White Warriors on the March

League of the South is an Alabama-based theocratic, neo-confederate group that has long advocated for southern secession.

Among the groups leading the recent Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia was the League of the South – an Alabama-based theocratic, neo-confederate group that has long advocated for southern secession. League leader Michael Hill was among the scheduled speakers for the planned rally to save a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from removal from a public park. While the rally was cancelled, the League’s presence was well documented by cameras and video. Amidst the televised brawls, some League members were strikingly visible, thanks in part to the white shields with black crosses they carried into the fray. Most notoriously, longtime Florida state chapter leader and League Chief of Staff, Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret, was ID’d by the Southern Poverty Law Center, based on photos and videos, as on the scene when an African-American counter protester was viciously clubbed, apparently by League members.

Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and at the 2017 annual conference of the League of the South held in Wetumpka, Alabama in June, bear out PRA’s warning in 2014 that threats of violence from the League of the South need to be taken seriously. The League’s involvement in Charlottesville, and several other public struggles over the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces, suggests that these will continue to be symbolic and actual battle grounds of choice – perhaps with escalating levels of violence.

We reported in 2014, that Hill had published an essay titled, “A Bazooka in Every Pot,” that advocated for the deployment of death squads featuring “three-to-five-man” units with a hair-raising mission: “The primary targets will not be enemy soldiers,” Hill wrote.  “Instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.”

Hill followed-up with another essay in which he calls on the young men of “Christendom” to become “citizen-soldiers” in the battles against the tyranny of our time.  He saw himself and his comrades as part of a long line of such men, invoking historic battles with Islamic armies going back to the Battle of Tours in the 8th century.  His role models for warriors for Christendom, however, are the White Westerners who fought against Black liberation movements in Southern Africa in the 1970s.  “So if Western men in past times were willing to fight for their civilization in remote areas of the world,” he asked, “shouldn’t we expect them to be just as willing to fight for that civilization here at its very heart—the South?”

League of the South is a political home for violent, would-be revolutionaries who intend to make their vision a reality.

Unsurprisingly, the League is a political home for violent, would-be revolutionaries who intend to make their vision a reality.  Michael Tubbs, for example, was arrested in 1989 with arms, explosives, and a hit list that included newspapers, television stations, and businesses owned by Jews and Blacks. He served four years in prison, but Hill and other league leaders nevertheless allowed Tubbs to stay on as a League leader in Florida, saying he’d “paid his debt to society.”

Hill and Tubbs formed a secret paramilitary unit in 2014. But by the League’s 2017 annual conference, Hill revealed that they are now openly forming an army. While it is unclear how far along they may be in creating a fighting force of any consequence, Hill spoke convincingly about his intentions in his speech titled, “The War Has Already Begun!”  In it, he declared that we are currently in a period of relative calm before the storm of a race war in the United States. He claimed, to applause, that over the past 40 years, “the number of black on white violent crimes and murders has been astronomical. There is a war against YOU, White men and White woman (sic) in the streets of our cities!”  (Unsurprisingly, keynote speaker David Duke, a longtime leader of far right, white supremacist factions sounded similar themes.)

Hill said that the current war has essentially been going on for two generations and it began with that “accursed thing called the Civil Rights Movement.”  He spoke nostalgically of a time when the South was “White man’s land” and of the need to take it back as a “righteous cause.”

He spoke nostalgically of a time when the South was “White man’s land” and of the need to take it back as a “righteous cause.”

He spoke of how White culture, “stretching back into the mist of antiquity, is that of a warrior.”  Being a warrior is a “calling,” he said, and he wanted the warriors at the conference to emulate confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and his “favorite,” Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. The latter was, of course, a winking reference to the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, and was greeted with knowing laughter and appreciative applause.

He went on to speak of needing to learn to organize, and to train in the necessary skills for the war. To that end, he noted that the present war is not like traditional wars, but that the battlefield is “everywhere” and the enemy is legion and “does not necessarily wear a uniform, and sometimes you can tell the enemy because the skin he is wearing becomes his uniform.”

He insisted that after the Confederate flags and statues currently at issue, “when they finish with the stone and the fabrics… they are coming after you. Don’t ever doubt that.”  He characterized those who will come for them “as the children of the father of lies” and that his audience and allies beyond are the children of “the living God.”  He said that they are living in a biblically prophesized scenario in which God’s people fight it out to the end with the forces of Satan. But they will win.

