In a perhaps troubling nationwide trend, the “mostly peaceful” protests against social and racial injustice are beginning to spawn heavily armed militia groups.

Over the weekend in Louisville, KY police were alerted that a group calling itself NFAC (the Not F-ing Around Coalition), highly armed militants dressed in black, was planning to assemble.

The group claims it is defending the Constitution and decrying the death of Breonna Taylor, the unarmed 26-year-old EMT who was shot eight times in her own home by police during a botched drug investigation.

On Saturday afternoon, three members of the “Not F-ing Around Coalition” were injured by shots fired from one of their own member’s guns, who apparently WAS f-ing around at the time of the incident.

A reporter from WHAS11 wrote on Twitter, that protesters ducked behind cars and scattered to flee the area.

One of the members of the NFAC spoke to throngs of protesters and said “we had a little accident, it happens,” the reporter said.

Fox News reports, “Other racial justice protesters who have staged peaceful marches daily since the death of Taylor in March faced off with NFAC militants, saying they don’t agree with their tactics of displaying guns and weaponry.

The Louisville organization of Black Lives Matter has distanced itself from the coalition, accusing the armed group of being “outside agitators,” WDRB reported.

Meanwhile, protests have continued in Portland, Oregon for more than 50 straight days since the since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Over the weekend, rioters broke through the reinforced fence surrounding the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in the city’s downtown. The courthouse has been repeatedly vandalized and damaged over multiple nights. Federal officers have recently been assigned to the building, which has inflamed tensions.

People  in the crowd Saturday night threw rocks, bottles, and unknown liquids over the fence, and were shining lasers and launching fireworks at the building, police said.

As officers tried to disperse the crowd, police said they were hit with bottles and paint balloons. People also shot mortar-style fireworks at officers from the ground and from parking garages.

Also on Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered in Seattle, in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland.

Those initially peaceful protests also turned violent leading into Saturday night.

Authorities said rocks, bottles, fireworks, and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area. Police deployed sponge rounds, OC spray, and blast balls.

Across the nation, protests devolved into violence in Austin, Aurora, Richmond, and  Oakland and Los Angeles in California.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new in the United States.

For those who may feel like racial tensions are the worst they’ve ever seen, it’s because they’re not old enough to remember.

Fifty-three years ago, “The long, hot summer of 1967” described 159 race riots that erupted across the country. In June there were riots in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Tampa. In July there were riots in Birmingham, Chicago, New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Britain, Rochester, Plainfield, and Toledo.

The most destructive riots of the summer took place in July, in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan, and many contemporary newspapers headlines describe them as “battles.”

By September 1967, 83 were dead, thousands injured, tens of millions of dollars in property had been destroyed and entire neighborhoods were burned.

Then it happened again.

Riots erupted across the country the following year, in 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King. There was rioting in over 100 cities across the United States. Protesters were angry and disillusioned with peaceful attempts to bring about racial equality and social justice, and many believed violent resistance was the only option.

What did it change?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.