Illinois During the Civil War, 1861-1865: Politics During the Civil War

This video concerning the topic of Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War, comes from the "Illinois During the Civil War, 1861-1865" website (http://dig.lib.niu.edu/civilwar/), which is a creation of Northern Illinois University Libraries' Digital Initiatives Unit.

A view of the Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville. Photo by Steve Rensberry
WATERSHED NATURE CENTER --  The roughly 40 acre nature center in Edwardsville offers tranquility among the chaos for nature lovers, bird watchers, educators and many others in the Metro East. The Center includes paved hiking trails, a raised marsh walk, and a welcome center. Volunteer options are available. More information: Watershed Nature Center. 1/24/2021

Domestic Extremism

ADL Survey: Three Quarters of

 Americans Concerned About 

Domestic Extremism

NEW YORK (ADL) - 1/17/2021 - Following the seditious riot at the U.S. Capitol, Americans are highly concerned about violent extremism, according to a survey taken after the events released Jan. 12 by ADL (Anti-Defamation League) that evaluated perceptions of the threats facing the country.

Image credit: Anti-Defamation League
    “Most Americans now see the direct connection between the dangerous rhetoric from President Trump, others on the far right, and extremist groups to the horrifying violence at our nation’s Capitol,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “At ADL, we have been monitoring the concerning rise of extremism and the way national leaders, including President Trump, have enabled and empowered this hate to spread, especially online. The events of this week were the latest example of why it’s essential that policymakers and social media companies take concrete action to prevent future violence.”

Approximately two-thirds of Americans believe Donald Trump (67 percent) and members of white supremacist, far-right or militia groups (64 percent) are at least somewhat responsible for the violence at the Capitol. Roughly three-quarters of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about violence in the next year from anti-government and militia movement members (77 percent) and white supremacists (75 percent).

Over half of Americans also believe that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter (61 percent) and Congressional Republicans who said they would oppose certification of election results (55 percent) are at least somewhat responsible for the violence on Wednesday.

Unequivocally, Americans want the government to do more to address violent domestic extremism. Sixty-five percent want the government to do more to address the rise of far-right extremism.

“Violent domestic extremism is a global threat that will outlast President Trump’s time in office and so the incoming Congress and Biden-Harris Administration must work together proactively, deliberately and swiftly dismantle this domestic terror threat.” Greenblatt said. “Additionally, we applaud mainstream social media companies for removing President Trump from their platforms, but there is more work to be done to stop the widespread hate and extremism.”

The survey also found that 66 percent of Americans believe that the government should prosecute individuals who stormed the Capitol, while 20 percent oppose prosecuting those responsible, and 13 percent do not know.

Americans also support social media companies taking action, with 63 percent agreeing that social media companies should ban posts and individuals encouraging or celebrating extremism and conspiracy theories.

Twenty-seven percent (27 percent) of Americans believe that antifa is significantly responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and 64 percent are at least somewhat concerned about violence associated with antifa. While ADL has expressed concerns about violent encounters between antifa and the far right previously, there isno evidence to support this claim.

The survey of U.S. adults was conducted from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2021 by YouGov, a leading public opinion and data analytics firm, on behalf of ADL. There were 1,176 respondents, 1,102 of whom were aware of the incident in the capitol. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults aged 18 or over. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.95 percentage points.

Officers Arrested

 Two Off-Duty Police Officers 

Charged Following Events at Capitol

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – (DOJ) - 1/14/2021 - Two off-duty Rocky Mount, Virginia police officers were charged on Jan. 12 in federal court in the District of Columbia in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

    Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were charged by complaint with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Both defendants were arrested on January 13, 2021, in Virginia. It is alleged that during the events at the U.S. Capitol, Fracker and Robertson were photographed in the Capitol building making an obscene gesture in front of the John Stark statue.

    On social media, Robertson is quoted as saying, “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business ... The right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” He also stated that he was “proud” of the photo on an Instagram post that was shared to Facebook, because he was “willing to put skin in the game.” On Facebook, Fracker posted a comment that read, “Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around... Sorry I hate freedom? …Not like I did anything illegal…y’all do what you feel you need to.” The post has since been deleted.

    These cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the DOJ’s National Security Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. The cases are being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the United States Capitol Police.

    The information contained in the charging documents are merely allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

    The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.

