On March 4, 2019 we announced in a facebook post that we were disaffiliating from Redneck Revolt, many other chapters followed soon after in what was essentially a large schism between a large part of the membership and the “inner clique” of the organization that mostly consisted of founding members and their friends who all had a large amount of social capital in the organization. All chapters who disaffiliated left the organization for various reasons but one major unifying cause was the new emergence of a rape survivor of the organization founder Dave Strano, in the Colorado area brought forth by members of the then Front Range John Brown Gun Club (now Front Range W.I.L.D.), whose existence was kept secret by his partner and friends. Until that moment the membership were under the impression that all of Dave Strano’s skeletons were outlined in a blog created by some of his other survivors which Dave Strano was “allegedly” involved in a “accountability process” for those actions.
The release of the blog was the cause of a major schism in the organization along with the disaffiliation post on the Facebook of the then Rose City Redneck Revolt (now Rose City Black Guards) in October of 2017. Many chapters left during that period and those of us who made up New Orleans JBGC at the time voted to remain in Redneck Revolt, and also internally to Redneck Revolt voted to remove the Rose City Chapter on the grounds of them releasing that statement without democratic approval of the group (which was an internal rule). That is a decision that we have since had to self-criticize ourselves on because ultimately Rose City made the right decision and we should have left Redneck Revolt then rather than later, but at the time we were being convinced by the cult of personality around Dave Strano within Redneck Revolt that Dave was already in an accountability process regarding those harms and that the Rose City chapter were just trying to accumulate “ally points” for “performing” their allyship toward survivors of abuse and rape and that the Blog writers were just trying to character assassinate Dave Strano and bring down Redneck Revolt which was a very strong organization at the time.
During this time there was major turmoil within the organization with many chapters leaving, Dave’s actions along with the fact that he was a major figure for the organization prior to his resignation during Rose City’s disaffiliation and the following internal schism. What was roughly a 500+ member strong organization with about 50 chapters nation wide coast to coast was mortally wounded by one man’s actions and truly Redneck Revolt never recovered in strength since that incident, there were a few recruitment waves after things around the Rose City incident got quiet but the organization effectively hit a plateau and certain groups and networks refusing to work with anyone affiliated to Redneck Revolt.
Those of us in New Orleans JBGC at the time believed the stories being spun up by Dave’s cohort and we were wrong, for that we remain accountable and self-critical and hope we made up for it by leaving the organization later and encouraging other chapters to leave and reform as different organizations as well as making this public testimony.
The most recently known survivor’s wishes was that no one organize under any banner created by Dave Strano so that was more than enough reason to disaffiliate aside from our own groups increasing political issues with the “in group” of the organization.
At the time of this writing there are effectively only 2 major chapters still affiliated and active, Phoenix, Arizona and Silver Valley (North Carolina). The only people who remained in RR after the second schism in the spring of 2019 were the close friends of Dave and people who did not decide to honor the survivors wishes in disaffiliating from RR and rebranding ourselves as new organizations. Dave’s close friends still remain control over the national Redneck Revolt Facebook page, Twitter and website and still appear to be “active” though almost all chapters have disaffiliated and/or rebranded themselves as new organizations at this point.
Redneck Revolt/John Brown Gun club in of itself was a necessary project, it formed a large and relatively well organized group of armed leftists together in a time where its common to see neo-nazis openly walking down the street in the era of Trump. But these organizations and their “brands” will forever be tainted by the actions of Dave Strano and forever triggering to many people so for that we believe the organizations need to be put in history books and that new movements organizations and networks who do community defense work should replace it and learn from the mistakes of the past.