The United States will hold a presidential election on November 3 in a scenario almost unthinkable four years ago: one marked by the possibility of political violence, following the emergence of armed groups of the far right and anti-fascist movements .
“The situation is getting worse and I don’t see it relaxing in the short term,” New York University psychology professor Jay Van Bavel told CBS. “The political identity of the people is one of the most important at the moment and it has only become more radical in recent months,” he assures.
The latest episode has taken place in Michigan, where thirteen people have been charged with allegedly plotting domestic terrorism to kidnap and “possibly assassinate” the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, with the intention of “instigating a civil war”.
The defendants belong to a group ultra known as ‘Wolverine Watchmen’, which does not appear on the U.S. Justice Department’s list of 576 “anti-government extremist groups”, which gives an idea of the fluidity with which these formations emerge.
What happened in Michigan, however, has been preceded by months of extreme tension.
Cases such as that of Michael Forest Reinoehl, a self-proclaimed supporter of the anti-fascist ‘anti-fa’ movement, suspected of shooting Aaron Danielson, a supporter of the far-right Patriot Prayer group, in the back without a word in August in Portland, Oregon, are constantly emerging. The incident will never go to trial because he resisted his arrest by trying to kill the federal agents, who had no choice but to return fire, causing his death.