A far-right militia appears to have threatened Georgia’s Democratic candidate for governor if she wins election, in a recruitment video circulating on Facebook.
In mid-September, a Georgia based-group calling itself the “III% Security Force” spliced footage of members shooting guns with pictures of Abrams, who would be the first black female governor in the nation if she defeats Brian Kemp, the Republican secretary of state. “Declaration of war against all domestic enemies,” the video says.
“We the people will give formal notice of a declaration of war against all domestic enemies within the United States of America.”
And this week, the group posed with guns in a Facebook picture threatening that “if commies win Tuesday and go forward with usurping and impeaching, you gotta come through III%. We will defend our President,” The Root first reported.
“We want President Trump to kick the shit out of deep state / police state. And Stacy Abrams for Governor in Ga, you flag burning, gun grabbing, socialist bitch..we will defend our state from you, fuck you.”
Facebook removed the video and the post, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast, saying both violated company policy.
The group’s leader, Chris Hill, recently told a Danish television channel that the group plans on defending Trump “with a use of force if need be.”
The Georgia-based group is part of the III% militia movement, a loose affiliation of far-right paramilitary organizations. Although the movement initially claimed broad anti-government creds during its foundation in the Obama era, it has since rallied around President Donald Trump, sometimes promoting violence in his name.
“The intent will be to show support for President Trump and encourage him to bring all traitors to justice and restore the Constitution,” the group’s video said. “We pray for President Trump to lead us like our first president, George Washington, or remain neutral while we reclaim what has been taken from us.”
Despite currently controlling all three branches of government, a growing far-right fringe has cast itself as besieged by internal government enemies — the nebulous “deep state” — whom only Trump can destroy. Groups like III% militias and adherents to the absurd conspiracy theory QAnon borrow Tea Party language about “the people” banishing ever-vaguer “corruption” and “tyranny.”
The conspiracy theories are the groups’ attempts to identify enemies in a political system that overwhelmingly benefits them. But the violence sometimes moves beyond online threats. Earlier this year, a QAnon believer led an armed standoff over what he falsely believed was a secret government report.
Also this year, a III% militia member was convicted for his role in beating a black man at last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Other members of III% militias have mingled with or had joint membership in other far-right groups, and have sometimes acted as security details for Trump acolytes like Roger Stone.