Redneck Revolt

Introduction

Redneck Revolt is leftwing pro-gun club that claims basic knowledge of weaponry is necessary for self-defense and to confront the far right and fascists, bringing it under the wide umbrella of Antifa (anti-fascist) groups. Redneck Revolt members provided security for protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and other rallies against the far right and Confederate symbols.* Redneck Revolt first launched in 2009 as an offshoot of the John Brown Gun Club. Its founding members watched the nascent Tea Party of the Republican Party attract working-class people but saw this as a contradiction because of a belief that the Tea Party promoted the values of the wealthy.*

Redneck Revolt claims to be a community defense group against racism and fascism. Its two main goals are to counter the growth of white supremacy while strengthening community defense initiatives in marginalized communities. The group claims that physical defense is increasingly necessary to defend minorities and houses of worship under physical threat, though the group insists its members use physical force defensively only. Arming themselves is a direct response to threats of violence against marginalized communities, according to the group’s propaganda.* Members insist on carrying weapons while patrolling protests in order to be ready to defend against an attack, but they also insist that their weapons are purely defensive.*

In addition to opposing fascism and white supremacy, Redneck Revolt also stands against capitalism and the concept of the nation-state, including its symbols such as police, prisons, and courts. According to Redneck Revolt ideology, these symbols exist only to serve the rich and protect the wealthy class while oppressing the working class. Redneck Revolt seeks to eliminate capitalism and the oppressive patriarchy in order to fashion a new society that allows for the equal distribution of resources.*

Leadership

Redneck Revolt’s leadership remains largely anonymous in public.

Base of Operations

National.*

Website

https://www.redneckrevolt.org/

Membership Size and Relevance

Redneck Revolt claims to have more than 30 chapters across the United States.*

Recruitment and Propaganda

Redneck Revolt promotes the concept that the wealthy elites have enslaved the working class for their own benefit while the working class continues to suffer.* Redneck Revolt is committed to bringing about a societal revolution that will uproot the patriarchy, capitalism, and exploitation of the working class while ensuring liberty and access to necessary resources for all. Redneck Revolt’s guiding principles classify capitalism as a system that has ravaged the world and caused numerous genocides. The group recognizes the need to use “any and all means” to bring about this revolution, including violent methods.* Though Redneck Revolt promotes anti-racist positions, it also recognizes that its core is made up primarily of white people from the working class. Founding member Dave Strano wrote in 2009 that the white elite had particularly exploited the white working class, which had become the “footsoldiers of political and economic elites seeking to dominate and control land, resources, and wealth….”* According to Strano, the “rich whites” have used skin color and fear to turn the white working class against other races with ideas of “white supremacy” and “white pride” and “white nationalism,” all while the white elites enrich themselves.*

Redneck Revolt targets its recruitment to the working class. Its rhetoric conveys the message that the wealthy have used capitalism to oppress the working class, which must arm itself for its own defense.* Redneck Revolt recognizes that the term “redneck” carries a demeaning connotation. The group seeks to reclaim the word as both a badge of pride in being part of the working class and resistance to the wealthy class.* The group’s prime identifier is the red bandana worn by members and imposed on propaganda. The bandanas are reminiscent of the same red bandanas worn by West Virginia coal miners during a 1921 revolt against mining companies and the state.* Redneck Revolt invites visitors to its website to seek out local chapters or create their own. It also offers classes on using tactical firearms as well as the role of firearms in creating societal revolutions.*

Various Redneck Revolt chapters maintain a social media presence on Twitter. The group’s Facebook pages appear to have been deleted. In addition, Redneck Revolt hosts a podcast, which is available on its website. As of September 1, 2020, however, the podcast had only two episodes that had been recorded in 2017.* Redneck Revolt’s website provides multiple options for visitors to donate funds, either directly to Redneck Revolt or to the John Brown Solidarity Fund.*

Violent Activities

Redneck Revolt has not carried out specific attacks, but members have gotten into violent altercations with the far right during protests and rallies. The group remains dedicated to not initiating any violent confrontation.*

