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Boogaloo open carry
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“The Boogaloo is tiny compared to, say, [Black Lives Matter], but they are skilled manipulators and understand that since no one really knows what they are about they can pick whatever side they want. The left likes them because white men with rifles deter overreactions by police. The right tolerates them because they are white men with rifles talking about liberty.”

Ford Fischer, founder of News2Share and a regular media presence at right-wing rallies, told Salon he has observed those contradictions on the scene, describing boogaloo physically switching from far-right to far-left sides during protests, and even physically challenging Proud Boys in order to ostensibly protect members of the radical left.

“Covering the boogaloos for the past year and a half has been fascinating because of the contrast between their politics and the rest of street politics in the past year,” Fischer told Salon, though “fascinating” appears to gloss over the normalcy of guns at rallies, as well as fails to capture the seriousness with which the boogaloo’s professed commitment to imminent and brutal violence should be taken. “While 2020 was defined by domestic unrest spanning from social justice to COVID restrictions to the end of Trump’s presidency, the boogaloos have been a feature at many of those situations that don’t fit squarely into a side.

“Their alliances with left and right are pretty situational,” he continued, echoing experts and Sam himself, who share the observation that these affiliations are often disingenuous. “It’s been really interesting to film them in various settings and states and see the way it can vary. In general, they tend to be consistent in their anti-government and pro-gun beliefs, but it’s been challenging explaining their role to audiences used to assigning ‘left’ or ‘right’ labels. 

— Roger Sollenberger in Talking to the Boogaloo, Part 2



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