An Oregon GOP official said that the Republican Party might use private militias for self-protection. This includes many groups that are recognized across the country as anti-government extremists, such as the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers.
What Did He Say?
According to the Guardian, the Republican Party chairman for Multnomah County- including Portland- said that GOP officials might need “a security force protecting them” in public. This comes just days after a deadly stabbing occurred in Portland when two people were murdered while attempting to defend a Muslim against an Islamophobe yelling racial slurs.
After the reporter Buchal if he meant private groups, he said: “Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.”
The Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers
Both of these are on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “active extremist antigovernment groups.” The Anti-Defamation League also considers them as such.
Buchal told the Guardian that he was considering both groups for his “security force” plan.
“Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.” He also said he did not think the groups were extreme. He pointed out that the Three Percenters’ website said they “had a solid commitment to this not being about race at all.”
Buchal’s Response to Criticism
After Buchal received criticism for his remarks, he responded to one comment on twitter who likened his plan to “the ill-fated attempt to use Hells Angels as security during a 1969 music festival in California,” a decision which caused fatal violence to ensue.
He responded by saying: “Cleaver. But I don’t think its fair to abalogize the Hell’s Angels to group organized to defend the Constitution.”