He spoke openly about how the League has created a body he calls the Southern Defense Force, and that it will be not just a modern Confederate army but will actually be the “Army of the True Living God.”  In closing he offered-up what he calls an Old Testament vision of “destroying the enemies of our land, our people and of our God.”

Images from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville continue to circulate social media, including this Twitter post showing League of the South founder Michael Hill assaulting another person.

If the League members on the scene in Charlottesville acted with a wanton aggression, it might be because Michael Hill has long been preparing them for battle with what he sees as “demonic” forces, particularly Black people. Tubbs is featured in cell phone videos taken at the scene of one of the bloodiest incidents of the mob violence at the march. The beating of a young African American and Charlottesville public school employee, Deandre Harris, according to the SPLC, was carried out by members of the Florida chapter of the League of which Tubbs is still chapter president.  “I was chased and beat with metal poles,” Harris wrote on Facebook. “I was knocked unconscious repeatedly. Every time I went to stand up I was knocked back down. If it was not for my friends that I came with I would have been beaten to a pulp.”

One does not have to believe that the small League of the South and their allies are capable of being the military arm of political secession, let alone an effective End Times Army of God, to recognize that they are intent on and capable, as we have seen in Charlottesville, of wreaking havoc in the furtherance of their perceived war with much of the rest of society.

Roy Moore & Ron Paul: The Politics of Secession, Nullification, and Marriage Equality

Roy Moore, the elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has been in the news lately for his efforts to block same sex marriage in the state—notwithstanding a federal judge’s ruling that Alabama’s anti-marriage equality law is unconstitutional.  Moore claims that federal courts, short of the U.S. Supreme Court, do not have the authority to interpret the Constitution against the laws and constitution of the state. Moore’s efforts are being discussed as nullification, and are even being compared to Gov. George Wallace’s attempt to prevent the integration of the Alabama public schools in the 1960s.

A slow motion showdown may be brewing over Moore’s notion of state sovereignty vs. the supremacy of federal law that extends beyond the matter at hand. Moore told Fox News Sunday that he does not recognize the authority of the federal courts regarding, among other things, marriage. If, as seems likely, the U.S. Supreme Court makes marriage equality the law of the land this term, he says he will “recuse” himself from matters involving same-sex marriage.  Contrary to some published reports, this does not mean he will defy the U.S. Supreme Court.  He knows that if he did so, he would be removed from the bench, just as he was a decade ago when he installed and refused to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse in Montgomery – in defiance of a federal court order.  Moore is too wily to try that again.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

At this writing, there is a lot of legal wrangling in both state and federal courts over the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses in Alabama.  Some counties are complying with the rulings and issuing licenses to couples, and some are not.

But looking beyond the current confusion, Moore has apparently decided to use his position to speak out about what he considers a creeping federal tyranny, while taking pains not to jeopardize his seat.

Taking a similar approach is Moore’s longtime ideological ally Michael Peroutka, (the one-time presidential candidate of the theocratic Constitution Party, and recently-elected Republican member of the Anne Arundel County 1)Maryland Council).  When the Council voted on a resolution to seek federal funding for public school programs, all members (both Democrats and Republicans) voted in favor, except for Peroutka who abstained. The Capital Gazette reported, “Peroutka said he took issue with federal money being sent to local schools because the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to “be involved in any education at all.”

“Federal programs are driving the agenda here in our local schools,” Peroutka said. “They’re driving the agenda with a lot of money.””

Michael Peroutka

Michael Peroutka

All of this may portend a struggle that will play out differently than one might think. The situation may be more complicated than just the country generally, and the conservative South in particular, reaching acceptance of marriage equality.

Groups and individuals involved in the wider movements of the Christian Right and contemporary libertarianism, on which PRA has reported over the past two years, have advocated varying degrees of nullification and secession; and have envisioned vary degrees of political tension, violence and civil war. Peroutka and Moore may lack the votes in their respective governmental institutions for nullification over marriage and other issues, but they can be voices for building a movement which could one day be capable of carrying it out.

It is not clear yet how organized or capable the movement is currently, but it is worth noting that former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)  spoke at a gathering in January at the Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, called “Breaking Away: The Case for Secession”.

