Four men who are allegedly part of a white supremacy group are facing charges over claims they violently attacked counter-protestors, journalists and a police officer at political rallies across California.
The four Southern California men are members of the “Rise Above Movement” (RAM) that uses the internet “with the intent to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on riots,” the Department Of Justice (DOJ) announced in a press release Wednesday.
Three of the four men are in custody, according to the DOJ, with the fourth still being searched for by federal authorities.
RAM has reportedly been trying to reinvent what it means to be a white nationalist, and members have been instructed by the group’s leader, one of whom is being charged, to attend political rallies in simple outfits to blend in, advising men to wear polo shirts, khakis and military-style haircuts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
RAM members showed up at political rallies in California and Charlottesville in 2017 ready to fight, but are now told to avoid violent rhetoric and to maintain a low profile. (RELATED: Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Harassed And Threatened Black GOP Campaign Volunteer)
Among those charged Wednesday are founding member Robert Rundo, 28, of Huntington Beach, Robert Boman, 25, of Torrance and Tyler Laube, 22, of Redondo Beach.
Authorities are looking for Aaron Eason, 38, of Riverside County.
Five members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), a militant white supremacist group from California, have been arrested this month. Here’s what you need to know about RAM: https://t.co/kAxEQQWXL8 pic.twitter.com/kc9UiA3fUB
— Oren Segal (@orensegal) October 24, 2018
“Rundo, Boman, Laube, and Eason, along with other RAM members, have used the internet to prepare to incite and participate in violence at various political events, have committed violent assaults while at those events, and have applauded each other for it and publicly documented their assaults in order to recruit more members to engage in further assaults,” the federal criminal complaint says.
Robert Rundo, leader of the so-called Rise Above Movement, was taken into custody Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport. Two others were arrested this morning in connection with organizing and participating in riots. https://t.co/ICWb67ZeTi
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 24, 2018
In the spring of 2018, Rundo and two others reportedly traveled to Europe to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and to meet with members of other white supremacy extremist group, said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ryan.
Boman posted photos of himself attacking people and RAM members apparently engaging in combat training at a rally in Berkeley.
“Every American has a right to peacefully organize, march and protest in support of their beliefs — but no one has the right to violently assault their political opponents,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna stated in the DOJ press release.
“The allegations describe an orchestrated effort to squelch free speech as members of the conspiracy travelled to multiple locations to attack those who hold different views,” he added. “This case demonstrates our commitment to preserve and protect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”
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