Why far-right protesters are wearing Hawaiian print | The Independent

Emerging from a hack joke trope and in far-right memes in racist and homophobic corners of the Internet, armed extremists wearing Hawaiian or "Aloha" print shirts at protests across the US are signalling support for a "second Civil War" over stay-at-home orders and perceived threats to the Second Amendment.

The 1984 breakdancing film Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo launched three decades of overused jokes relying on its title format, with its latest iteration in far-right memes casually invoking "Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo".

Shortened to Boogaloo or The Boogaloo, the phrase caught on with gun rights advocates — conjuring casual threats of mass violence, often under the guise of an ironic "joke" or "meme" — over the last several years, spiralling out of 4chan and into call-to-action hashtags and Facebook groups, warning Americans to stock up on guns and ammunition and spreading a conspiracy that Democrats and "the left" are "coming for" Americans' right to own firearms.

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"Red flag" laws that allow governments to temporarily seize firearms from people who are dangers to themselves or others would "bring on the boogaloo", according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Spin-offs followed — big igloo and big luau among them, with images of igloos and floral prints (or igloos with floral prints) spreading online, including on Facebook.

Armed militia members and far-right demonstrators appeared wearing floral-print shirts at recent protests against statewide quarantine measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Hawaiian natives have accused the groups of appropriating their culture, fearing that the "Aloha" print could be labelled a hate symbol or associated with violent iconography.

"I know this all seems like a joke and easy to dismiss, but that is part of their strategy to lure in young men and downplay what they are talking about," wrote Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders and chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaii. "It is deadly serious. These men are preparing for a civil war."

Boogaloo memes have also appeared among white supremacists, signalling that a civil war is not just against liberal governance but will accelerate social collapse to make way for white dominance, the Anti-Defamation League reports.

"Some promote boogaloo-related phrases alongside hashtags such as #dotr or #DayOfTheRope, both of which are references to neo-Nazi William Pierce's The Turner Diaries, a novelised blueprint for a white revolution," the organisation reports.

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Protesters form a motorcade against lockdown orders outside the State House in Annapolis, Maryland on 18 April

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People take part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing on 15 April

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Alex Jones, host of conspiracy theory outlet Infowars, joins the 'Reopen America' protest against lockdown measures in Austin Texas on 18 April

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A group of protesters rally against lockdown orders outside the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond on 16 April

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A protester holds a sign comparing Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer to a Nazi during a demonstration at the State Capitol in Lansing over coronavirus lockdown measures

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A 2020 Trump Unity sign is displayed during a protest against coronavirus lockdown measures at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan

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Anti-lockdown protesters drive by the Ohio State House in Columbus on 18 April

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Protesters form a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

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A protester takes part in a rally outside the Ohio State House in Columbus on 18 April

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People take part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

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Protesters form part of a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures outside the North Carolina State Legislature in Raleigh on 14 April

AFP/Getty

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Protesters rally against lockdown measures outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

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Protesters form a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures around the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

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Police urge people to spread out during a protest against lockdown measures outside the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond on 16 April

AFP/Getty

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An armed protester taking part in a demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan

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Protesters form a motorcade against lockdown orders outside the State House in Annapolis, Maryland on 18 April

AFP/Getty

2/15

People take part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

3/15

Alex Jones, host of conspiracy theory outlet Infowars, joins the 'Reopen America' protest against lockdown measures in Austin Texas on 18 April

AFP/Getty

4/15

A group of protesters rally against lockdown orders outside the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond on 16 April

AFP/Getty

5/15

A protester holds a sign comparing Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer to a Nazi during a demonstration at the State Capitol in Lansing over coronavirus lockdown measures

AP

6/15

A 2020 Trump Unity sign is displayed during a protest against coronavirus lockdown measures at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan

AP

7/15

Anti-lockdown protesters drive by the Ohio State House in Columbus on 18 April

AFP/Getty

8/15

Protesters form a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

9/15

A protester takes part in a rally outside the Ohio State House in Columbus on 18 April

AFP/Getty

10/15

People take part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

11/15

Protesters form part of a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures outside the North Carolina State Legislature in Raleigh on 14 April

AFP/Getty

12/15

Protesters rally against lockdown measures outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

13/15

Protesters form a motorcade in opposition to state lockdown measures around the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on 15 April

AFP/Getty

14/15

Police urge people to spread out during a protest against lockdown measures outside the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond on 16 April

AFP/Getty

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An armed protester taking part in a demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan

EPA

Some groups have distanced themselves from racist offshoots and claimed that an armed revolution won't represent a monolithic ideology.

Facebook page Big Igloo Bois, which has more than 30,000 "likes" on the platform, claims that the coming revolution is "not a race issue", pointing to the recent protests in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

"For far too long we have allowed them to murder us in our homes, and in the streets," one administrator writes. "We need to stand with the people of Minneapolis. We need to support them in this protest against a system that allows police brutality to go unchecked."

Following armed protests during the Covid-19 crisis, Boogaloo followers have promoted plans for mass armed marches, Fourth of July rallies and other open-carry events on social media.

"However irony-drenched it may appear to be, this is a movement actively preparing for armed confrontation with law enforcement, and anyone else who would restrict their expansive understanding of the right to bear arms," write Robert Evans and Jason Wilson in their in-depth investigation into the Boogaloo movement. "In a divided, destabilised post-coronavirus landscape, they could well contribute to widespread violence in the streets of American cities."

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/far-right-hawaiian-print-shirts-why-protesters-boogaloo-racist-a9539776.html