Last Members of Freemen Surrender After Long Standoff (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: A group of militant, antigovernment extremists resisted arrest by barricading themselves on a 960-acre ranch near Jordan, Montana, for eighty-one days before surrendering to federal authorities who were attempting to apprehend the group for a host of crimes including check fraud and threatening to kidnap and kill federal officials.
The Radical Right Movement
Before the Freemen standoff in Montana, several high-profile events signaled the growing presence of radical right extremists in the United States. These included the 1992 shootout between the family of Randy Weaver and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Also noteworthy was the tragic 1993 confrontation between the Branch Davidians and the FBI in Waco, Texas.
The Freemen of Montana were one of a host of extremist, antigovernment groups associated with the radical right. Heavily influenced by the ideology of the Posse Comitatus, a racist and anti-Semitic organization that was active in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Freemen advocated “sovereign citizenship” and “common law.” They believed that the federal government was a highly corrupt, illegitimate tyranny. Therefore, they resisted the federal government’s authority and claimed the right to establish their own legal and financial systems. To the Freemen, the only legitimate type of government was a local...
(The entire section is 989 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!