WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mask mandates and business closures to fight coronavirus, Black Lives Matters rallies, and President Trump’s false election fraud claims stoked the fury of extremist antigovernment groups last year, according to Southern Poverty Law Center President and CEO Margaret Huang. Those issues prompted them to protest by the hundreds at state capitols, including Ohio’s, and by the thousands at last month’s U.S. Capitol riot that resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer.
Huang’s organization, which started out 50 years ago as an Alabama law office fighting the Ku Klux Klan, is now a nonprofit that monitors hate groups and extremists around the nation. It released a report this week that found Ohio has the second highest number of active antigovernment groups of any state: 31. Only California’s 51 antigovernment groups exceeded the number found in Ohio, which has less than a third of California’s population.
Huang says some of the…
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