The American Redoubt movement is a political migration initiative created by novelist James Wesley Rawles in 2011. The movement encourages citizens to pull up stakes and to move to a more open and free location, a safe haven similar to a Galt's Gulch—to vote with their feet. This movement has targeted a multistate area in the Intermountain West of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington as a relocation zone.
The movement was launched in 2011 when Rawles started advocating that libertarians relocate to the area on his SurvivalBlog. Rawles and his followers do not track what portion of the people who have moved into the area did so in response to these efforts.
The American Redoubt concept was endorsed by former presidential candidate Rev. Chuck Baldwin, who had relocated his entire extended family to western Montana. It also soon inspired the launch of a weekly survival-preparedness podcast by Christian libertarian journalist John Jacob Schmidt, called Radio Free Redoubt, as well as a volunteer network of amateur radio operators called AmRRON (the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network) established in 2012.
The second podcast is by Alex Barron (http://alexanderbarron.com), an African American Catholic redoubter, who founded the Charles Carroll Society podcast (https://charlescarrollsociety.com). Barron is the self-proclaimed Bard of the American Redoubt who speaks from a Traditional Catholic, Constitutional Conservative, American Patriot viewpoint. Barron says, "Jim Rawles coined the term, but it is actually a simple concept, it is called political migration. There are many groups who have done this over the years; Protestants and other minority religious groups escaping the Catholic church in Europe (I guess that would actually be religious migration but you get the point), liberty-minded people escaping the Protestant King of England. Native Americans moving West to escape the European colonization (I guess forced ethnic cleansing, but again I hope you get the point). Americans of African descent escaping the South (racial migration?). Many, many groups move because of various reasons including political reasons. The American Redoubt is Christian and Jewish liberty-loving traditionalist politically migrating from militant progressive secular states.".. -- Blue states such as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Washington DC and others.
The American Redoubt movement differs from the Free State Project (FSP) where the FSP seeks to have a threshold number of libertarian political activists move into a single state to gain a significant amount of political power in that state. In contrast, the American Redoubt movement has no organized leadership, has targeted a zone that is divided between several states and has no objective way to measure its political influence in the target zone. The FSP had its supporters sign a pledge to relocate within a specified time period, while there is no specific time table for the American Redoubt. As a result, although the American Redoubt has experienced a net increase in population, it was unclear whether those relocating were aligned with the American Redoubt movement.
The major test of the political strength of the American Redoubt movement was prompted by the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which was an armed standoff in Harney County, Oregon, between armed anti-government militants and county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The militants occupied the headquarters building from January 2 to February 11, 2016. The occupation was prompted by the sentencing of ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond for arson on federal lands.
During the occupation, the occupation's leaders attempted to organize meetings with local citizens to secure widespread popular support for their actions. At first, these meetings were held at the local high school in Burns, Oregon. However, when attendees were bringing guns to the meetings and the meetings proved to be acrimonious, Steve Grasty, the chair of the Harney County commission, ordered the meetings move to a local senior center which did not allow guns. In general, the occupation did not draw widespread public support. Eventually, the occupiers surrendered and were arrested, but the dissatisfaction with Grasty's curtailing of the meetings lead to Harney County residents filing a petition to hold a recall election. On June 28, 2016, 70% of the voters cast ballots to retain Grasty. The results were:
The leaders of the American Redoubt movement, including John Jacobs and Hugh Latimore, also sought to use the May 2016 primaries to gain more political positions in Idaho, but lost more of the positions than they won. Since then, politics shifted to the national Presidential election. The promise of a Trump administration has dampened the appeal of a movement based on disengaging from American civil life and preparing for the dissolution of American society.
Here is how the American Redoubt voted for President in 2016:
Following Trump's election victory, Rawles wrote:
- "As an aside, I must also issue a warning that The Powers That Be (TPTB) may attempt to crash the U.S. economy and the U.S. Dollar shortly after Donald Trump takes office, to stop him from scaling back the government. This could be orchestrated through a debt crisis via higher interest rates. It is noteworthy that a prime rate above 5% will make it almost impossible for the U.S. Government to service its debt without a risk of default.
