For those that saw the June 2020 unrest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it proved once and for all that this sleepy little town has now grown up. But maybe it has not grown up the way many expected.
Demonstrations and civil unrest, often against the local police department, have become increasingly common in Albuquerque. Further causing tensions is the fact that the city’s middle class, once predominant, is being threatened. Today, the city’s demographics are increasingly divided between those that are very comfortable, and those that are struggling to make ends meet.
But the June civil unrest was different in two primary ways:
First, it was not directed against the police.
Instead, it involved a confrontation between those that wanted to tear down a statue of Juan de Onate and those that tried to protect it. Onate was a Spanish Conquistador living in the 1500s. He has, at best, a checkered history. While he is honored for winning wars for Spain, he is also known to have used excessive force against the native people living in what is now New Mexico.
Second, it involved a relatively new extremist movement, the Boogaloos.
Most people have not heard about this movement before. It was estimated that four members of this group showed up at the rally, carrying 20 guns. They appear to have come out of the woodwork, a sign of the times as our country is beginning to experience more civil unrest.
So, who are the Boogaloo’s? Let’s start with the name. It comes from a 1984 movie sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. The movie did not do well, but it did gather a following among anarchists and gun enthusiasts.
We should also know the Boogaloo movement is relatively new, dating back to about 2018. They are considered a far-right extremist group who say they are preparing for the second American Civil War.
Perhaps the scariest thing about this group is that many members were formerly in the American Armed Forces, well trained in the use of armaments. The group uses social media to encourage former members of the American Armed
Forces to join them, and for the most part, have been successful in accomplishing this.
However, it is hard to put all their members, often known as the Boogaloo Bois, into a specific category. Further, they have conflicting ideologies.
- Most members are considered far-right, if not alt-right.
- Some are white supremacists and are also involved with neo-Nazi groups.
- Yet, others condemn racism and white supremacy.
- Few believe in the Black Rights Movement and usually side with the police on African American issues.
- Various members are not as focused on right or left issues as they are on libertarianism, wanting the government to play a minimal role in their lives.
However, the Boogaloo’s do share some things in common. For instance:
- They are known to wear Hawaiian shirts when they are involved in civil unrest.
- They have an affinity for guns – lots of guns – and use the word “Boogaloo” as a rallying cry.
- They also refer to the movement using the term “Big Igloo”, and wear insignias with an igloo on their military gear.
- The term is now viewed as code for another “civil war.”
We must also note that federal law enforcement officials believe that two of their members were involved in the killing of two law enforcement officers in Northern California, and they may have been involved in other killings as well.
What We Need to Do about the Boogaloos
Executives and business owners as well as property managers need to be aware of the existence of such groups and should not take them lightly. Realize that they are armed and dangerous and could pose harm to people and property.
Further, the Boogaloos are just now getting publicity for their dangerous actions. There are likely other groups, just like them, that have yet to make it into the spotlight.
We urge our clients to stay informed.
Stay connected to law enforcement agencies so you know of any possible threats in your community. And pay attention.
Look for blind spots in your facility or in the way your executives and workers are protected. These blind spots need to be identified, addressed, and removed. We can help.
As always, we value your feedback, which helps us shape our perspective on recent events, security, and the services we offer.
Chief Executive Officer