The Face of American Insurrection: Right-Wing Organizations Evolving into a Violent Mass Movement [Updated July 2022] Chicago Project on Security and Threats
Robert A. Pape and Keven Ruby  |  July 22, 2022

This report presents the lates update to CPOST’s data and analysis of “who” stormed the US Capitol on Jan 6, 2021 to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as the legitimate president of the United States. Only if we know who we are dealing with can we create viable solutions for the future. The report is based on CPOST’s January 6 Database, which includes detailed demographic, geographic, and biographic data on all individuals charged by FBI, Capitol Hill Police, and DC Police for offenses related to the US Capitol attack. In the original report released January 28, 2021, the number charged was under 200.  This report analyzes the nearly 900 that have been charged as of July 22, 2022. Inspite of the more than 4-fold increase in cases, the conclusions continue to stand.

The data continues to show that the violent support for Trump constitutes a mass movement:

  • IT’S not about wing organizations like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, it is about a violent mass movement that draws broadly on American society: 86% of those charged are unaffiliated with preexisting militias/extremist organizations and groups.
  • Movement demographics are different from prior violent right-wing extremists. Those charged for January 6 are significantly older and more likely to be employed than past right-wing extremists (85% versus 62%).
  • 14% of those charged have military experience. 28% of those with military experience are affiliated with militant groups like Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and Proud Boys.
  • The majority – 52% -- come from large, urban counties that Biden won and not rural red states.
  • Trump is clearly the leader of that mass movement. The attack on the Capitol is unlikely to have happened had Trump not summoned his supporters to Washington on January 6, and many say they were following Trump’s call to action.

In sum, the ingredients are all there to accelerate the growth of the pro-Trump insurrectionist movement: A leader with demonstrated support for extra-legal and anti-democratic mobilization; grievances perceived by large masses of people (a stolen election) and a deadly focal point event: The Jan 6 storming of the US Capitol, leaving 5 dead

To download the report, click here.