Solidarity & Defense will not work with Boogaloo Boys, anyone associated with them or their enablers. There are Nazis and White Supremacists who are part of the Boogaloo Boys. If you are in a group with people like that, it doesn’t matter what you say. The only thing to do is to leave that organization behind and denounce it.
The Boogaloo are actively trying to insert themselves in Black Lives Matter and other Defund/Abolish the police organizing. This usually is presented as offering security but we see it as infiltration and a dishonest attempt to use these movements for their own aims. This past week, we had our own experience with this. The boogaloo needs to be opposed. More importantly their motivations, lies and manipulation need to be talked about. The Boogaloo rely on people wanting to get along and not having the facts. We need to combat that with information and with our own politics. Our ideas need to clarify why they aren’t really with us and why the left/right unity some of them rep, is a mistake or worse. They are going to keep trying to co-opt actual movements for justice, so we need to stop it. Ain’t no one else gonna do it.
During the summer of 2020 the boogaloo were briefly trying to self appoint themselves as security at events in Detroit. As is usually the case, they were not invited and not welcome. This flyer was part of a campaign to clarify that reality.
Anthony Hulon was murdered by the Lansing Police while in custody in April 2020. Hulon’s murder was due to ‘positional asphyxia” because officers put extended pressure on his back, shoulders and neck. Some of his final words were, “I Can’t Breathe”. 6 weeks later George Floyd’s murder ignited a summer of rebellion. The details of Anthony’s murder were not released until 6 months later, his death was ruled a homicide though no police have been charged.
A number of protests around Anthony’s murder have taken place since then. A protest began being planned for Saturday April 3rd, 2021. Some of Anthony’s family planned to attend. The “Occupy for Anthony” event was to start at Durant Park and was to be hosted by We the Free People of Lansing (WTFP), Rise Up Michigan (Rise Up) and Moms for Black Lives Matter Michigan (M4BL).
Several other local groups were planning to attend (though not sponsor) the event. Solidarity & Defense (S&D) was one of them.
The week before the event was to take place, there were planning meetings via zoom. It became clear in these meetings that there were known Boogaloo Boys and people associated with them planning to attend. Though it isn’t clear where, when or by who the decision had been made, they were presenting themselves as security for the event.
On Thursday April 1st, a number of discussions were initiated, to stop the boogaloo from attending. Solidarity & Defense (S&D) and others attempted to convince the sponsoring groups of the event to tell the boogaloo not to attend. These political arguments need to be clarified and improved upon, but we did our best. We were in contact with all three sponsoring organizations. WTFP, Rise Up and M4BL.
WTFP argued for the Boogaloo Boys to not participate. Rise Up represented by Anntrinna, and M4BL represented by Rebecca, both argued to let them attend. They also presented it as only a small amount, 3 to 4 Boogaloo. The Rise Up argument tended to de-politicize while simultaneously arguing for a left-right unity. Here is a quote from Anntrinna in the Lansing State Journal reflecting that approach very clearly. “People who support any movements, whether it be Black Lives Matters, All Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter, should attend, because it is not about politics.” M4BL’s tended to argue that some of the boogaloo were friends of theirs and were good people. There was a lot of back and forth with no clear decision. WTFP then suggested that we ask the family. The family made it clear that they didn’t want the Boogaloo Boys there. In any healthy scenario, that should have been the end of the discussion.
With WTFP and the family against the Boogaloo attending, Rise Up pulled out of the event on Friday April 2nd. Though M4BL didn’t formally pull out, they still wanted the boogaloo to attend.
Once it became clear that the original event could not continue with the sponsoring groups, WTFP set up a new event hosted by them called “The Takeover for Anthony Hulon” to start at 1pm on Saturday April 3rd at Ferris Park. From then on this became a new event and much of Friday was spent inviting people to the new event, clarifying that the other sponsors intended to have boogaloo at their event and arguing for people to attend the Ferris Park event where the Family and WTFP would be. Any argument by the Boogaloo that they were invited was for the Durant Park event and not the Ferris Park event.
