of Mike Morris (Mike Morris), herein referred to as a Fifty-cal (for Cal — derivative of the name.50 (12.7 mm) caliber cartridge, one of the most powerful among mass-produced — approx. Newочем), believed that if trehproudnyi want to restore the Constitution, they need to be organized and well prepared. In 2013 he founded the organization three percent United patriots and became the commander of this militia. The number of participants “took off” after the Ferguson protests, says Morris. He is proud to be their largest branch in Colorado now for over 3,400 people.
We rarely see a Fifty-cal; mostly he sits in the trailer at the far end of the camp, planning day and night operations, confers with the officers and watching war movies. This is the eighth and the largest of run border operations in 2014. He did not believe that trehproudnyi will be able to stop drug smuggling or illegal immigration, but it seems that for the patriots is a chance to give back to the Motherland. In his view, immigration is not even the biggest problem. But the fact that America has changed beyond recognition: the Federal government has become a tyranny, and the customs and culture of the country destroyed. “Every day we have less rights, less freedom,” complained a Fifty-cal, when I called him after our cross-border operations. (I tried to contact every member of the militia, mentioned in this article. Some agreed to give a formal interview.) He said that a three-percent United patriots — it’s not just “guns and camo”. The organization has provided humanitarian assistance to the victims of the water crisis in flint, Michigan, and floods in Louisiana and South Carolina. The militia gave food and clothing to the veterans. “By itself, the organization of tripotential — do not have militia, reported a Fifty-cal in an interview AmmoLand.com. — We are rather half-brother of the militia, perhaps his more advanced version.”
A fifty-cal out of the trailer and comes with a dry smoker’s cough. The camp goes white-green edge SUV, it goes full of smiling people in green uniforms. Fifty-cal’s not smiling, and I start to get nervous. The majority of our scattered around the base, no assault rifles, but has a personal weapon. A fifty-cal runs a hand through his long red beard. His stomach emerges through the black t-shirt that says “Permission to shoot ISIS” (an organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.) on the skull. He drags on a cigarette, revealing a hand covered with tattoos.
“What’s up, comrade?” — interested agent. A fifty-cal spreads his arms, and they embrace, patting each other on the back. He grins.
“Good to see you, man — recognized a Fifty-cal. — How are you?”
“Cool-I’ll be back, man. Well, you should know”. Agent’s name is Mike. The guys surrounded him and talking to him like old friends. Mike tells stories about the drunken teenagers who overturned cars, and cameras with motion sensors on the border, who captured the naked man-tourist. In this district, Mike has been working for ten years, and the guys trying to get tips on how to catch the Mexicans, hiding in the desert. Mike says he loves his job.
“It’s a trip to a hot spot in which every day I come home and sleep in his own bed. The action is there, but no need to collect your bags.”
A fifty-cal and his Deputy Ghost walking with Mike to his car, where they communicate more some time. When Mike leaves, the Ghost begins to March through the camp. He walks like a Sergeant-instructor and looks like a worker from the construction site — sinewy body and deeply tanned skin. “Who took a picture of the patrol?” — he asks. People shake their heads. Someone says that the Sandstone had a camera in his hands. The specter goes to look for him. “We can’t take pictures with the guards,” explains one man.
The Ghost has a reputation local a bouncer, but he is a man of the people. While a Fifty-cal secluded in his trailer, the Ghost is sitting around the campfire with the others. It doesn’t say much about politics, but on his Facebook page called Hillary Clinton a “bitch,” which “need to hang on a tall tree to die, die, die”. Many of the guys do not favor any of the political parties. “Today, each of them in something so mired”, considers a Fifty-cal. Hunter says that he will vote for Gary Johnson, the candidate of the libertarian party. The Ghost, however, supports Donald trump. He worries that the day will come when ISIS will unite with the cartels, and terrorists will jump over five-foot fence South of here. While trump will not be President, adds the Ghost, the wall is us.
The guys could not get used to the fact that today many Muslims living in the country. “Saudi fucking Aurora, — captain Payne calls his hometown in Colorado. — You need to kill more of these bastards. Never seen so many cryptography in America.”
