Political Intimidation in Texas

“This is the century for colonialist ambitions to be reversed,” the 78-year-old pastor said. “I’ve watched a lot of things happen, and the people of the world are fed up. The spirit of the world right now is: make things smaller, move governments closer to home, take back self-rule.”

Jarnecke said he was being taxed by a foreign government that he feels doesn’t represent him, and protested having to fund bank bailouts and foreign wars.

Are these the sentiments of the anti-war crowd at Berkeley? Occupy Wall Street? The Black Panthers? No, it’s a group of Republic of Texas secessionists. And it sounds pretty damn reasonable.

The mention of “secessionist” may immediately call up fleeting images of rednecks, militias or white supremacists. To depict secessionists this way is an attempt to marginalize them, without considering the actual goal: succession from a colonialist empire.

When marginalization doesn’t work, good ole fashioned police intimidation is always an option. The Republic of Texas secessionists found this out back in mid-February. A group of highly armed law enforcement agents entered a peaceful meeting, detained sixty people, fingerprinted all of them, and confiscated their cellular phones, laptops and other electronic equipment.

He [Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer] acknowledged he used a “show of force,” grouping officers from city, county state and federal law enforcement to serve a search warrant for suspicions of a misdemeanor crime.

The pretext for political intimidation – and political intimidation was without a doubt the goal – was that two of the Republic of Texas secessionists demanded that a Kerr County Judge appear before a Republic of Texas court. This is all that it took for every person in attendance that day, all sixty of them, to be added to a database of political extremists.

The warrant also allowed DNA collection of every person in attendance, although DNA was not taken.

The Republic of Texas meetings are not secret. They maintain the trappings of a typical state congressional meeting. These aren’t persons holed up in a bunker. Republic meetings are open and in a public hall, with members of the regular public often in attendance. You could go to one if it piqued your curiosity.

And if you had gone to one, the day of the raid, the police would have confiscated your cell phone, fingerprinted you and put you on a list.

You might think twice about showing up to watch a second time. You might be, in effect, intimidated. It might convey the impression that the group was unsavory. Because the police fingerprinted you and confiscated your property you might wonder if you had done something wrong. Unless, of course, you were already committed to the secessionist cause.

But the whole purpose of marginalizing dissident political groups is to keep people from reaching the point that they become committed.

Feds raid Texas secessionist meeting

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