The Associated Press
MUSKEGON, Mich. -- The deposed founder of the Michigan Militia plans to hold a "Third Continental Congress" to be ready to take over the country in the event the government collapses.
Norman Olson said he hopes the three-day meeting in Missouri this month will draw representatives from paramilitary groups across the United States.
"(Our) Congress will meet to discuss the crisis in America being caused by the present government, which patriots generally agree is corrupt and out of control," Olson said in a prepared statement.
"The goal of the Congress is to find solutions without having to go to war," he said. "Millions of people are being tyrannized and oppressed by the federal government."
One of the options the group plans to discuss includes the formation of "Continental Army under a Congressional Committee for Safety," Olson said.
Scott Woodring of Newaygo County, a member of the Michigan Militia, said he plans to attend the Oct. 28 meeting in Harrison, Mo.
Woodring earlier this year ran for the post of Dayton Township supervisor in rural Newaygo County on an anti-government platform modeled after the Freemen of Montana. He took about 10 percent of the Aug. 6 primary vote.
" We're going to meet and discuss what issues are most important to the nation as a whole and attempt to reach a consensus," Woodring said. "If we do, we'll formally petition the president and Congress to redress the issues."
Militia members in other states have run into legal trouble for trying to set up their own judicial and banking systems. Woodring earlier this year ran a newspaper ad promoting the "Committee for a De Jure Township."
The ad said that the purpose of the meeting was to talk about organizing the township for "judicial and other purposes."
Angela Moore, office administrator for the Newaygo County Prosecutor's office, said her staff received numerous calls from Dayton Township residents worried about Woodring's organizing.
But neither Woodring nor other freeman types in the county are breaking any laws.
"They've made themselves known, but they've done nothing illegal or dangerous," Moore said.
But if any militia organization tries to set up its own "justice system," authorities say they will step in.
"We're hearing from these people more and more," Moore said. "They're not breaking any laws, but they're annoying."
Page 1C --Four States Section.
Monday, October 14, 1996
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