Robert Barnes is a lawyer who goes after corrupt governments, politicians, policemen, and sheriffs. He is a constitutional, civil trial, and criminal tax lawyer fighting for free speech and civil rights.
In this interview, he gives us highly important insights on personal freedom regarding today's situation, and takes a deep dive into self-defense, protecting yourself jurisdictionally, economically, and politically.
We talk about the history of riots in the US, your legal rights, and an actionable plan B in case civil unrest grows.
Robert urges us to know our city and state laws, and gives advice on how to do it in a strategic manner during polemical times.
In a crazy environment where your personal liberties are under siege from overreaching governments and criminals, you need to be educated and prepared now more than ever.
— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) April 16, 2019
Legal Standpoint Of The Sanitary and Political Crisis
George: It gives me a great deal of pleasure to bring someone back to the Rebel Capitalist Show that I really enjoy talking to. He's kind of like our go-to lawyer for personal freedom and liberty.
His name is Robert Barnes. Robert, welcome back to the Rebel Capitalist Show.
Robert Barnes: Glad to be here.
George: There is a lot going on right now, I've got so many questions for you, but the first thing I'd like to do, because I know you're part of the media as well, is kind of get your take on everything that's going on.
Not only from a standpoint of personal liberty and freedom but also from a legal standpoint.
What I mean by that, I've been thinking through as we open back up a lot of business owners, what happens if they have someone come into their establishment that might get the virus legally.
The liability, also when I'm seeing all these riots, these store owners, and everyone's out there saying, “Okay, well, you got to go get a gun because you can't rely on the police.”
But obviously that comes with a lot of legal ramifications. I mean, you can't just go around shooting people. I just want to unpack all of this.
There's no doubt about it. It's going to be a unique legal environment because you already had a wave of insurance lawsuits about whether insurance coverage covered the pandemic.
You've got businesses all across the country in insurance disputes.
Every insurance contract is different so you have some that have stronger or weaker claims, but the entire insurance industry is trying to not pay a penny related to the pandemic, even to owners of the French Laundry in San Francisco.
When you're an insurance company and you're not willing to pay a high profile, someone that's covered under your contract, someone that when they file a suit is going to get a lot of attention, it gives you an idea that they're not willing to pay a penny. That's going to be its own legal debacle.
Then on top of that, you have questions raised about whether governments can be sued.
There are class action cases all across the country on whether the government basically took property without just compensation under the fifth amendment.
Those cases are pending all across the nation, and that was already the case before we have what's happening now and they're trying to pass immunity laws in a bunch of states.
In some states, it's about what happened at nursing homes because you had a lot of governors send a bunch of old folks back.
Basically, if you were infected, they told you to go back to the nursing home, the most vulnerable place possible, of course, it led to a lot of death.
What the nursing homes want is the governments to give them immunity because at least in some of those cases, the city governments ordered it to happen, but they're also looking classic in these situations.
They'll look for wholesale immunity across the board, and some states are passing them saying anything that happened during the pandemic time period is now no longer subject to suit, no matter how reckless, negligent, or even intentional it was.
The same context is happening across the country as it relates to COVID-19 or the [inaudible 00:03:07] sickness.
Basically all the businesses are asking for the same thing, they're saying we can't risk a customer suing us, an employee suing us, someone else suing this.
There are already lawsuits pending by various class action lawyers against some companies that employ people, in their view, without adequate safety measurements taken place.
They are also seeking complete blanket immunity and Mitch McConnell's considering giving it to them at a federal level saying that they cannot be sued for anything related to the COVID-19 period so that they feel comfortable enough opening up.
Now that's going to create its own risk of course, in the sense of no reason to be protective if you can't be sued for what's taking place.
But it's people who are saying our economic harm outweighs the potential that some people will get sick through negligence who otherwise would not have, but that's what a lot of immunity calls across the board.
There are governments considering either expanding or shrinking immunity.
Now on top of the riots, there's a call and a potential bill passed in Congress that would strip qualified immunity from various police actors and government officials.
I'd be all for that. We'll see whether it goes through, but on the other side there's cities and counties and states, they're looking to expand their immunity for anything that happens during the riots.
To give some context for this. Back in the old days, what used to inhibit riots was every city that had a police force had to pay all the property damage that occurred during a riot period.
It didn't matter if they did anything wrong. Riot happens, you have a police force, police force job is to avoid a riot, but if a riot happens, they got to pay every penny, nickel, dime, and dollar.
George: So the business owners?
Robert Barnes: Yes.
George: Oh, I didn't know that.
Robert Barnes: If you go back to the old New York times in the 1860s when they had a bunch of civil war riots in New York City properly portrayed in the gangs New York movie by Martin Scorsese.
You can go through, and they had a long list of all the property that the city had to pay.
If somebody lost a desk, or this piece of property, so all homeowners and businesses if there was an arson, they had to pay for the whole value of the business.
In the late 1960s for the first time ever, that was the law in the U.S. All the way through the English time period and then afterward all the way up until 1968, 1969.
That's when suddenly, after the Newark riots, they decided “let's change the laws so we can't be responsible for what happens”, and so now a city can only be sued if they try to interfere with the riot.
Because if the riot happens and everything gets destroyed, the city's not on the hook, but if somebody interferes and somebody says they used excessive force then they can be sued.
That's why there's a massive institutional incentive for police to do nothing when a riot occurs and you can't get legal remedy for it.
There are some people who believe that was politically done.
It was overwhelmingly democratic governors and democratic mayors who put these changes through in the late 1960s basically leveraging the power of the mob.
It's almost like it's 1800s France all over again, whoever has the mob could have real political power. The mayor of Baltimore a few years ago even said this to a media person, admitted it.
She wasn't the brightest bulb in the block, she just sort of let slip by accident. She said, “You know, we need to create a safe space for the protesters and a safe space for people to destroy.”
It's like, hold on a second. Did she just say that on the record?
I think that's the one who ended up in jail for some other issues a year or two later, but I think there are systematic issues with that.
That's going to produce its own litigation because there are already federal civil rights suits pending concerning what happened with the Trump riots in 2016.
Where people were rioting outside of Trump campaign events, San Jose, California, other places and the issue was whether the police facilitated the riot occurring.
I think you're going to have issues with that here, and then of course there's all the risks of how do you defend yourself during the riot? What happens if you defend yourself during the riot?
