Marching On DC With Loaded Rifles: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Adam Kokesh is a strange bird. He's a veteran of the Iraq war and a hard-core libertarian who claims to support the tea party and Occupy Wall Street.

I'm going out on a limb here and saying he actually tends to lean more anarchist than anything else. Based on his latest and greatest idea, that would seem to be the case.

Kokesh is calling for an armed march on Washington, DC. By armed march, I mean a march from Virginia to Washington, DC with at least 1000 marchers carrying loaded rifles. Being the kind of guy that plans for every contingency, he warns that such a march would be intended to be non-violent, unless...

On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge. This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.

There's a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

Yes, Kokesh calls for peaceful retreat with their loaded rifles, but my gut tells me it's not that simple, nor is it so easy to manage a thousand or more "patriots" with their loaded rifles into simply "peacefully turning back."

So far, 975 people have said they're attending. I don't know how many of them would actually be carrying the loaded rifle, though I think it's safe to err on the side of the majority.

Salon has more:

He started an anti-government radio show as the Tea Party picked up steam and was eventually picked up by RT, the news channel funded by the Russian government that is often critical of U.S. policy, where he promoted both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street in a worldview that some sociologists describe as “fusion paranoia,” a visceral anti-governmentalism that isn’t limited to typical left-right divides.

He ran into trouble when he endorsed Ron Paul in the 2012 election, which led to an FEC complaint and his termination from RT, though employees have told me privately that there were other, darker issues.

Since then, he’s taken his show “Adam vs. The Man” to the Internet, and seems to have become increasingly radicalized. “It’s time to abolish the US federal government,” hetweeted yesterday. Today he tweeted this:

When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.— Adam Kokesh (@adamkokesh) May 3, 2013

If Kokesh carries through with this plan, I do not see it ending well.

Update: I see some serious objections to my characterization of Kokesh as an anarchist. Perhaps it's a question of terminology. I am not attempting to associate him with any sort of official "anarchist" group as much as I was trying to convey his attitude toward government, which can only be described as anarchical in the sense that he sees no need for any form of government at all. It wasn't intended to point at established groups as much as describe his philosophy.

Keep in mind, Kokesh himself calls for 'peaceful retreat' which is consistent with principles espoused by many anarchists. The problem is that you can't issue a call to arms and expect the followers to peacefully retreat.

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