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  1. Brick Fight

    The Sovereign Citizen Movement

    I've been reading up to get my mind back to finishing my Political Science degree, and one of the things to get me on a reading is when a Goon on SA was putting a report together for his law class examining the history of the modern Sovereign Citizen movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_citizen_movement#2010 While I'd read stories mocking their views as early as the Bush Administration, the movement was invigorated by the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Their large mainstream debut was during the FBI standoff against Cliven Bundy in regards to letting his cattle illegally graze on government land that came to a head in 2015, and the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliven_Bundy#Standoff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Malheur_National_Wildlife_Refuge There's a whole bunch of subtext to the movement, but the main gist is that they don't believe in a Federal, or sometimes even State Government. This usually results in members of the movement participating in illegal activity that they believe they can get away with. The most common illegal acts include tax/mail/financial fraud (with tax fraud numbering in tens of millions over one-to-several years in some cases), violence against police, purchasing/owning illegal weapons and explosives, conspiracy to kidnap/commit acts of violence against government employees/officials, and a host of other felonies and misdemeanors. Essentially, they believe that there are loopholes in state and federal law where if they feel they can complain about courts using the wrong flag, administering oaths more than once, or claiming themselves as certain entities, etc. will let them get out of any prosecution. For example, one of the most infamous of loopholes for SovCits deals with US Code Title 18 - Part I - Chapter 1 - Section 7: While many would read the bold selection in Layman as "Any vessel owned by the Government of the United States or any citizen of the USA," SovCits (with varying degrees of intention) misinterpret it as "Any vessel... or citizen of the United States" is subject to Maritime Law and cannot be subject to state or federal law. So basically: A recent case wherein the SovCit defendant claims that taking an oath twice, even under different circumstances, in unconstitutional: http://arnoldlawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/motion-to-dismiss-medenbach.pdf An attempt at a psychological profile of Sovereign Citizens based on select court cases: http://www.jaapl.org/content/42/3/338.full.pdf START report claiming Sovereign Citizens among the top concerns for law enforcement in regards to domestic terrorism: https://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_UnderstandingLawEnforcementIntelligenceProcesses_July2014.pdf(specifically mentioned on page 1, paragraph 4) My big thing lately is tracking the history of the modern movement, which seems to go back to the Posse Comitatus movement of the '60s. I'm currently trying to find the overlapping connections between the two.