The Three Percenter Militia forced itself on the American public when it showed up heavily armed at the infamous Charlottesville “Unite The Right Rally” in 2017. The Three Percenters went there to provide “security” for the Neo-Nazis, racists, and Anti-Semites whose gathering led to the televised murder of a young woman. On Sunday, this militia group showed up, sans arms, at the East Meadow rally ostensibly called to reopen New York. How do we know they were there? The distinctive flags of the group were on full display. Unfortunately, media covering these events do not typically mention the presence of these extremists at the recent rallies held in at least four locations around Long Island. I wonder if reporters just don’t know the symbolism of the armed Far-Right.
There were several Three Percent Flags displayed prominently near the speakers stand at Sunday’s rally in East Meadow. I took a screenshot from my video of the event which is the feature photo for this article. The flag looks like a take on the American flag, with the Roman numeral III in the middle. The term Three Percent derives from a claim that only 3% of Americans fought against the British in the American Revolution and that today an armed 3% can resist government tyranny. The group formed in 2008 apparently in response to the election of President Obama.
The group had its nadir in 2017 because of its armed defense of the white supremacist and Anti-Jewish rally in Charlottesville and because Three Percenter Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested while attempting to carry out a terror bombing in Oklahoma City.
The group is notoriously anti-immigrant. They attracted national attention when they protested against refugee resettlement in Idaho in 2015. The group branded Muslim immigrants as possible terrorists who should be excluded from the state. According to a Three Percent spokesperson, Muslim immigration “poses a threat to Idaho communities…”.
This year, the Three Percenters have been active in using the COVID-19 Pandemic to push conspiracy theories about the virus’s origins. They also insist that the state lock-down orders are part of an effort to control the lives of “patriots.
The ADL said on May 4: “There is ample evidence of extremists using these rallies to broadcast their beliefs. Members of the Three Percenters, a wing of the anti-government movement, attended events in Michigan, Oregon, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and California…”
In Washington State the Three Percenters have been posting online the names of people who report violations of the state’s stay-at-home orders so that followers can harass them. According to a newspaper report:
A woman on the list shared by the Washington Three Percenters said she quickly got threatening emails and phone messages. The woman, who lives in King County and asked not to be identified because of threats to her safety, had reported a business she said she believed was operating improperly despite Inslee’s stay-home order.
She sent the Seattle Times a voice message that she said was left on her phone. A man says, “You got 48 hours to get the (expletive) out of Washington, or I am coming for you, and your loved ones.” Another caller, a woman, left a voice message, telling her “I hope you choke on the (expletive) virus.”
Since 2017’s debacles, the Three Percenters claim that they will no longer participate in Neo-Nazi activities.
The same East Meadow rally also had two Confederate flags on display.