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Texas State Legislators Need To Act Now On Domestic Terrorism Threats

Texas State Legislators Need To Act Now On Domestic Terrorism Threats

HD47 Representative Vikki Goodwin and SD14 Senator Sarah Eckhardt have already introduced bills that would help keep Texans safe.

As of today, there have already been 11 arrested from Texas that participated in the violent insurrection in Washington D.C. However, there are many more from Texas, who has yet to be arrested. Many of the people involved in the violent attempt to overthrow the government on January 6th have been identified as belonging to well-known hate groups and extremist groups. There are many in Texas who are familiar with these groups, as these groups targeted Black people and civil rights activists much of 2020. Domestic terrorism has been thriving in Texas and up until now, it has remained unchecked.

It isn’t just Texas, all over America during 2020, the same groups who were in D.C. on the 6th targeted Black people and Democrats. It led to stalking, harassment, and racial violence on many occasions.

Summer 2020 in Texas.

Last July, unidentified federal agents in unmarked vehicles were snatching and detaining peaceful protesters from the streets of Portland. They refused to identify themselves or tell bystanders where they were taking the people who they were detaining. This was illegal and unconstitutional.

On July 26th, Hank Gilbert, the Democrat candidate running for Congress, scheduled an event to talk to people about what was happening in Portland. During that time there was a lot of misinformation going around, he sought to educate the people in Tyler on the legality and constitutionality of what was happening in Portland.

Nothing could have prepared Gilbert or the others involved for how that incident played out.

I spoke with Ryan Miller, Gilbert’s campaign manager recently, who told me the only mistake they made was labeling the event “Portland Protest,” because they intended it to be an educational event. Miller told me that “Portland Protest” was just more catchy than “An Educational Event About the Constitutionality of the Events of Portland.”

They were heavily outnumbered.

With Hank Gilbert, there were between 10 – 15 people. That included his campaign staff. They were met with around 150 armed and angry white men.

Notice the man in the picture on the left, his shirt says “1776,” that was what the domestic terrorists in Washington D.C. were calling their movement. It was also what Trump was calling his attempted re-implementation of the Lost Cause. It was the year America was first its own nation and separated from British rule.

The reason the domestics terrorists D.C. were calling it 1776, was because they were intending to overthrow the government, liberate America from democracy, and implement Trump as a dictator. January 6th was supposed to be their independence day.

Oath Keepers and 3%ers.

There were dozens of incidents in Texas during 2020, where these groups committed domestic terrorism. It’s been well documented. There is plenty of video and photo documentation to show what these people did and how they behaved. However, in Texas, police haven’t done anything about it. The reason always given on why police haven’t acted on these incidents was because it is legal in Texas for hundreds of armed white men in tactical gear to accost small groups of unarmed people peacefully protesting.

Because there has been no legal remedy to stop this behavior, it led to multiple incidents of racial violence.

Texas legislators need to act now, to stop these domestic terrorism incidents from continuing.

I spoke with Representative Vikki Goodwin this week, she introduced H.B. 791, which would enact a law that would prohibit firearms to be displayed within 500 feet of a protest. She told me the reason that she wanted to introduce this bill was because of the Garrett Foster murder. Last July, Foster was open carrying at a protest and had an encounter with a motorist, who was driving by. The motorist shot and killed Garrett Foster.

Many of the domestic terrorism incidents that happened in Texas last year, happened in North Texas or East Texas, and almost always in rural areas. Most of these incidents were not covered by mainstream media. The small local papers in these rural areas typically didn’t cover them fairly. The Gainesville Daily Register, for example, called the white militias who showed up “counter-protesters,” and didn’t mention in their coverage that the white militia was heavily armed or the racial rhetoric or death threats they used on peaceful protesters.

Goodwin told me that she didn’t even hear about many of these incidents from where she lives, in Austin. However, this issue is very important to her, because her father was shot and killed in Dallas in 1990.

Proud Boys showed up armed to Garrett Foster’s memorial.

Just as Proud Boys showed up at Jonathan Price’s candlelight vigil, where a white man pulled a gun on a group of peaceful Black people mourning a loss.

This is domestic terrorism.

Democrats, Black people, and their allies have been unable to peacefully gather in Texas to exercise their first amendment rights without these armed angry white men showing up, using the same tactics once used by the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate and harass.

Senator Sarah Eckhardt just introduced SB 311, as well, which uses much of the same language as Goodwin’s House bill. It would prohibit firearms within 500 feet of a protest or demonstration.

CALL TO ACTION.

Call or email your elected representative, tell them to support HB 791.

Then, call or email your elected senator and tell them to support SB 311.

To find out who your elected officials are, go HERE!

Make sure you’re registered to vote! Don’t forget!

Are you registered to vote? Not sure, find out HERE!

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