The Equalists are a revolutionary organization, led by Amon, that operates within Republic City. They oppose the use of the art of bending, which they see as inherently oppressive and unfair, and seek to equalize society through its elimination. Because of this, they are occasionally referred to as the "anti-bending revolution".
Equalist fighters are known for employing chi blocking as a means to counteract bending and its advantages. Adept at using long-range weapons to tie together and hold down their enemies, the Equalists utilize other tools and equipment, including smoke grenades, electrified gloves, and motorcycles.
At some point, Amon, led by feelings of revenge after his parents' murder at the hands of a firebender, became the leader of the Equalists. He believed he was chosen by the spirits to lead the organization to bring balance to the world as the Avatar had failed in doing so. The anti-bending movement began recruiting adepts and the Equalists eventually became a formidable group within Republic City.
In order to fulfill their goal, Amon decided to accelerate their plans after the early arrival of the Avatar to the city, a reason why an Equalist assembly called "The Revelation" was scheduled to be carried out. For this purpose, they kidnapped some Triple Threat Triad members and Bolin. Make and Korra witnessed the Equalists ride away in a truck with their hostages. The duo gave chase on Naga, and the Equalists were forced to evade some firebenders and earthbending attacks. Eventually, two Equalists on motorcycles, broke off from the pack to face their pursuers. With a well-aimed throw, one Equalist fighter tripped the polar bear dog by tying her legs together with a bola. As the animal's riders where thrown free, the two Equalists engaged them in a hand-to-hand fight. With their superior agility, the two Equalist fighters were able to quickly immobilize Korra and Mako with chi blocking, but they retreated when Naga untangled herself and came to the rescue of her friends.
Later, at the rally, Amon gave a speech telling the audience about his life story and his motivation to lead the revolution. He blamed the benders of the world to be the cause of every war that has ever been, and showcased his plans for all the benders in the world on the prisoners by demonstrating an ability he claimed the spirits had granted him, the ability to take away a person's bending permanently. Unknown to the attendees at the time, however, Korra and Mako had infiltrated the rally, and just before Amon could remove Bolin's bending, Korra released vast amounts of steam from the water boilers, creating enough of a distraction and cover for Mako to overpower an Equalist fighter, grab Bolin and get out before anyone could react.
Amon's second-in-command, the Lieutenant, defeated the two brothers rather easily with his electrified kali sticks while they were trying to escape, however, Korra arrived and earthbent him into a wall, before he could do more damage. As the trio escaped on Naga, the Equalists wanted to give chase, but Amon gave the order to let them go, stating that the Avatar was the best person to spread word of his power.
The Equalists and their leader had made a profound impression on the Avatar, as Korra had nightmares about being attacked by them after witnessing their skill at the rally. When Korra later aided a Special Task Force led by Councilman Tarrlock to raid a secret underground training facility in the Dragon Flats district, an Equalist ambushed her when she was in pursuit of two trainees. However, Korra managed to evade his attack and immobilized him by bending a rock straight into his stomach. A second Equalist member was frozen to the wall when Tarrlok came to Korra's rescue. The raid resulted in the defeat and capture of four Equalist members.
At the ensuing press conference, Korra challenged Amon to a duel on Aang's Memorial Island at midnight, without the presence of the task force or the chi blockers. However, it appeared as though Amon did not hold up his end of the deal as midnight passed without his appearance. Korra, believing he did not turn up, started to return home. However, as she did so, several Equalists ambushed the Avatar and quickly overpowered and immobilized her. It was only then that Amon emerged from the shadows and explained part of his plan to eradicate all benders. Knocking Korra out cold, but without doing further damage, the Equalists left her in the island's museum.