Robert Barnes: Now, Korean store owners have become sophisticated at this ever since the 1990s. During the '92, '93 Rodney King riots, there were a lot of Korean store owners in the South-Central.
They went down and got snipers and manned the rooftops of their stores.
George: Now wait a minute here. Let me make sure I'm following you here.
They literally hired people with guns to sit on the rooftops and if someone tried to break into their store, the person would shoot them.
Robert Barnes: In fact, they both hired people and did it themselves.
Self Defence Laws Between States
George: Okay. From a legal standpoint, and correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm obviously not a lawyer.
I'm assuming that if someone breaks into your property and they're coming into your home or into your business, then you've pretty much got the right to let them have it.
Whether it's through your fist, whether it's a gun, whatever. If you're outside of your property, it seems like that the law would be different. How does that work?
Robert Barnes: It all depends on the city, county, and state you're in, and there's always a possibility of federal law influencing it.
Because there are federal civil rights laws that can be in play, a case example of this is the Arbery case.
There are a different set of facts, but they thought of themselves as defending their property and executing a citizen's arrest.
George: What happened there?
Robert Barnes: I'm on Arbery. What happened was he's the guy that they said was jogging through the street.
Two guys in the truck jumped after him and purportedly shot him in cold blood.
That was the initial story, media narrative. The backstory is, you had a neighborhood that kept having burglaries.
The New York Times reported over 80 911 calls in less than three months from just that little neighborhood in Georgia.
There was a retired policeman who lived with his son that was considered sort of the community watch guy in the neighborhood, and there was one home that seemed to be the centerpiece of various burglary activities.
But the owner, who was an absentee owner, put in video cameras because somebody was constantly entering the property and doing something that bothered him.
He won't now say what it was he now claims for a lot of political reasons, he's tried to get way out of this case, but they caught pictures of someone who would appear to be Ahmaud Arbery.
They didn't know at the time, four different times inside that house, three times at night.
The son had seen someone like that entering the house and called 911, but the person escaped.
Flash forward to mid-February, middle of the day, in the same neighborhood, they see Ahmaud Arbery going inside the same house. A person across the street calls 911, Arbery sees it, takes off.
The ex-police officer's son sees Arbery running down the street, thinks that he is the guy that's been burglarizing their neighborhood. They even had a gun stolen from their truck a month or so before.
Hop in a truck takes after him, somebody else follows, they end up trying to trap Arbery, Arbery ends up trying to run around them and at one point the truck is stopped in the middle of the road.
That's when Arbery tries to go past them and then makes a 90-degree turn and attacks the son with who's holding a shotgun.
It goes into an extended battle, the shotgun goes off, Arbery dies and initially, the prosecutor said this looked like a legitimate citizen's arrest and that it appears that the gun went off because Arbery was pulling it at himself.
He was trying to get it away from the son but in the process, pulling it at himself.
Robert Barnes: Now, further evidence has come out that both the son and the third person who was following in a car have a history of making racist comments and statements.
That's going to be part of the basis of the case.
Basically first there's no prosecution because the prosecutor looks at it and says, it looked reasonable, this can give you an idea of the difference in state laws.
Georgia: An Example Of Broad Citizen Arrest Laws
Robert Barnes: In Georgia, they got broad definitions of citizen's arrest.
So broad, I figured this out when I was a practicing lawyer in Southeast Tennessee, originally.
I had cases in North Georgia where Walmart and private companies could take out personal warrants against people they didn't like.
I was like, this can't be true, and I go down there. It turns out that's the way Georgia is. A person could take out a warrant and swear out their own oath. It's like the 1850s law down there, George. God bless them.
They have a broad citizen's arrest law.
That's what happens, but to give you some context for that, there a person believes they're executing self-defense that's allowed specifically under that Georgia state citizen's arrest laws which are very broad, allowing you to arrest anyone.
To give you an idea of your potential defenses.
If you have a citizen's arrest law in your state, and you have reasonable suspicion of a crime, you can arrest a person and use whatever force is necessary including lethal force to execute the arrest if necessary.
Georgia even has a provision that you can do that if the person is an escaping felon, things like that. Those laws have a big impact on what you can do when rioting and looting occur but it varies by state.
There are some states that have no citizen's arrest authorities. There are some state laws that have stand your ground laws that say you don't have to retreat, you don't have to bounce back.
There are others that don't. That's in Florida, the Zimmerman case.
Trayvon Martin’s case was all about stand your ground but there are several states he wouldn't have had that defense available to him even when he was on the ground with his head being bashed into the ground.
There are various states that have self-defense laws, but there are other states whose self-defense laws are kind of a joke.
I'll give you an example, in Oregon I defended a little journalist guy, we have the case up on the Supreme Court and I took over the case after he'd been convicted, he was maybe 5'4″, 5'5″, little guy.
He had been beaten up before by Antifa which is very big in Portland. Project Veritas just did a big expose on them, and they come from the black block and actually you'll see them all around the world.
They've been international really since the '70s. They've been in Mexico City, they've been in Brazil. I don't know if they're in Colombia because they might offend some other folks in Colombia if they tried to get active.
Definitely there's a utility to those kinds of things at times. It's like the old days, the Italian mob, whatever neighborhood they operated in was the safest neighborhood because ain't nobody was going to go in and riot.
George: Yeah, I'm going to give a quick plug to Thomas Sowell. I'm sure you've read several of his books.
If you're trying to figure out what's going on and I think Robert to your point, when we see something at surface level that seems very cut and dry often it's incredibly complex.
I always warn people, don't look for simple answers or simple solutions to things that are extremely complex because you're going to make things even worse.
And I think nobody illustrates this better in his writings than Thomas Sowell.
— Thomas Sowell (@ThomasSowell) June 30, 2020
If you're going to go out and read some books right now, make sure you add Thomas Sowell to the list. I just wanted to mention that.
Division In Riot Objectives Unleashes Violence
Robert Barnes: Oh, absolutely, because I have a whole thing dealing with BLM and how they've made things more difficult not really a civil rights organization.
They view police abuse as a pretext to destroy America.
In their view America's bad, the government's bad, the society is bad, the history is bad, it's a Neo-Marxist perspective.
But they're not at all rooted in the civil rights tradition within America which is heavily rooted in the African American church, the African American business community, civil rights lawyers and policy analysts, none of whom can get anywhere near the board of BLM.
