With a new variant of QAnon circulating through white evangelical churches, protests against masks and vaccines are becoming more aggressive around the world. In Germany, a gas station attendant who asked a customer to mask-up was shot dead this week, and a Maryland man allegedly killed his pharmacist brother and sister in law, believing that they were poisoning people with vaccines.
Demonstrations have turned violent in Australia; in New York, a mobile-free Covid-test site was up-ended. In LA, Beverly Hills protest organizer Shiva Bagheri was caught on video punching a breast cancer patient outside a clinic and harassing parents and kids as they walked into an elementary school, yelling that vaccines are a form of child-rape.
For this week’s Bonus, Julian looks at these developments through the lens of research on radicalization and fascist political movements. While Westboro Baptist Church tip-toes right up to the edge of violence with their hateful fundamentalist activism, the anti-abortion movement has included terrorism in the form of bombing, kidnapping, and murder.
But it’s not all bad news. This episode ends with data from a recent study on what supports de-radicalization, as well as a hopeful personal account of how compassionate online interactions led one woman to exit a hate group she was born into, and advocate now for tolerance.
What does Radicalisation Look Like? Four Visualisations of Socialisation into Violent Extremism
Watch a Beverly Hills Anti-Vaxxer Scream at School Kids Vaccines Are ‘Rape’
‘It’s evil’: Jim Acosta reacts to Trump’s remark during interview
The Link Between the Capitol Riot and Anti-Abortion Extremism
What Do Former Extremists and Their Families Say About Radicalization and Deradicalization in America?
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