Saturday April 3rd
WTFP and family members of Anthony went forward with the separate Ferris Park event. 80-100 people gathered and marched to call for Justice for Anthony. No one from Rise Up or M4BL attended or held their own event as far as we know.
Prior to the event starting, the Boogaloo people reached out by text to ask if they could attend. They were told Boogaloo could not attend. “UPGGhost” from the United Pharoah’s Guard tried to drop alot of names, to whine about how much money they had spent coming from far away, about equipment they had donated, to say they would agree not to be security and to say that the boogaloo would take the “unheard of” step of not wearing their colors (those fucking ugly shirts). Parts of this chat can be found here. We have only included UPGGhost’s back and forth with an S&D member and have omitted some of the names UPGGhost was dropping. We have no idea if they know them or not. From start to finish this text exchange dripped with manipulation, lies and dishonesty. We are very curious what groups on the ground in Louisville have to say about statements made in this exchange. Falsely presenting names of organizations and individuals as evidence of being vetted is a pattern for the boogaloo. They also did it last summer in Detroit where they claimed to have been invited to do security for a Detroit Will Breathe event. No one invited them last summer.
The Boogaloo and the people with them were told not to bring any Boogaloo to the event. That comes from the Hulon Family and WTFP, the only sponsor of the Ferris Park event.
We marched from Ferris Park to the Lansing Jail. There were speeches including from the Hulon Family. During the speeches, a 20+ person crew marched up and got as close as across the street. There, they set up shop. They marched with long guns, tactical gear, fighting knives and the bravado that comes with going where you aren’t welcome. There was recognizable insignia including III% (3 percenter) and boogaloo patches. From the looks of it, the group was entirely or nearly all white. A number of them are recognizable boogaloo from the area as well as recognizable boogaloo from Louisville and Georgia.
So that it isn’t lost, the text from earlier in the day from UPGGhost tried very hard to present this as a range of different groups and orgs, with only some of them being Boogaloo. Of the 20 or so people in their group, we counted around 15 of them as verified Boogaloo Boys. This isn’t surprising but it is another common theme of their disruptions. The downplaying of how many of them are actually Boogaloo Boys. What the United Pharaoh’s Guard is, we have no idea. We do know they have trouble being honest about how many boogaloo they run with, this is a red flag for us.
They hung around for about an hour and a half. They never crossed the street but were told they were not welcome. They mostly sat around or held their guns. They also had a lengthy discussion with some 2nd amendment open carry people who were at a separate event at the Capitol (a whole other story). Occasionally they tried to participate in the chants happening at the Anthony Hulon event. After that they slunk away. They never joined the event but did get near it, despite repeated requests not to.
The Rise Up and the M4BL organizers did not march with them, but they sure as hell brought them to Lansing.
Wrap It Up
The boogaloo is gonna spend a bunch of time trying to rewrite this past weekend in Lansing, Michigan. They will be on the internet, saying they were invited to the event. They conveniently fail to mention that the event they were invited to did not take place (because people found out they were coming). It was made clear that the event that did take place, did not want them there. There are open racists in the Boogaloo movement. That alone is enough of an argument against working with them. But it is more than that. They tried to force themselves in as security, they wouldn’t respect sponsoring organizers or their wishes and they wouldn’t respect the family’s wishes. They were dishonest about why they were there and what they planned to do. It was clear they weren’t welcome. They came anyway and tried to make a day that was about Anthony Hulon, about themselves. That alone speaks to what kind of people they are and what kind of ideas they represent. It isn’t what we want or need.
Following their failure to be part of the event in Lansing, they held their own event in Ann Arbor the next day. This time, they wore their tacky shirts.
As of the writing of this report, Rise Up Michigan and Moms for Black Lives Matter Michigan continue to support working with the Boogaloo and groups associated with them. If they now feel otherwise, we would love to hear about it.