“I would like to start off,” Paul declared, “by talking about the subject and the subject is secession and, uh, nullification, the breaking up of government, and the good news is it’s gonna happen.  It’s happening,”

Meanwhile, judge Moore and Peroutka seem to be taking the long view—but others are not.  Among these is another longtime Peroutka friend and ally, Michael Hill, head of the theocratic and White supremacist Alabama-based League of the South.  Peroutka, as PRA reported last year, was a member of the board of directors of the League for several months in 2014, before quietly leaving, apparently in preparation for his run for office. His membership in the League was a major issue in the campaign. Peroutka said he resigned his membership but did not renounce the League itself. After Peroutka won the election, Hill celebrated his friend’s victory.

Hill has called for the formation of death squads to kill American government officials and journalists, and for White men of all ages to become “citizen soldiers” in a great modern defense of archaic notions of Christendom.  He has as gone so far as to organize a paramilitary group.

Hill sees himself and his comrades as part of a long line of such “citizen soldiers,” invoking historic battles with Islamic armies going back to the Battle of Tours in the 8th century. His role models for warriors for Christendom, however, are the White Westerners who fought against Black liberation movements in Southern Africa in the 1970s.

“So if Western men in past times were willing to fight for their civilization in remote areas of the world,” he asked, “shouldn’t we expect them to be just as willing to fight for that civilization here at its very heart – the South? … The traditions and truths of Western Christendom are anathema to the [Obama] regime,” he concluded. “The tyrants’ regime and Western Christendom cannot coexist—that is not possible. One must win and the other must disappear. It is indeed the ultimate Zero Sum game.”

Michael Hill is treating the federal judge’s overturning of the “Sanctity of Marriage” amendment to the Alabama state constitution as the last straw. While the League says it supports judge Moore’s effort to defend the state constitution against the alleged federal tyranny, Hill declared that he no longer considers himself an American and called for violent secession of the South from “the American monstrosity.”

Hill also joined theologian Peter Leithart of Birmingham and prominent Christian Right political organizer David Lane, in explicitly declaring his opposition to “Americanism.”

“Yes, many of our citizens have, wittingly or unwittingly, embraced Americanism for either survival or profit,” Hill declared. “I have not, and I intend to convince my fellow Southerners to join my side. I do not intend to leave Alabama or the South… I intend to fight, and if necessary kill and die, for their survival, well-being, and independence.”

A Moscow – Montgomery Axis?

As it happens, the League has been receiving encouragement from elements in Russia, particularly some who support Ukrainian separatists. He addressed, via Skype, a red/brown conference of anti-globalism activists, in Moscow in December 2014.  Hill told the conference that he sees American southern nationalism as an “historic ‘blood and soil’ movement” – an overt reference to 20th century ultra-German nationalism and Naziism.

Hill reports that he also emphasized the League’s “direct Southern nationalist challenge to the political, economic, and financial engine of globalism – the Washington, DC/European Union alliance.”

While the League has been networking with separatist movements around the world for a long time, the relationship with and support for pro-Russian, Ukrainian separatists has been growing.  On his Facebook page last year, Hill cast the situation as a battle between the “decadent West,” meaning the U.S. and the European Union (EU), and supposedly traditionalist Russia—which he described as “conservative, Orthodox, anti-Muslim and anti-PC.”

“We Southerners, as Christian traditionalists,” he concluded, “ought to sympathize with those in Ukraine who would object to closer ties with the USA-EU regimes simply because of what they now stand for: multiculturalism, tolerance, and diversity; anti-Christian policies from abortion to homosexuality; open borders and the demographic displacement of native Whites; an aggressive foreign policy, including war, in the name of spreading liberal democracy. On the other hand, Russia today stands against such things.”

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Neo-Confederate Group Forms Paramilitary Unit—While Claiming It Isn’t

Michael Hill, president of the theocratic, White nationalist League of the South, has been escalating his threats of violence in recent months. As PRA has previously reported, Hill has gone so far as to call for the formation of death squads to target government officials and journalists of whom he does not approve. Hill now claims he was misunderstood—even as fresh evidence of his violent intentions has surfaced.

michael hill, league of the south

Michael Hill

In an essay published on the League’s web site on September 2nd, Hill does not quite deny that he meant what he said about violence, but he now claims he was just discussing ideas, and that the progressive writers who noticed his deadly assertions are “bedwetting” and “whining.”

Let’s look again at what he wrote.

Free men,” he declares, have the right not only to own guns, but to form militias in response to tyrannical governments. (And of course, he has many times stated that the government of the US is tyrannical.) He also says that since it would be impossible for the citizens to fight a conventional war against the police and the military, that a modern theory of guerrilla war known as “Fourth Generation Warfare” makes the most sense.

