Boogaloos rally at several state capitols, armed but talking ‘civil dialogue’
By Kayla Ruble, Peter Whoriskey, Kathy Lynn Gray, Matthew LaPlante, Abigail Hauslohner, Gerrit De Vynck and Brittany Shammas
Armed supporters of the “boogaloo boys,” a radical fringe group that also goes by “boogaloo bois” and other similar names, showed up at several state capitols on Sunday. Some wore flower-patterned or brightly colored shirts — the group’s symbolic attire — under camouflage or flak jackets. They talked about unity and “civil dialogue.”
More than 50 men and a few women stood outside the metal security fencing at the steps of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, shortly after noon.
Timothy Teagan, who said he was part of the event planning, described it as a march for unity. He said organizers included multiple militias, such as the Three Percenters, and groups on the left. Teagan said they invited Black Lives Matter, but the state’s main Black Lives Matter group, Detroit Will Breathe, said it neither received an invitation nor discussed the event with organizers.
The scene was similar at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, where a dozen male boogaloo supporters described themselves as “liberty-minded individuals.” Henry Locke, sporting an AK-47 and several extra magazines, said he and the others supported neither Biden nor Trump.
“Right now, there is too much division going on,” he said. “Instead of fighting with your neighbors, we need to unify.”
In Salt Lake City, about 10 boogaloo protesters were met by hundreds of soldiers and state troopers stationed on the perimeter of the Capitol.
A group of five men in Tallahassee declined to say if they were affiliated with a specific group but one was toting the boogaloo movement’s flag (featuring Hawaiian patterned stripes and an image of an igloo).
The low turnout in some cities may be attributable to people’s fear of arrest, said 24-year-old Arizona resident “GA,” who would share only his “work nickname” because he worried that he might get fired for participating in a demonstration.
GA, who shouldered an AR-15, and his roommate, 27-year-old Brandon Jackson, wore floral shirts and stood with the movement’s flag about 20 feet from the fenced perimeter of the Arizona Capitol.