BLM doesn't want anything to do with them because they see this as an opportunity, and this is why people are looking and saying, well, why aren't they maintaining peaceable protests?
Because people forget how extraordinary what King and Max did, even though people have their own views about both of them.
They both maintained completely peaceful protests in very difficult circumstances and they did hundreds of protests all across the nation.
You won't go and Google or do a YouTube search of the MLK riots, it's only the riots that happened after he died. There are no MLK riots well, MLK protest riots don't exist.
Malcolm X protest riots don't exist because they're rooted in their local religious community. The Protestant church in the case of King, the nation of Islam in the case of X.
Local businesses were critically part of their infrastructure. They had civil rights lawyers that were part of their team, policy analysts that were part of their team, and so they were about civil rights reform and also all about self-empowerment.
No Malcolm X protest ever would have burned a single business in Harlem or people would have faced consequences.
That gives you the idea that what's happening now is motivated by Trump, motivated by international politics. It's not motivated by the incidence of George Floyd. In fact, if anything, because George Floyd could be a uniting event they decided to pursue a divisive case.
I do civil rights all across the country, I’ve done for 20 plus years.
Whenever somebody comes at me when I questioned BLM or other organizations, I always point out I've done more civil rights cases, particularly in the African American community, and haven't been bashful at calling out racism.
I got some heat for it in the Wesley Snipes case in Florida in 2008 but it was the reality of it.
In Politics And Law, Chances Of Experiencing Evil Are High
Just to clarify, Robert. This is where you're representing people?
Robert Barnes: Absolutely. I go after corrupt governments, politicians, police, sheriffs, prosecutors all the time.
I probably do it more than 99.9% of U.S. lawyers. I've done it for more than 20 years and have won a lot of cases in it.
I have a bunch of cases right now dealing with Milwaukee police and County jail system trying to institutionally reform it through a large number of suits that we brought.
I've done the same in Tennessee, California. In multiple states, in New York, I actually brought a case for Wesley Snipes, which was a civil rights case involving the abuse of family court in New York.
They're trying to do an Interpol warrant on a crazy, crazy case. Long story, but the whole nature of it is, if you're really concerned with civil rights cases, you know how to reform and you want to universalize your cases.
You want people to recognize this can happen to anyone. There's twice as many white unarmed people who were shot by white cops last year than African Americans. We need to recognize that police abuse is a universal problem.
When the government gets too much power or we give it to one single individual, the probability that leads to something bad is high.
It's why I tell people where I learned my quasi-anarchistic pure libertarian political viewpoints in part was in high school.
I went to this program called Governor's School in Tennessee and they put us in a room where they were actually teaching us about currency, I just didn't realize it at the time.
They're creating this little fake dollar bills and we could do crazy things with them so on and so forth.
There was some radical who somehow snuck into the governance school program to tutor all these young teenagers in sort of radical populace libertarian ideas.
But the other was to recognized of the hundred of us in the room we were going to end up having four of us who were going to get to govern the rest of us.
And I thought what's the likelihood that four of us turn out to be the good four of us. It's going to be the sociopaths who seek and obtain the power. The same is true of the police.
Most police, good, clean, want to help their community, et cetera, but if you're a sociopath, what better job than to be in the police, right?
If you love to abuse power, if you have a violent streak you want to use, then now you have a badge, a gun, and moral and legal permission to exercise it. The police can't cure the fact that they're going to disproportionately attract the wrong kind of personality.
George: I use the same argument for politicians all the time.
It's not the best of us who seek those positions, unfortunately. And it's definitely not going to be the best of us who get them because the tactics and techniques necessary to obtain the position of power is what leads to the problematic aspect.
People's Ability To Defend Themselves Depends On The State They Live In
Robert Barnes: You have that throughout the police and so in that context, returning to the legal issues, you're going to have legal issues, It's all going to depend on where you live.
It's also going to depend on the politicians that make decisions because it's what a judge, a prosecutor, jury does or what the opposing counsel does.
There's a reason why Antifa and these riots are almost all happening in democratic cities. They're not going to rural Alabama and try to do it right.
They're not going to rural Tennessee and try to do it right.
Even in my hometown in Chattanooga, they're staying out. They'll do it in Nashville because Nashville is a liberal democratic town.
They are purposely choosing democratic liberal towns where they believe a combination of the police and the prosecutors, jurors, and judges will never do anything bad to them.
And that in fact, is getting reinforced in St. Louis. The St. Louis prosecutor, was part of a ticket that was put into power.
For example, George Soros decided two years ago that he was going to help influence part of a liberal campaign to take over DA's offices all across the country.
You have hardcore lefties in the DA's position in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
People who don't even believe in a wide range of policing behavior, who see their role as “ends justify the means”.
For them, unleashing the mob is a tool and a power that they want to have. They don't want to discipline the mob, they don't want to control the mob, they want to unleash the mob.
Going back to that Portland, Oregon case I had. A little guy, who's a journalist and goes to covers rallies had been beaten up before by a big group of Antifa.
He's diagnosed Asperger's. He's going out to another Antifa rally and filming it. They see him, they decide to come after him.
Well, in the lap between the time he'd been beaten up before and that rally, he had got himself a gun, learned how to defend himself, got professional training and he exercises it.
Sees the mob coming, walks back, shows them the gun, brandishes it like this, and puts it right away and they stop. What do the police do? The police are told to arrest him.
They arrest him and charge him with endangering others, 17 different counts, can't get a clean jury, and has a local lawyer that doesn't understand how political the case is, the judge is biased against him and convicts him.
He for trying to defend himself against this mob violence, it would be like if someone who they attempted to lynch in the 1930s managed to defend themselves and they arrested him for defending himself against getting lynched.
That tells you how political these places are and the law, in the end, it becomes political. It's just politics by other means, and so that's where a lot of people's ability to defend themselves and protect themselves is going to depend on where they are.
I've been advising clients now for 10 years to get out of democratic states and cities that have become overtly political.
They're not like your classic ponytail lefties of the 1960s, they're not civil liberties guys, they don't believe in independence or freedom. They don't believe in any of those aspects.
To them, their goal is power and to obtain it by any means possible, and they've grown up on a very different ideology so they see everything through a power filter, a power frame.
Consequently, what the law says on the books as to self-defense may not apply as it did for that guy in Portland, Oregon and that was as good a case as you could have.