“I remember when in my area of Aurora was a white,” says Huntsman.
As a Fifty-cal, the Ghost regrets that the country changes a lot. Honest hardworking as he used to live happily ever after. And he didn’t hear people constantly complaining about whites, as is happening now. All became tense. Young Ghost lived in Los Angeles, and often rode down Hollywood Boulevard with friends. “We were bagging on Sluts — protrude from the window of a 20-dollar bill and watched as they chased the car. There really were some very pretty whores compared to those that are working in East Aurora. Big old nigger as something came to him and said, “Come here, baby!”, mockingly yells the Ghost. — Fuck, no, come back! You just booze in the world is not enough”. Sometimes his speech gets through “word N”, although some of the guys it was a bit jarred. A fifty-cal told me that the racism here is not tolerated, and that “we were kicked out and blocked guys that have not the same ideals.” In its official communications trehproudnyi insist that they are not a white supremacy. No one, however, do not confuse the offensive words. To resent means to sell political correctness, and this is a step towards Big Brother.
The Ghost says that the American perception of history has gone into “Orwellian memory hole”. Who now remembers Randy weaver (Randy Weaver)? The Ghost was 25 years old when in 1991 the weaver, a member of the far right religious movement, accused of illegally selling shotguns locked up with family at the cabin in ruby ridge, Idaho and stayed there for 18 months. Then a firefight ensued, during which were killed thirteen-year-old son of a weaver and a Federal Sheriff. During the subsequent ten-day siege, FBI sniper killed weaver’s wife while she was holding the baby. Ghost confident that actually the weaver just showed disrespect to the government.
For Ghost and other patriots the incident at ruby ridge was a sign that the government is ready for war against its own citizens. A year after ruby ridge siege took place on “mount Carmel” in Hueco, Texas, where supporters of the cult of the “Branch of David” kept guns and a million bullets. The FBI attacked their camp that led to the fire that claimed the lives of 70 men, women and children. The rumor that the feds deliberately set the fire, common among the extreme right and conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones (Alex Jones). In 1994 Federal ban on assault weapons strengthened the confidence of the patriots in that Washington makes final preparations for the transformation of America into a totalitarian state. By the early 90s across the country organized hundreds provotsirovanija groups calling themselves “militia”, attilas to volunteers who fought during the American revolution.
After the terrorist attack in Oklahoma city in 1995 broke the opposition of anti-government extremism, which spawned Timothy Makwaia (Timothy McVeigh). The militia has been dormant since the election of George Bush President in 2000. Then came the first black President. According to the southern legal resource centre for the poor, during the first three years of Obama’s presidency the number of active militias in the United States increased eight times. By 2015, formed the 275 groups, at least 41 States.
Various movement United by a disdain for the Federal government, but the reasons for joining the militia of the individual members vary. “Everyone has their reasons to be here, said on my first training captain, Massengale Clyde (Clyde Massengale). Delta force Militia of the state of California. Some may believe that now there is something described in the Bible. Some say that this is a New World Order. Someone believes that the New World Order makes what is happening now was like a story from the Bible. No one fucking knows. Yes, anyone and don’t give a fuck”. Whatever happens, the militia is ready. When the batch starts, the militia will already be secret, protected the rear, where we will be able to take their families. Perhaps, some day there will rise a new society. Massengale, said that under his leadership, the life of this settlement will be built on the model of ancient Rome. Active who distinguished themselves in battle, the militia will become citizens, and former members and outsiders no. “We’ll need worker bees”, he said. “Want to join? We’ll say you can. You squirm on the field, grow food, cut wood. And we will stand and watch,” he said, and then added in a loud whisper: “In houses, not in tents. Ha ha ha!”
I looked at the only black in the team — it was a recruit, whose family was close to the mass shooting in San Bernardino the week before. “Hate to say it, but I’m here for a long time, he said to the captain, you’re going to have to look at my black ass every day.”
The captain answered that blacks, as shown by his experience, always the one to handle the training and execution of orders. “More black butts for us as we needed,” he said. Another man added: “We need diversity”.