Emboldened far-right militias, many dominated by rural residents and some affiliated with white supremacy groups, are increasingly threatening racial-justice protests, intimidating voters and more."Throughout the West and beyond, in a summer marked by protests seeking racial justice, armed vigilantes also have shown up at Black Lives Matter events in small towns and big cities alike. Their presence in some places has the tacit support of law enforcement or even local elected officials," Erika Bolstad reports for Stateline. "Now, experts who monitor right-wing vigilantes and white nationalist organizations are on even higher alert for the possibility of violence at political rallies. They also fear vigilantes or armed groups might show up at ballot drop-off locations and outside of Nov. 3 polling places to intimidate voters and increase paramilitary activity afterward if election results are disputed or seen as illegitimate."
However, sometimes militias have tacit or explicit support from local officials. In Virginia, a few rural counties have officially recognized local militias as organizations that enhance public safety and security, Gregory Schneider reports for The Washington Post.