He didn't actually harm anyone, he was a little fella who did exactly what the training said, and yet he still got prosecuted.
I think some business people are starting to realize it, because now you've seen some people try to defend their business and they themselves because they didn't recognize the number game, got beat up and assaulted.
The only people who have been able to successfully defend their business, people with guns.
That everybody respects, that everybody backs off of, but if they see you out there a guy with a sword, he got the living daylights beat out of him.
Guy tried to come out with a bat I mean, in Santa Monica, I lived a long time in that part of Santa Monica. It was totally shocking to see those scenes.
I had a buddy of mine that is a restaurant owner right there, his dad owned an old school Greek diner and converted into a high-end Greek restaurant.
He lived in the tonier parts, near Montana Avenue, the really nice parts and he's just driving down the street and sees six guys going in to burglarize a CVS and he sees they have equipment to set it on fire.
He's like, “What the heck?” And he turns around and he sees that the license plate has been blacked out, so this is a sophisticated operation.
Robert Barnes: I think one place we may see lawsuits, there'll be tricky about how to sue because groups like BLM and Antifa are just very loose in their organizational structure, they don't keep their resources in an LLC.
They're better organized than people who are trying to dodge the taxman in terms of legal liability, they know how to hide.
I think BLM knew at this point that their protests were being used and hijacked for violent purposes, but to give you an idea of how sophisticated it is, Vice was filming something.
I have to put it that way, because if I say it in a certain way, somehow Google algorithms will come in and say it was a copyright strike because they think we included the Vice media coverage, but we didn't.
What Vice did is they filmed in Minneapolis and where there was a protest happening here, and then they capture that a group has broken off to commit a robbery at the Wells Fargo.
And it’s like eight guys with sophisticated equipment to break into the ATM machines.
I was like, okay they infiltrate and look like the protestors and BLM is helping by how they're choosing to protest, Antifa definitely helps because they dress like Antifa in all black.
Originates the words, black block, originates from a tactic used by a group in the 1970s in Germany and then they became known as the black block because they dressed in all black.
In part for intimidation, you have all these people and these all-black Ninja-like outfits, but the other practical part is, it shows their criminal intention because their goal is to be able to commit a crime and not be identified.
That anybody within the group can go out and do something, come back within the group and police can't figure out who it was who did it, so it's why Antifa spread so fast.
Once the mindset took off the black block tactic, it was very popular because it allowed people to be criminals without consequence, and not only that, it gave them a moral permission slip.
Like I studied the Klan a lot as a kid and once you dig into it, you realize most of the Klansmen weren't so much driven by like a racist ideology.
They're just a bunch of sociopathic criminals that somebody came along and said, here's your permission slip to go out and act on your sociopathology.
It's like what you find in a lot of like radical Islamic terrorists. There's a reason why those cells recruit from prisons.
They're recruiting people who just want to act out that violent urge, but they're like, you know what? Allah I want is you to do it
And they say okay. It's not a coincidence, it's not just because they met in prison, got organized in prison. It's because they had the kind of mindset that led them to prison in the first place and Antifa has done the same thing.
Robert Barnes: They got some of your most violent dangerous biker gang kind of personalities and they just said, hey, you're fighting the fascist, you're fighting Hitler you're fighting the Nazis.
Here's your permission slip to go out and take care of these people and it helps green light their criminal impulses.
They're also much better organized than people recognize, that's how they were able to bring all these riots on a mass scale.
I think you will see federal criminal action that tried to get at them, and I think you will see some civil suits try to get people responsible, but I think it will be tricky because of the way in which they're so elastic.
It's hard to say this person is responsible for that other person's conduct. It's hard to go to a collective asset.
Antifa, actually to a certain degree, if you want to learn how to protect your assets and minimize liability while engaging in mass criminality, not something I recommend, but I recommend asset protection.
I don't recommend the criminality part, but the way Antifa is organized is actually very effective. They're like jello. You push here and it goes over there, they're even very careful about how they recruit.
They use CIA tactics in how they recruit people and they're actually better in certain respects than many governments are at how they are able to limit their track record.
Today's Protests Aim To Abolish The Past Rather Than To Change The Future
George: You're talking about prosecuting the group as a whole, I think.
Robert Barnes: Yes.
Why is it hard to prosecute individuals within the group?
And just to go back a little bit further, just to make sure I'm understanding what you're saying. You've got these groups that are recruiting, let's call them bad individuals.
Who knows if there are good individuals, I'm not here to lay judgment on that, but they're definitely recruiting some bad individuals.
Let's say I'm a criminal and I just want to steal stuff, I see this group of people maybe peacefully protesting down the street, maybe they're all wearing black, whatever, but then I go ahead and throw on my black gear.
I go “oh if I just sneak in with them and then I go rob this Wells Fargo then it seems like it was part of this group when really I could care less about the group. I just want to go out there and steal stuff”.
Am I hearing that correctly?
Robert Barnes: Yes, exactly.
I think what's interesting here is that it appears the looters and the arsonist and particularly the high-end burglars knew where the marchers were going to march. That is why I hold a lot of the protest organizers responsible.
I mean, I've been involved in a lot of protest organizations going back 30 years. We all know of this risk. We all know people are going to try to infiltrate, cause problems.
Sometimes they're on the opposite side and just want to make us look bad, so we have strict discipline, and the way you impose that strict discipline is you use local people.
If you have the local pastor, the local businessmen, the local boxing club owner, if those guys are part of your march, ain't nobody getting out of line because people are going to know who that is and they're going to personally handle internally
George: That goes back to what MLK and Malcolm X did. Yeah.
Robert Barnes: Exactly. They mastered the art because if there was any time for things to get crazy, it was the 1950s and 1960s.
I mean, you're marching down the street and there's sicken dogs on little kids.
They were blowing up churches with little girls inside. If there was any time to lose your mind, that was it and yet it never happened at a single protest in either Malcolm X or Martin Luther King and they had hundreds of them across the country.
People think of Malcolm X as New York, he traveled all the time but they knew how to exercise internal discipline and internal control and they're also all about black self-empowered.
They were about to take your money out of the big banks and give it to the local black bank, give it to the local community bank, go the person you know, reward them, protect them, empower yourself, keep capital within your own community, reinvest it within your own community.
Both were huge on that whereas BLM never talks about it.
George: And not go burn it down.
