Filed under: Anti-fascist, Editorials, Northeast
In the last two weeks, Alt-Right trolls have attempted to replay the events in Houston, Texas in June, where using over the top threats from fake antifa groups on social media, they galvanized a ‘counter-protest’ from the militia movement.
Moreover, it turned out that the people behind the trolling where also raking in thousands of dollars off of crowdfunding for the ‘counter-demonstration’ which drew several hundred and led to infighting between militia members and neo-Nazis. Seems like the Right has a business plan! Make a fake antifa group, make over the top threats, and then crowd fund money off of people that want to protest it.
This time around, trolls using the page ‘Harrisburg Antifa’ alleged that antifascists would burn flags and urinate on the graves of Confederate soldiers. These outright lies were then picked up by the ‘journalists’ at Fox News and distributed as actual truth. This connection between Alt-Right trolls and Fox News is not new; just last week Fox reprinted an article written by a member of the Alt-Right who wrote a hit piece about IGD at HeatSt.com.
Interestingly enough however, in the lead up to the protest, Navy Jack, a mover and shaker within the far-Right Oath Keeper militia, called out the event as total make-believe in a tweet (see image on the top-right), which has since been deleted. Navy Jack also included the photos of the two people he believed were behind the fake event and called it #FakeNews.
Other members of the far-Right, such as Joe Biggs, who recently left InfoWars because of the #Pizzagate conspiracy, have stated publicly that the rise of such fake antifa accounts have hurt the far-Right who continues to take them seriously.
Central PA Antifa, based in the greater Harrisburg area, is planning to participate in an anti-Trump demonstration in Philadelphia on Saturday, according to the email.
The email claimed the rumors about the Gettysburg protest stemmed from a fake Facebook page called “Harrisburg Antifa.”
“This page is not run by antifascists but by alt-right trolls attempting to discredit antifa, create confusion, and attempt to stir violence,” the email stated.
Furthermore, Antifa took exception to the allegation that they would be desecrating graves, especially in Gettysburg, “a site of great historical importance in the struggle of oppression,” the email said.
“That battle was a turning point in the war that eventually lead to the freeing of millions of slaves,” Central PA Antifa said. “The Confederacy and their ideology were dealt a resounding defeat at that battle, as fascism itself will one day be defeated by the will of all people to be free from oppression.”
There’s a problem: although there is a cemetery at Gettysburg, no Confederate graves at the site are marked by stones.
Alt-Lite trolls, general adult failures at life, and conspiracy theorists like Cassandra Fairbanks and Jack Posobiec did flip flops with the story. First, they promoted it as fact and then when it became clear it was a fake, they took to laughing at the mainstream media for picking up the story after they helped to get it off the ground. Hilariously though, it was Fox News that picked it up and ran with it after hearing about it from the grassroots far-Right, even as some local Fox affiliates backpedaled on the story.
But regardless of the lies, militia members and the far-Right still showed up to Gettysburg to protest the hoax created by Alt-Right trolls. During their ‘counter-rally’ however, a young militia member apparently shot themselves in the leg.
The rumor that antifa were coming to Gettysburg National Military Park to desecrate Confederate monuments there turned out to be false, but that did not stop a group of militia members from coming out, standing guard and shooting themselves in the foot – or literally in their left thigh.
According to Pennlive, a 20-year-old “patriot” accidentally triggered the revolver he brought to the park, which was inside a leg holster, when he temporarily rested the bottom of his flag pole against the holster. Park police who were nearby when the shooting took place quickly applied a tourniquet, possibly saving his life.
The accidental discharge happened near four designated fenced areas for demonstrators. Many of the ‘patriots’, did not go into those areas immediately reportedly because their permit was suspended because of a brief rain, but instead marched around the perimeter. After the rain cleared, they were allowed in.
Later, as police were trying to unload the revolver, it went off a second time while visitors were nearby. Police say the gun was “bad” and they had a hard time getting the rounds out of the chamber. After they forced all of the rounds out of the revolver, they secured the gun.
As Alt-Right trolls peddle lies, mainstream and corporate media like Fox News feeds off of the manufactured frenzy, which in turn leads to far-Right militia groups mobilizing to ‘fight’ these fake threats. This cycle has become increasingly clear. People like Cassandra Fairbanks and Jack Posobiec lose credibility when independent investigative journalism expose the facade. It is important that our movements continue to support, fund and defend such liberatory efforts.
Moreover, it was the far-Right, not anarchists and antifascists, which called for violence in the lead up to the demonstration and in the end, shot themselves with a gun and put people in the general area of Gettysburg in danger. This is the kind of reckless behavior they accuse our movement of engaging in all of the time, yet it is the far-Right which is creating a climate of violence, fear, and threats of bodily harm.
The far-Right has a symbiotic relationship with the State, the mass media, and is built on a foundation of dis-information and relationships of violence. In an attempt to get ratings they sow rotten seeds amongst the public, crowdfund off each other and peddle their rhetoric to anyone simple enough to be played. The joke is on them this time. Reap what you sow and maybe you’ll just end up shooting yourself in the leg.