- "I encourage the Trump Administration to drastically scale back the Federal government in part by eliminating unconstitutional and wasteful agencies and programs (such as the BATFE, EPA, Department of Education, National Endowment for the Arts [NEA], et cetera). I also encourage President-Elect Trump to nominate God-fearing, freedom-loving, and strict Constructionist men and women to the Federal bench. I beg you to keep your campaign promises, Mr. Trump!
- "Please make President-Elect Trump and his transition team a part of your daily prayers!"
American Redoubt Relocation
Because of its low population density and diverse economy, Skousen, James Wesley Rawles, Chuck Baldwin and Boston T. Party, all recommend the Intermountain West (American Redoubt - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, northern Utah) region of the United States, as a preferred region for relocation and setting up survival retreats. As time passes since their predictions of the imminent economic and social collapse of American, conservatives have increasingly discounted the need to relocate.
- Free State Project - libertarian relocation to New Hampshire
- Jefferson State
- Survivalist retreat
- Nuclear target structures
- Free State Wyoming - Molon Labe! by Boston T. Party
- Strategic Relocation - North American Guide to Safe Places by Joel Skousen
- Rawles on Retreats and Relocation by James Wesley Rawles
- Cumberland Redoubt - Tennessee and Kentucky Redoubt in the Cumberland gap area. Term coined by M.D. Creekmore and Joel Skousen
- Mel Tappan - "Grandfather of the the Movement"
- Alex Jones - regularly interviews both James Wesley Rawles and Joel Skousen about the relocation movement
- Ragnar Benson - prolific Idaho survivalist author
- The American Redoubt -- Move to the Mountain States
- Rawles, James Wesley, "Gun Laws as a Criteria for Choosing Your Retreat Locale". Idaho, American Redoubt: The Survival Blog, No publication date listed.
- Survivalist Retreat Areas at The Survival Blog
- http://www.radiofreeredoubt.com accessed December 4, 2014
- https://charlescarrollsociety.com/2013/01/28/the-american-redoubt-who-the-players-are accessed December 4, 2014
- Thomas, Judy L.. "Experts: Oregon standoff may be small, but it's just the tip of a growing militia iceberg", The McClatchy Company, January 6, 2016. Retrieved on July 17, 2016. “The rally was peaceful, authorities said....But afterward, a group of armed militants split off, went to the wildlife refuge 30 miles away and took it over. Ammon Bundy has been acting as the group's leader, and they say they won't back down until the government relinquishes the federal refuge to the people.”
- Oregon standoff: Canceled meeting is latest casualty of online discord (January 25, 2016). Retrieved on July 17, 2016.
- "Recall petition filed against Harney County Judge Steve Grasty", May 12, 2016. Retrieved on July 17, 2018.
- Steve Grasty recall, Harney County, Oregon (2016). Ballotpedia. Retrieved on July 18, 2016.
- News From The American Redoubt (May 24, 2016). Retrieved on July 18, 2016.
- "2016 Presidential Election Results", Politico. Retrieved on December 27, 2016.
- "A Post-Election Prayer Request, by JWR", November 10, 2016. Retrieved on December 27, 2016.
- http://www.survivalblog.com/redoubt.html The American Redoubt -- Move to the Mountain States
Bibliography - Further Reading
- Skousen, Joel, Strategic Relocation - North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition Perfect Paperback, 2011, ISBN 1568612621, ISBN 978-1568612621
- Rawles, James Wesley. Rawles on Retreats and Relocation. 1st. Clearwater, Idaho: The Clearwater Press, 2007. Print.
- Party, Boston T., Boston's Gun Bible. Wyoming: Javelin Press, 2009 revision to 2002 edition, 848 pages, ISBN 1888766069, ISBN 978-1888766066. Contains a several chapters dedicated to Gun rights and the Second Amendment and the ranking of states in term of gun rights.
- Party, Boston T., Molon Labe!. Wyoming: Javelin Press, 30 January 2004, 454 pp (first edition, paperback), ISBN 1-888766-07-7 - Conservative Christian Libertarian dystopian fiction novel entirely based around the issue of States' rights and the Tenth Amendment's connection with the Second Amendment right to armed citizen defense against federal tyranny. Contains plot that is tied to Wyoming and Idaho and issues of constitutional carry, concealed carry and open carry. Inspiring book for the Free States Project.