Robert Barnes: Exactly. Whereas these new groups don't have that goal or objective. Don't have those institutions or individual goals.
In fact, the founders of BLM are anti-black church for their own reasons. Several of them follow a sort of Nigerian sect and things like this, but they have personal hostility and animosity to the black church.
I tell people in advance, this is not going to look like old school protests. These are organizations that have a very different objective in mind. They are not bothered at all by violence.
Once I saw the Vice video, I was like those eight guys came prepared to rob that Wells Fargo. They must have known where the march was even though there was no petition to legally allow the march.
No march route was scheduled. It's not like JFK 1963 where you know what the route is supposed to be in November in Dallas.
They had no way to know what that march was unless they knew the organizers, and I was like, okay. Maybe the organizers aren't involved at all, but If you understand their mindset, their view is we got to use this to destroy the system.
We got to tear it all down. It's very much like the 18th century French Revolution mindset where it was all about change and abolishing the past.
As Garry Wills or others would argue, both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were rooted in the past, they appeal to certain aspects of the past to change the future. These guys are completely different. They believe in abolishing the past.
It's like communist revolutions, like French Revolutions, burn it all down, blow it all up. I would say the best analogy for people that maybe from Latin America, know Latin American history is the Shining Path.
It's that kind of mindset like the Shining Path movement in Bolivia. Wonderfully captured in the film Dancer Upstairs. Dealing with that mindset, they're going to keep trying to do this.
They're not going to stop. When St. Louis, the local prosecutor, let them out without even bail apparently.
They walked in and she immediately had everyone that had been arrested for rioting and looting and arson and assault released right away, right back onto the streets the same night.
That's happening in other locations, the attorney general from Minnesota, he classed the Antifa book as a book he was proud of.
His son who has city political power in Minneapolis, is now calling for destroying the police, defunding it entirely, taking away all police forces.
It's something that you couldn't even imagine if I would've told you, there's going to be serious politicians including congressional members of Congress, city councilman, mayors talking about defunding their police.
The number one thing you do as the city. People said, no, that's just too nuts, but that is in fact, been the only policy objective that BLM has announced in the last three years that I've seen.
What are they suggesting replacing it with? Just nothing.
Robert Barnes: That's the implication. They just say defund the police and it's like, okay, then what? That we're not going to have policing.
The mayor of LA just said he's going to cut LA's police budget by at least 10%, maybe more. That he's going to shut down their gang task force.
LA is not just South-Central LA that has the gangs and those are the oldest games in America, in the African American side to some degree.
They go back to the 1940s, 1950s. Originally started out groups like the Rollin 60's and others.
I had to be careful who I used to represent down there because there are the Crips, there's the Bloods and they all get mad at each other, so I stayed out of it.
But the whole dynamic of that is that the gangs are normally very powerful there. In East LA, in fact, the gangs that run the metropolitan detention center in Los Angeles are Central American gangs, not even the Mexican gangs.
Mexican gangs are actually manageable. MS-13 and the Central American gangs are just crazy, they are just a whole different animal.
Well, you're familiar with Latin America and Central America so you understand the context better than most Americans.
If you grew up in 50, 60, 70 years of violence like people in Guatemala and Honduras did, because these problems go all the way back to then.
Sort of like the Sicilian mob, they formed as a response to constant invasions. There they formed as a response to constant civil war.
You have a culture where people are used to being a gang member by the age of eight and they resorted to more and more extreme violence to get power.
They're people without limits. Now, LA is going to shut down its attempts to control gangs. I mean, this is insanity.
Now, my buddy that's got his long-standing restaurant there, he can't really move. He's got 50 years of collective goodwill between him and his dad at that place, but he's got to take protective precautions.
He's got to figure out what insurance he can get what can he do to protect himself without becoming liable?
Because LA is one of those places, it's tough, the self-defense laws are decent a lot of it is rooted arguably in the second amendment.
I've argued that everybody has a self-defense right under the U.S. constitution. The Supreme Court kind of acknowledged that, when they said that the right to own a gun is really a right of self-defense under the second amendment.
My view is that is constitutionally protected against any criminal prosecution anywhere, but beyond that, a lot of cities and counties and states don't have stand your ground laws, don't have good citizen's arrest laws. Don't allow you to really take the law into your own hands.
3 Things You Should Investigate Before Getting A Gun
George: Let me just stop you right there, just for a second here.
If I'm a business owner, just an ordinary citizen and I'm looking around saying, okay, number one, it's probably time for me to get a gun and to use it responsibly and just to hold it there, what's my downside there? Probably not much, but then I'm thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh, I'm hearing Robert talk about all these risks if I actually do defend myself.
I guess my first question would be, as a normal person and not a lawyer…
How do I find out what the laws are in my particular state and city? And then how do I find out how fluid they are based on the local politics?
Then I guess my last question here to round off the thought would be, if you are someone like your good buddy who is just in a horrible situation where they've got a brick and mortar location, they've busted their butt to build up this brand equity.
They can't move it but they're in a jurisdiction that is very unfriendly to, let's say, business owners defending themselves with firearms, then what on earth do you do?
Robert Barnes: Really it's sort of a threefold approach. In terms of self-educating your self on the law, there's three sorts of search terms that are the most useful.
- One would be self-defense, and then your city or county.
- The second would be stand-your-ground then your city, county, and your state
- Third would be citizen's arrests and then your city
I've told people that citizen's arrest laws really allow a lot of room because they cloth someone in the power of being a policeman.
Even if you don't have a stand-your-ground law and you have a weak self-defense law, if you have a robust citizen's arrest, and a lot of states have just left their citizen's arrest laws on the books and the reason is because they're protecting security guards.
There's actually very expansive protection. The judicial system has wanted to protect security guards at malls and private stores and so they've expanded what you can do.
To give an example, reasonable suspicion that someone has committed a crime can be what somebody else reliably told you because that's what happens to most security guard context.
The clerk says, “Hey, I think I saw something.” They go and arrest him and in order to avoid a false imprisonment charge, they say that that was reasonable suspicion to commit a citizen's arrest.
You could probably also look at that fourth component too, in case for whatever reason citizen's arrest doesn't pop up in your local or state laws. Look up what the rules are, and the defenses are to false imprisonment.
Robert Barnes: Because if you have citizen's arrest power, then you often have the power to use any force necessary to execute that, and that creates its own legal defense system. For example, one big difference.