Criminal Charges

   Retired Firefighter Criminally

 Charged for Actions at Capitol


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – (DOJ) - 1/14/2021 - A retired Pennsylvania firefighter was charged on Jan. 13, 2021 and arrested on Jan. 14 in Pennsylvania in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.

    Robert Sanford, 55, of Boothwyn, Pennyslvania, was charged by criminal complaint with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly or disruptive conduct on capitol grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers while engaged in the performance of official duties.

    It is alleged that during the events at the U.S. Capitol, Sanford struck three U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers with a fire extinguisher. A video, recorded by an individual who was present in the crowd, captures when a man throws what appears to be a fire extinguisher at a group of USCP officers protecting the lower west terrace of the Capitol.

    The fire extinguisher struck one officer, who was wearing a helmet, in the head; then, the fire extinguisher ricochets striking a second officer, who was not wearing a helmet, in the head; and ricochets a third time and strikes a third officer, wearing a helmet, in the head. After throwing the fire extinguisher at USCP, Sanford leaves the area in the opposite direction. Federal authorities were able to identify Sanford, after receiving a tip on January 12.

    The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the DOJ’s National Security Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The cases are being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the United States Capitol Police.

    The information contained in the charging documents are merely allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

    The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.

Impeachment

ACLU Again Calls for 

Impeachment of President Trump

    NEW YORK (ACLU) — Jan. 10, 2021 - The American Civil Liberties Union’s national board of directors unanimously passed a second resolution Jan. 10 calling for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

    As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not regularly call for the removal of public officials. Such a move requires action by the ACLU National Board of Directors. The full resolution states:

    “Having considered the ACLU’s mission to preserve, protect, and advance civil liberties and civil rights, its commitment to nonpartisanship, and its policy permitting it to take a position on impeachment only where an official’s acts pose a ‘grave and imminent threat to civil liberties,’

    “The National Board of Directors of the ACLU previously resolved, on Dec. 19, 2019, that President Trump committed impeachable offenses and violated his oath to preserve, protect, and advance the Constitution.

    “The Board now resolves by a unanimous vote that President Trump has committed additional impeachable offenses, violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and poses a ‘grave and imminent threat to civil liberties’ by engaging in an extended pattern of bad-faith conduct designed to subvert the results of a democratic election, thereby violating the core principles of our constitutional democracy: the right of the people to choose their representatives, and the obligation of officials to abide by the results of free and fair elections, and ensure the peaceful transition of power.

    “The pattern includes:

  •     Repeatedly making knowingly false statements about voter fraud and improprieties designed to undermine the legitimacy of the election results, including in a series of frivolous lawsuits, without evidence to support the claims;
  •     Pressuring election officials in several states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, to interfere with the results of the election, including a Jan. 2 taped phone call in which he abused the power of the presidency by demanding that the Georgia secretary of state ‘find 11,780 votes,’ and threatened criminal liability if the secretary of state did not do so;
  •     Seeking to disenfranchise people of color by targeting many of these efforts at counties and jurisdictions, such as in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, with predominantly Black or Brown populations;
  •     Directing Vice President Pence to block Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results, where the vice president had neither the authority nor the grounds to do so; and
  •     Urging an unruly mob to riot at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, in an effort to prevent the certification of the Electoral College results and to intimidate members of Congress from carrying out their constitutional duties.

    “The Board recognizes that officials have a right to pursue good-faith challenges to election results, where there is an arguable basis for doing so, including through public statements, outreach to government officials, filing lawsuits, and encouraging one’s supporters. But the pattern of conduct engaged in by President Trump displayed an unfounded, unconstitutional, and bad-faith effort to undermine the election results merely because the president lost in order to maintain himself in office. 

    “Because our democracy rests on a commitment by representatives to let the people decide, these unprecedented acts constitute high crimes and misdemeanors that pose a grave and imminent threat to civil liberties, and to the foundations of our Republic, warranting President Trump’s impeachment.

    “The Board, therefore, supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump a second time on the aforementioned grounds.”

    Calling for the impeachment of President Trump in December 2019 was the second instance in the organization’s history that the ACLU National Board of Directors voted to support impeachment of a president. This is the first time the ACLU is calling for a second impeachment. The organization also supported the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.