BOSTON (AP) August 4
— Police and National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned
assault weapons were ambushed Sunday by elements of a para-military right wing extremist
faction. Military & law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than
200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist
militia faction, has citizens who have links to the radical right wing tax protest
movement. Gage blamed the militia for recent incidents of vandalism directed against
internal revenue offices.
The Governor, who described the groups organizers as "terrorists," issued an
executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with
the governments efforts to secure law & order.
The law enforcement team augmented by elements of the National Guard were sent to raid a
militia arsenal after wide spread refusal of right wing extremists to turn over recently
outlawed assault weapons. This decision followed a meeting in early July between
government & law enforcement which authorized the confiscation of the illegal arms,
known as the weapons of choice among criminals and militia's. One government official,
speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out "that none of these people would have
been killed had right wing extremists obeyed the law and turned over the weapons
Police & Government forces initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of
outlawed weapons & ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition
in Lexington met with resistance from heavily armed militia extremists who had been tipped
off regarding the governments plans.
During a tense standoff in Lexington's town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith,
commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to
their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of
the right wing extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.
Ironically, the local citizens blamed the government forces rather than the extremists for
the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, heavily armed militia groups from
surrounding areas had descended upon the police and guard units. Colonel Smith finding his
forces overmatched by militia mobs, ordered a retreat.
Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in
its effort to restore law and order. The governor has also demanded the surrender of those
responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government. Samuel Adams, Paul
Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as "ringleaders" of the
extremist militia faction, remain at large.
Revolution Begins, Boston, 1776 (as covered by the Associated Press)
Compiled By Charles Norton and New American Magazine
(c) Copyright 1997 Weekly Outlook. All Rights Reserved.
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