If you're in Texas, you can defend your property and you can use lethal force to defend your property.
In other states you can not, you could only use lethal force if you are in imminent risk of great bodily harm and so if you're the Koreans on top of the roof, you're going to have a hard time if you're not imminent bodily harm.
By the way, they didn't prosecute a lot of those guys because of political reasons.If you were a white shop owner probably you won't get the same treatment these days.
They didn't want to offend the Korean community which is very substantial in LA, and that's where the political factors in.
Strategic Actions To Take During Polemical Times
- Part one is to know your law. Look at citizen's arrest laws, because those may be really protective more so than some other ones.
- Second, in terms of what you can do, definitely, everybody should have a gun.
I was telling my daughter that just the other day, also get some self-defense training in terms of hand-to-hand combat and get good training on how to use the gun.
There's plenty of great trainers out there, they'll teach you how to defend yourself and stay safe and how you make sure there's no collateral risk or exposure on both a handgun and then I would have a big scary looking gun.
Your goal with a big scary gun is never to use it.
It's like what Tim Pool recently said, he was used to being against guns, then he had somebody try to break into his house at 4:00 AM.
Noam Chomsky is all like
"defending a person's freedom of speech does not mean I support that person's views"
Remember actual liberalism? https://t.co/35j7Zn6tKD
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) July 8, 2020
The cops showed up and they said, look, realistically, it's always going to be a delayed response time.
What we recommend is you get a shotgun, because when you open the door with a shotgun, people suddenly decided they don't want to burglarize your house much.
If you look at what's been happening in the riots, sometimes people with a handgun have tried to do something with it but when they see somebody pull out a big gun, like those guys outside that shop in New York, it was like three of them with huge guns.
Those guys wanted to raid that place and were saying all kinds of stuff to him, but they weren't going to take their chances with that big gun.
One guy was a cigar shop owner, he had a regular handgun, but he clearly knew how to use it.
He had it very secured and it looked like a Texas Ranger and he walked everybody out of the store, made sure to maintain physical distance so they couldn't grab it or anything goes sideways.
What happened in the Arbery case is he didn't maintain enough distance from Arbery to protect himself, is part of why he's being criminally prosecuted.
Also, it didn't help that he's a racist, at least according to the allegations.
Those are all aspects you can do. Now, here's the hard part, I tell people, as soon as you can get a gun always get one because you never know what the laws are going to be.
All of these democratic governments are very sophisticated at knowing how to prevent you from getting a gun even though it's not on the book legally.
It's sort of like being an African American trying to register to vote in 1940s Mississippi.
On the books you're allowed to, somehow just the machine never lets it happen.
They've used the pandemic as a pretext to originally shut down a lot gun stores, then they got a lot of lawsuits, a lot of pushback and so they stepped back and said, okay, we'll let gun stores stay open.
But then they took a second step, which was, they just shut down the background check departments.
They're like, that's not really essential within the government right now, so what happens is you go apply for a gun and the United States, contrary to some on the left, they make it sound like you can get a gun easily.
If you want to get a gun illegally, you can get it easily. Like you can almost anywhere in the world, but if you want to get it legally, you have to go through a background check process.
There's a waiting time period and they're slowing that process down all across the country in democratic states right now.
There are people that have applied for guns months ago that still haven't got their background check cleared, so it's a politicized process that they're doing.
Now what you can always do is you can go to a different state that has more liberalized laws and a cleaner quicker process and thereby get a gun, absolutely people should.
- The last step is when I look at it from a political perspective. First of all, I recommend that if you can hire professional security, rather than do this yourself.
Especially during these kinds of moments, because anybody that hasn't been through it, the chance of something going sideways is always high. The risk is just to disproportionate. Hire people.
There's plenty of ex vets who work in private security, who for them this is small change.
George: Yeah they went to Iraq. I mean, this is child's play.
Robert Barnes: Exactly, if you've been through those kinds of circumstances you're not worried about some kids wanting to break into the store. You don't have to worry about landmines, air bombs, chemical weapons, et cetera.
Those guys will know what they're doing. Usually, a team, two to four people is ideal and you only would call upon them in times of emergency but have them available for you in times of emergency like this.
They'll usually have protective gear on and in fact, this has happened in Minneapolis and in some other places where they've hired these guys. They know how to patrol the roofs and the front of the building.
Nobody has touched those buildings at all because you have unsophisticated criminality that's simply crimes of opportunities taking place in terms of arson and looting.
What's really unique about these sets of riots, is there are criminal gangs targeting institutions for money.
Targeting high-end stores in Santa Monica and New York City, going in and doing a burst, they're robbing diamond stores, they're robbing Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dior, and robbing banks.
My favorite version is the guy who somehow got a whole ATM off the ground and tried to carry it onto a bus, it was a public bus.
The bus driver was like,” no” and you see the bus driver pulling off and the guy complaining, “we could have been rich together, buddy”.
This is the mindset that's going on out there. Your basic show of force will deter your crimes of opportunity.
The second category you have to now worry about is the sophisticated criminal gangs using a protestors guys to go in and do high-end robberies. Groups of four to eight people.
Because 95% of businesses are not doing this, your sophisticated gangs will be like, why go after the hard target when the easy target is next door? And that's how to do it.
I would also recommend hiring a racially diverse staff, as security guards if you can.
If you have an African American security guard, Latino security guard, then it changes the political equation.
If something goes south, these guys have to defend themselves and if they end up shooting someone in your store and you're subject to liability, if you have a racially diverse security team, just as a political matter, you're going to be in much better shape.
That's what I've advised people as to the stage of steps to take. There's also basic protocols that people can impose in terms of blocking their windows, not with cardboard ideally with metal.
I mean, they do this in European stores and where you just impose something.
You create the infrastructure to do it if a business is going to be located in these democratic cities, just create security structures, you can always have more secure glass by the way, people forget that.
They're starting to see these people that try to bash in some windows, they don't get bashed at all. Other windows back easily. It's the quality of the glass that was used.
So if you're doing new construction like my restaurant buddy, he put in very high-end quality glass when he reconstructed about five years ago, in part not focused on this.
He did for other reasons too, aesthetically but it was also just an additional security protocol because when you have a little restaurant out in the street at any time somebody randomly could just get the inspired idea, they don't need a rioting opportunity to do so.