Here are his unambiguous words:

“As the Founders made explicit… the right to keep and bear arms is not really about hunting and sport shooting. Rather, it is about the citizens— the militia—having enough firepower to control their government if it should fall into the hands of tyrants….

In 4Gen Warfare the lines between the military and the political, economic, cultural, and social are blurred past the point of recognition. To oversimplify, the primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.

4Gen Warfare doesn’t require that the populace be armed equal to the military and law enforcement. In fact, having such firepower, with few exceptions (such as full-auto “assault weapons,” silencers, and a handful of other esoteric toys), would be a logistical and tactical burden to the common 3- to 5-man group so common in this type of warfare.”

He concluded, “’Blessed be the Lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.’—Psalm 144:1”

But all this, he claims in his response to critics, was really just a discussion of the nature of 4th generation warfare, adding: “I’ll challenge all you bedwetting progs [sic] with this. You find proof that The League of the South is forming paramilitary “death squads” and then get back to your readership with it.”

Of course, what we had reported was that Hill had called for the formation of such groups, not that he had already done so.

However, on September 5th, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Ryan Lenz reported that the League had been organizing a secret paramilitary unit for months. They call themselves, “The Indomitables.” This, Lenz writes, follows “years of escalating and violent rhetoric from the League as well as a search for more ideologically extreme white nationalists to enliven their membership –– a pattern that has been ongoing since 2007, when the LOS national conference was titled ‘Southern Secession: Antidote to Empire and Tyranny.’”

The Indomitables unit features White supremacist military veterans, notably the League’s Florida chapter Chairman Michael Tubbs, who is a former Green Beret, demolitions expert, and convicted felon. He was released from prison in 1995, having served about four years.

Hill appointed Tubbs as his “Chief of Staff” in June of this year.

Tubbs has a long history of racism and criminal activity, as documented in 2004 by Mark Potok in Intelligence Report magazine:

“In 1987, prosecutors say Sgt. First Class Michael R. Tubbs and another Army Green Beret, toting automatic weapons fitted with silencers and dressed completely in black, robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles during a routine exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C. ‘This is for the KKK,’ the holdup men shouted as they fled….

Ultimately, five caches of weapons were found, including machine guns, 25 pounds of TNT, land mines, an anti-aircraft machine gun, grenades, booby traps, 45 pounds of C- 4 plastic explosive and more. (Authorities believe that the arsenal was stolen from Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell, Ky.)

They also found notes written by Tubbs that showed that he and his brother, John Tubbs, were setting up a violently racist group called the Knights of the New Order. Officials said Michael Tubbs had drawn up lists of targets including newspapers, television stations and businesses owned by Jews and blacks.

There was even a group pledge authored by Tubbs: ‘I dedicate my heart to oppose the enemies of my race, my nation and the New Order. … I dedicate my life from this moment forward to fostering the welfare of the white Aryan race.'”

Try as he might to divert our attention by debating definitions and name calling–Hill has been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. He called for the formation of guerrilla paramilitary units while simultaneously claiming he and the League were not.

Image from the League of the South's Florida Chapter's Facebook page

Image from the League of the South’s Florida Chapter’s Facebook page

Hill concluded his September 5th post:

“Even if we are –– and you really have no idea on earth if we are or not ––setting up a Southern militia or some other form of paramilitary organization, we are doing nothing that free men have not done for centuries. Deal with it and stop your whining.”

Hill would also rather not have us recall his other recent call for for violence–on which PRA also reported.

In a July 25th essay, Hill called on the young men of “Christendom” to become “citizen-soldiers” in the battles against the tyranny of our time. He sees himself and his comrades as part of a long line of such men, invoking historic battles with Islamic armies going back to the Battle of Tours in the 8th century. His role models for warriors for Christendom, however, are the White Westerners who fought against Black liberation movements in Southern Africa in the 1970s.

So if Western men in past times were willing to fight for their civilization in remote areas of the world,” he asked, “shouldn’t we expect them to be just as willing to fight for that civilization here at its very heart—the South?”

The traditions and truths of Western Christendom are anathema to the [Obama] regime,” he concluded. “The tyrants’ regime and Western Christendom cannot co-exist—that is not possible. One must win and the other must disappear. It is indeed the ultimate Zero Sum game.”

Hill knows that history teaches us that small groups of determined revolutionaries can wreak havoc. And he has made his intentions clear.

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