Four Proud Boys and four Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. The last time anyone was convicted of seditious conspiracy was 1995 when Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (aka The Blind Sheikh) and nine of his followers were convicted of seditious conspiracy following their plot to blow up the United Nations, an FBI building, and two tunnels and a bridge linking New York and New Jersey.
Over the years, the term ‘seditious conspiracy’ has often been invoked during periods of societal unrest and discord. 18 USC §2384 defines Seditious conspiracy:
- Oath Keeper’s membership list of which 378 members are in law enforcement and 81 holding or running for local office. Leaked Membership List
- Proud Boys are in Florida’s Miami Dade County GOP. Florida.
- Two members of the Eatonville, Washington school board are III Percenters. Rural Washington.
- In Arizona, the GOP has declared the insurrection legitimate political discourse and as such, should not be condemned. “Legitimate Political Discourse”.
- And far right PACs are funding local school board candidates across the country. Local Politics.
While seditious conspiracy may seem like a term from the dusty annals of legal textbooks, it is a concept of grave importance in our contemporary world. Seditious conspiracy is not merely about politics; it’s also a matter of national security. Plots to overthrow the government or obstruct its function can lead to widespread chaos, loss of life, and threats to the nation’s overall stability. Importantly, Seditious conspiracy laws play a crucial role in protecting democratic institutions from internal threats. They provide a legal framework for addressing those who would attempt to use force to subvert the rule of law and the democratic process. The continued relevance and application of these laws, as demonstrated by recent real-time examples, underscores their significance in maintaining societal order, ensuring national security, and preserving our cherished democratic institutions. Holding those accountable is important as a record for our history.
Taking action against seditious conspiracy can be challenging, given the complexities of modern communication and the fine line between free speech and unlawful behavior. However, the recent convictions are important in combating the issue. Prosecutors are now finally winning convictions and are able to hold accountable those individuals who perform seditious conspiracy acts. This all helps to raise public awareness about the seriousness of such actions and their potential impact on society. By maintaining and reinforcing robust legal guardrails, legal actions can be taken promptly and effectively against those involved in such conspiracies.
Nevertheless, it will always be important to monitor and protect Freedom of Speech, such that authorities are able to differentiate between legitimate political dissent and seditious acts. Through promotion of dialogue and reconciliation among different factions should help address grievances and reduce the likelihood of seditious behavior.