Amon later demanded the shutdown of the Pro-Bending Arena before the sport's championship match, but the United Republic Council did not agree to this. As a result, the Equalists disguised themselves in the arena and waited for their moment. After the match, they sprang into action, electrifying several members of the Metalbending Police Force who were present on security detail, Tenzin, Lin Beifong, and the Fire Ferrets. As they appeared on the playing field, the still present White Falls Wolfbats attacked them, but Amon easily evaded their attacks and took their bending away. The Equalists kept the arena secured as Amon declared war on all the benders, before blowing up the playing field. As they escaped on their airship, Korra came after them. With a little help of Lin, she managed to knock some Equalists off the cables suspended underneath the airship, but was soon knocked off herself. A fight ensued on the arena's roof between Korra and Lin against four Equalists, among whom the Lieutenant. Lin immobilized two of them with her metalbending and Korra knocked out the other one and even threw the Lieutenant off the roof, but Amon and the remainder of his cronies escaped.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Equalists framed the head of Cabbage Corp by planting evidence in the factory indicating that Cabbage Corp was responsible for the manufacturing of the electrified gloves. This action was a decoy to lead the authorities away from Future Industries where Hiroshi Sato was working on a new weapon for the Equalists, the mecha tanks. However, Korra overheard him on the phone and together with Tenzin, Lin, and several officers, they discovered a hidden factory where several of the tanks were already operational. Hiroshi had set up a trap for them and used them as a test run for the new machines. They proved to be a great success and the Equalists manage to take several police officers hostage. Korra, Tenzin, and Lin managed to keep out of their clutches, however, due to the interference of Asami who took out her father and the Lieutenant, allowing Mako and Bolin to carry them out.
The Equalists follow the teachings of Amon, who began spreading his ideas after allegedly receiving a vision from the spirits that the Avatar had failed humanity in its duty to bring balance to the world. The main cause of this imbalance is bending, which is used to bully and oppress the world's non-benders and which has been the cause of "every war". The only way to bring equality back to the world is to remove the abilities of the world's benders, who exploit and marginalize the non-bending majority, and then overthrow the "bending elite" in a wide-ranging social revolution. Accordingly, the spirits granted Amon the ability to permanently remove a person's bending powers. Through eliminating people's bending ability, their aim is to create a society free from bender/non-bender divisions, where no person has an innate advantage over another. Although Amon's final goal remains unclear, he has expressed an eventual plan to export the Equalist revolution beyond the borders of Republic City to the rest of the world. Assisting Amon in his quest are a multitude of Equalist fighters, including sleeper agents disguised as ordinary civilians and highly trained chi blockers. Amon himself seems to have a deep disdain for bending, as he has referred to it as an "impurity" that must be cleansed. When he takes over Republic City, he will replace the bending regime with a "fair-minded" Equalist government.
Equipment and tactics
Equalists are shown using various means in order to match and defeat benders. Equalist members are trained as hand-to-hand fighters and some are also trained as chi blockers, a key skill in defeating a bender. Equalists typically employ underhanded tactics such as ambush attacks, hit-and-run strikes, and use of sleeper agents among others. They also perform terrorist strikes and employ fear tactics such as the attack on the Republic City's Pro-bending Arena.
Aside from their fighting skills, they employ a large range of tools, such as special suits, smoke grenades, bolas, motorcycles, and airships, among other things. The Equalist Lieutenant is shown using a set of electrified kali sticks to electrocute and neutralize opponents. With the support of Hiroshi Sato, they started utilizing electrically-charged gloves, which Amon described as "the power of a chi blocker in their hand". These are capable of instantly neutralizing any enemy, even a metalbending police officer, whose armor was formerly impervious to chi blocker attacks. Sato also developed a mechanical robot called a mecha tank. These are made of platinum, which is immune to metalbending due to its purity. These machines use extendable claws, metal cables, and can disperse electricity through these appendages to electrocute enemies. They are also quite durable as the one Sato commanded withstood multiple fire and air strikes from Tenzin and Korra without any visible damage.
To gain public support, Amon uses his powers to target benders who are well known for abusing their powers, such as the Triple Threat Triad and White Falls Wolfbats, as both a way to strike fear into the bender population and to win the support of non-benders.