Shoemaker Ready to Risk it all for Militia Movement

"In the beginning of a change, The Patriot is a scarce man,
brave, hated and  scorned. When his cause succeeds, however,
the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
                                     -- Mark Twain

Shoemaker ready to risk it all for militia movement

 By Stephen A. Martin
 The Hawk Eye

 .  Arms: 'Burned out' leader says he will resist arrest
'violently and immediately.'

 OQUAWKA, Ill. -- Calling on his followers to kill the "enemies of freedom,"
Western Illinois Militia leader Dan Shoemaker said he's prepared for a
fight June 17.

 Shoemaker has scheduled an armed one-man demonstration for that day on the
public squares in Galesburg, Ill., and Monmouth, Ill., to protest laws that
limit where firearms can be carried -- a demonstration law enforcement
officials say they're prepared to stop.

 "I'm stating for the record that all members of the Western Illinois Militia
now have the uninfringed right to keep and bear arms," Shoemaker told those
gathered at a rural Oquawka farm Saturday. "I will risk all that I have to
publicly demonstrate that freedom."

 Shoemaker said that right is derived from the U.S. Constitution and its
Second Amendment guarantee of a right to bear arms. Gun control advocates say
that right only refers to the ability of states to arm their National Guards.
Opponents of gun control say it was intended to apply to all citizens.

 Illinois law prohibits carrying a weapon within a city unless it is unloaded
and disassembled or put in a case.

 After five years of leading the group, estimated at between 50 and 200 members,
Shoemaker said he is "burned out" and tired of what he called a "hot,
psychological war" between police and his self-styled group.

 "On June 17, perhaps I will again be renewed," he said.

 But he said it's equally likely he'll be killed -- and that's something he's
ready for, if necessary.

 "I will live free or die," he said.

 If his protest results in the latter, he said, the authorities should be
warned about what could happen next.

 "For five years I have held good soldiers back," he said. "On June 17, I
will be the point man. If the enemies of freedom attack, there will be no
one to hold them back."

 Shoemaker spoke to a half dozen uniformed members of his group, who
carried various assault-style weapons from variations of the AK-47 to
semi-automatic versions of the U.S. Army's M-1 and M-16. Others were
ressed in jeans and T-shirts, and supporters said there were other
 militia members who either were hiding in the surrounding woods
keeping a lookout against authorities or had deliberately decided
not to be present.

 Most said they intended to be "in the area" during the June 17
protest, but declined to say exactly where.

 Shoemaker said he's seen other groups in the self-described patriot
movement dispersed or otherwise rendered ineffective.

 In one case, he said, a militia leader and his family were found dead
at the bottom of a lake after being handcuffed and having plastic bags
fastened over their heads with duct tape.

 Shoemaker blamed the deaths on government agents threatened by the
man's teachings, and asked how such a man -- a former special forces
commando in the U.S. Army -- could have been overpowered by his assailants.

 "They probably knocked on the door ... and showed their badges," he said.

 He said that's why he'll refuse to give up his gun if police attempt to
arrest him Saturday, and why he'll resist "violently and immediately."

 "They have pushed us far enough," he said. "It is time for us to draw
the line."

 Shoemaker said none of those who formed the militia group with him in
1995 are still active members. Most left after three years -- the length of
time he said it takes for most people to give up after what he described
as systematic harassment by authorities.

 Every day, he said, he wakes up and wonders if those authorities will
be coming to his house to harass or imprison him.

 "I think, damn, they're not coming today," he said.

 The demonstration, set to take place at 9 a.m. in Galesburg and later
that morning in Monmouth, will bring the fight to those authorities and
force them to decide, he said.

 Shoemaker said they can decide to allow his protest, which he equated
with upholding the constitution, or to stop it.

 He called on law enforcement officials not to create a situation where
"open warfare" could break out on the streets of the two cities, but
said any agency that opposes constitutional freedom should be wiped out
to the last man.

 "Don't stop killing the enemy until they are all dead," he said.

 Shoemaker spoke from a make-shift stage next to an American flag,
where he introduced the men who would take over in the case of his
capture or death.

 Kenny Butler, the militia's next-in-command, asked those gathered to
look at the hummingbirds that flew around the feeders hanging from trees
in his yard.

 "I'd sure like to keep what I've got out here," he said. "But the way
we're going, I'm afraid I'm going to lose it."

=========================================================================

Re:  Dan Shoemaker was arrested outside the Abingdon Middle School -
     His bail has been set at $1 Million
http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg44589.html


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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil -
is for good men to do nothing."
                           - Edmund Burke
=======================================================
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