Protect Yourself By Diversifying Your Assets And Citizenship
That's the other ways they can protect themselves, and then last but not least jurisdictionally diversify, of course, both in terms of your assets and your citizenship.
The old line from the movie, Heat was “never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in 15 seconds flat, if you feel the heat around the corner”.
I used to tell people: have yourself prepared so that if you need to walk out in 15 seconds flat, you can disappear and be somewhere else politically protected and economically protected immediately.
That requires things like multiple citizenship, that requires multiple passports, that requires assets in multiple locations, physically outside of the domestic United States, and definitely outside of a particular city, county or state.
If Minneapolis could run the country, the police would be eliminated next week according to the city council.
The other thing to understand about the BLM in part, but also especially Antifa, they heavily believe that insurrectionary moments can change the world overnight.
They've looked at history and they say history can change in 24 hours. Now, I think they overstate what can happen in terms of their own power and capacity, but we can't rule it out.
We just saw a lockdown, a response of politicians that they've never done before in response to a flu epidemic that completely damaged the whole bunch of businesses that may never recover in part because they never particularly planned for it, even the few that did have insurance companies refusing to pay them.
If they had a captive insurance, then they would be better protected because that would have been their own money put aside for this precise position.
This with tax advantages that allow that monies to grow and outside the United States so it can be jurisdictionally diversified, where they can pursue investments that the SCC may not even allow within the U.S.
Those opportunities to have all the advantages of a born identity kind of plan in place also make it losings restaurant or a house here, not the end of the world.
If things get really crazy, I can hop a boat a plane or a car and be out of Dodge and in someplace safe and still be economically stable and not starving.
George: I've discussed that quite a bit actually in my last few videos, just because of what's going on. I've been telling people, and I try to break it down into categories.
People who don't want to leave the United States, people who might have a little bit more flexibility, but even for people who don't want to leave the United States, what's your downside of actually just having a passport.
Let's just start there. I would say 50% of Americans don't have one.
If you can just start by getting a passport and then I would say, in addition to that, why not get an RV and just park it in your driveway and maybe have a good old fashioned diesel truck.
If this stuff starts to happen, you can just get in your RV. It's loaded with food, go up to the mountains, go to the lake, enjoy yourself, and just watch it from afar for a week, two weeks, two months, whatever, and then taking it to the next step.
George: What's your downside of having a second passport? Just like you're saying.
I think in my videos some of the disconnects for most people was, well, why do I need a second passport if I just have like a visa?
If I get a residency maybe in Panama, but what they're not understanding and maybe you can shed some light on this is right now, it's actually very difficult for Americans to get in.
Sure, you can leave but a lot of countries don't want Americans because of, whether you believe the numbers or not.
The media is telling us that the majority of the cases of COVID are in the United States.
I was looking at real estate in Dubai as an example, and I saw that Dubai right now is opening up to tourists. If I read it correctly, they are not opening up to American tourists.
I think as Americans, we always just assume that we're wanted everywhere, and it's just those Russians and Chinese and Brazilians and people in the Middle East, those are the people that are not wanted in the EU or the United States, Canada, Australia.
But we could be facing a situation, especially if we get a second wave of the virus where Americans are now the kind of persona non grata and that's why that second passport is so crucial because you could get on that plane.
You could get into that other country where you want to go using the alternate passport.
I'd like to know your thoughts on that, and then maybe how you're doing this in your own life in kind of preparing this way.
Robert Barnes: Sure.
I always tell people it's always good to have jurisdictional diversification because you don't want all of your assets including your personhood solely within the power of one jurisdiction because then you're dependent either on what that jurisdiction does, or as you know how other people may respond to that jurisdiction.
You don't want to be limited that way. I always give people a comparison Imagine you're in 1925, you're Jewish in Berlin, things are actually going great the Nazi Party only got 2.8% of the vote, the stock market's going, boom, boom, boom.
The Weimar Republic has recovered from its hyperinflation in the earlier years. It's Babylon Berlin in terms of the air, some of the greatest music and art taking place and you think I don't need a second citizenship.
I don't need jurisdictional diversification, well, 10 years later, your whole family is in a death camp and all your property is stolen.}
I think the number one thing people forget these days is things can change fast.
I think we've grown up in America so accustomed to not really recognizing that because in America things often haven't changed that fast, but in the whole world and over human history it does.
I was in a position where I had to go from Nevada to Texas and get there before Texans shut me out from going just from Nevada to Texas.
George: That's what I was going to ask you about.
It's not just countries not allowing Americans in. It's certain states not allowing other Americans in from other states.
I mean that's when it gets really crazy.
Robert Barnes: I actually tried to map it up. Because someone else was going to come visit me from Tennessee and Tennessee was okay to come into Texas, but not Georgia.
The problem is almost all flights go through Georgia. I was like, no, you got to fly over here, and then you got to fly down here just to avoid the self-quarantine order when you showed up.
Because they had security right at the gate as soon as you got off saying if you came from any of those other locations, and Texas was generally more chill about it.
I mean, Rhode Island was actually going to block its border to not allow people from Connecticut and New York in. They're actually lining up state troopers to do so until New York threatened to sue and so forth.
That's what took place, that shows you how at any given moment, the whole system can fall apart and if you're dependent on only one permission slip from one country or one city, you are at great risk.
And it's not that expensive, as you noted in your most recent video, right now is a fantastic time to get second citizenships.
Because of the pandemic, they have lowered prices dramatically and there are very sophisticated law firms out there.
There's a law firm that I use because they happen to hire a lot of ex-government officials from those Caribbean countries, I find that second citizenship goes real fast.
There was an international law firm originally rooted in Switzerland, no surprise in that part.
They set up because it's people who recognize the risks of their government or the risks that other people may have it, because it was overwhelmingly Chinese and Russians who were originally getting second citizenships.
But like the other utility, you look at the St. Kitts passport which is part of the Schengen Agreement. It gets the same permission to travel to and within Europe, as a U.S. passport does you have all the permission slips you need.
I had a client who the reason why he got caught in Panama, besides the fact that the Government committed a lot of fraud, corruption, and the embassy lied.
But the only reason why he was in any kind of jam is because he got Panama residency but he didn't go out and get a second passport. In fact, he was carrying around a bogus second passport.
Now, this is another reason to have a second passport. The risk at that time was he was on one part of Panama that had a history of them kidnapping people with a U.S. passport for the purposes of extortion and kidnapping.