Rhetoric

  • Jeremy Beck, Redneck Revolt member, July 2017: “If you haven’t noticed, we aren’t liberals. You know, if you keep going further left, eventually, you go left enough to get your guns back.”*
  • Facebook ad for a meeting in Durham, North Carolina, 2017: “Armed self defense is necessary for the survival and relevance of our future organizing in the face of a growing insurgent fascism.”*
  • Dave Strano, Redneck Revolt founding member, 2009: “We now live in a country with a huge division between rich and poor. We live with a failed economy. We live in a nearly failed state. The government of the United States has systemically become a monstrous giant of bureaucrats and neo-tyrants. The whole government, every single politician, is part of this corrupt system.”*
  • Dave Strano, Redneck Revolt founding member, 2009: “The blunt reality is that for the last five hundred years on this continent, white working class people have been used by mostly white rich people to colonize for, kill for, work for, and then better the living standards of those same white rich people, all the while sacrificing our own needs, wants, aspirations, and even lives. It really is as simple as that. No one denies the history of what has happened at working people’s expenses. Wars, poverty, homelessness, wage slavery... these are all ills created by someone, and perpetuated by us... the same workers who suffer these ills.

    “For some five centuries we’ve been used by the rich among our own race to promote their agenda and suffered because of it. Yet, somehow, we’ve still been convinced that it is in our interests to protect the rights of the rich to own as much property as they can, to protect the right of the rich to even exist, to protect these same rich people who would just as soon see us die for their benefit.”*

  • Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles, undated: “Police, prisons, courts, artificial borders, and other systems of social control only exist to serve the rich. The nation-state project came into existence to protect the propertied classes and keep us working people poor and without power, often using varying types of standing armies to enforce laws which disproportionately impact the poor.”*
  • Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles, undated: “Capitalism is an economic system that methodically keeps the vast majority of people in the world impoverished while they labor to enrich a small minority of people. Since the very first arrivals of European settlers in what is now called the United States, the propertied classes established a serving class to maintain their power, and systematically murdered the native folks of this land for resisting their claim to ownership. We have nothing to gain by maintaining an allegiance to an economic system that has destroyed much of the natural world, committed countless acts of genocide, and ravaged our communities and natural resources in the name of profit.”*
  • Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles, undated: “Our struggle against patriarchy is central to our struggle against capitalism and the nation-state. Just as the white working class has benefited from white supremacy, many men (especially those who are not trans) have benefited from patriarchy. Patriarchy benefits the rich by controlling those who labor for them and dividing the people against one another. Traditional “women’s work,” despite its importance to families and communities, is devalued in our society. The police and courts exist to protect the rich and powerful, not the people, and they are unable to provide justice for the victims of gender-based violence... and in fact often inflict the same violence themselves.”*
  • Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles, undated: “We are not pacifists. Redneck Revolt believes in using any and all means at our disposal to gain our freedom and true liberty, provided those methods do not violate our basic humanity or integrity. We believe in the inherit right of every individual and community to defend themselves from those who exploit or oppress them.”*
  • Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles, undated: “We believe in the need for revolution. Redneck Revolt believes that there will have to be a complete restructuring of society to provide for the survival and liberty of all people. We will fight for the end of predatory exploitation of our communities, and the creation of a world where no one is without food, shelter, water, or any other means of survival.”*
  • Redneck Revolt homepage, undated: “We need real formulated responses for the upsurge in reactionary and racist violence. We need armed community defense programs in every community. We need to be ready to rapidly respond to the armed right wing threat that menaces our communities. We need to stop being reactionaries when it comes to the topic of armed defense. We are approaching truly dangerous times. Will we be ready?”*

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

The Hispanic population is willing to return to their home countries if given the right incentive. An incentive that myself and many other patriotic Americans will provide… [terrorist attacks will] remove the threat of the Hispanic voting bloc.

Patrick Crusius, El Paso Shooter Aug. 2019
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