He had a fake passport in another name, but he would have been much better off if he had a real passport in another name, because then he could have got out of the country without a problem.
He ended up stuck in Panama knowing the government was coming to try grab him and even though he thought legally the government couldn't and he was right under the Panama traditional laws, that didn't matter because of the politics of Panama.
When he recognized that he couldn't get out of Panama because he never went and got a second passport, a permission slip that allows you to get out of a port, allows you to get on a plane, allows you to pass a border in a car.
“You don't have to do something “wrong by the law” to be in a heap of trouble”
Robert Barnes: Another thing people don't realize is how controlled Borders are these days, that unless you become very familiar in like jungle landscape, they're essential in South America.
If you don't mind living in the jungle, yeah, there are ways to cross the borders without a problem but short of that, it's very difficult.
That's where it's critical. The way I always put it to people is, I like the RV truck. I like being able to live off the land. I call that the downscale option, the mid-scale option a low-cost style.
I always recommend having a small shack out in the woods, not titled in you, not recordable to you in some entities, some generic name. U.S. real estate you can do that very easily, so tell everybody who organizes real estate.
Having effectively in a “shell”, but that's independent, that has a generator, that doesn't rely upon any public utilities, has its own water well.
You can be self-sufficient and off the grid tomorrow if you got to be, or if you just got to wait out something like a crazy pandemic or a bunch of crazy riots or wait out anything else that needs to occur.
An RV is great for that because you can drive around physically and find those locations, and trucks have multiple benefits in multiple contexts particularly if you're off road.
George: I want to point out too because I know maybe some people are watching this saying, well, Robert, George, I get what you're saying, but why not just be a good citizen?
And if I don't break the law, then I've got nothing to worry about.
Remember, and I'm talking to that viewer specifically, the part of the conversation when Robert and I were discussing what the law is.
And kind of how there's this gray area based on what type of jurisdiction you're in and the political environment in society, in the media.
You don't have to do something “wrong by the law” to be in a heap of trouble, if you're just the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Robert Barnes: Exactly. Ask almost anybody in a wide-ranging set of populations over world history. Ask obviously the Jews of Germany they didn't do anything wrong.
Ask the gypsies who were also targeted by the Nazis, people who were simply labeled disabled who were targeted by the Nazis, but you could label any other group.
Certain groups in Italy were targeted. Labor union activists were targeted just because the fascist didn't trust them didn't like them.
There's been large parts of disappearances. There's almost no part of the world that at some point hasn't had innocent people suffer in mass at the hands of either the mob or the state.
Self Sufficiency is The Real-life Insurence
I call it real life insurance, right? There's life insurance that says maybe some company will pay your heirs when you die, and then there's a life insurance that keeps you alive when you need to.
The second thing I always recommend to people is to have a car stashed somewhere that you can get to. It's not in title in your own name.
In the back have a briefcase that has the most secure kind of laptop that can communicate in the securest form, a burner phone, and then various forms of currency that are reflected around the world.
Ideally, now you can add Bitcoin to that equation and cyber currency.
These are for people who have some resources or means, but it doesn't have to be tons.
You could have 10 grand and that'd be enough to survive to get out of Dodge to get to the right place, but if you have the cash and capital and the means having it.
There's a reason why El Chapo built a lot of tunnels from every home he lived in. He was preparing in advance and he got to live outside of prison for 20 plus years.
You can build your own tunnels to avoid you being the victim of a governmental or mob mentality that may come for you, and I just call it a born plan.
Hop in a car and in that briefcase, you have all the means to communicate, all the means to get wherever you need to get to.
I recommend people that have jewels, some watches, physical things that people like to buy that you can exchange in any parts of the world where in case the currencies themselves fall apart.
George: Yeah. One thing I want to mention there, because I think this goes back to our last conversation is, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think gold, jewelry have never been confiscated or made illegal by any of the governments.
Not just the United States, but when they did that in the UK, when they did that in Australia. I think gold, jewelry was exempt, so that might be another thing that would be good to have in that briefcase or in that trunk.
Robert Barnes: Absolutely, there was an old movie, the Robert Redford when he was in Cuba. He had a diamond sewn into his body and he ended up coming to use it.
But the person who he had learned it from said, look, this is your insurance plan.
That way you'll know as long as you have that you'll be safe wherever you are in the world because you can always have one last attempt to get out of Dodge and they use it in a good effective way in the film.
It's the same mindset but for example, for the most part, it depends on the rules. If I have more than 10 grand and I fly outside the country, I got to report it or they could seize it.
I mean, that's the real remedy. It's not necessarily a crime. They can just take all your money if you don't report it.
I remember I went through an airport once going over to London to bet on the elections and I had like about 150 grand in the backpack.
I used Vegas because is a useful place where a lot of cash goes in and out so they're less shocked and startled, but the guy was still shocked and he thought, for sure, I hadn't reported it.
I was like, “of course I reported it you think I'm going to take this bag through here and not have reported.”
But if have $150,000 Patek Philippe watch on, I don't have to report it. It's a way to stay under the radar screen. That's the utility of jewels, watches could be great. Particularly rare watches.
There's that great movie, the French movie. I'm forgetting the name at the moment, but everything's about a stamp, the value of the stamp because it's a rare stamp worth ridiculous sums of money.
Now, there are risks with things like stamps and baseball cards and some of them because you're really dependent on a market, it might disappear but that's why I like gold.
That's why I like jewels. That's why I like watches. Those are much easier, but small things that you can transport on your body that can protect you for life. Like Robert Redford's little diamond underneath his skin.
George: Yeah. All right, buddy. Well, I'm looking at my watch here. I know I've kept you over an hour. I sincerely appreciate your time. This is a fascinating conversation, Robert.
I could talk about this for three hours. This is so cool. I really, really appreciate it.
For my viewers and listeners who want to find out more about what you do or watch your show, where can they go to learn more about what you do?
Robert Barnes: Sure. My firm's website is barneslawllp.com, and then I do a show called American Countdown right now during this crazy era pandemics, then riots, and then, of course, we got the election.
The American Countdown show they can find at banned.video. They can find that there, also I'm on Periscope, on Twitter @Barnes_Law. It is a fascinating time to be alive.
George: It sure is. All right, buddy. Well, I appreciate your time again and I cannot wait to chat. Let's do it soon.
Robert Barnes: Absolutely. Thanks, man.