Kyle Chapman, Milo, and Proud Boys Spread Fake Stabbing Story at Start of “Free Speech Week”

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A fake news story describing a stabbing is being spread by Alt-Right demagogues as alleged evidence of the inherent violence in Berkeley. The fake incident started traction after Kyle Chapman tweeted: “A Ben Shapiro supporter was stabbed in the neck by Antifa terrorists last night in Berekley [sic] CA. Fucking demon scum leftist. Please pray 4her.” The story gained momentum after a post on Milo Yiannopoulos’ website citing Chapman: “…brave young lady was holding a sign supporting Ben Shapiro when she was yanked down from a light post then beaten and stabbed by left wing terrorist.”

The Proud Boys, a right-wing fraternal organization of which Chapman is an organizer, posted on their website an account from an alleged witness of the fake stabbing. The unnamed source told Proud Boy Magazine: “I literally mentioned to another Proud Boy Chad that she wasn’t safe but I never imagined that she would get stabbed.” The article also credits Kyle Chapman as the one who “broke the news that a Jewish American woman there in support of Shapiro was stabbed by leftist demonstrators.”

The author of the article, Pawl Bazile, adds that “there is no word yet as to how [the stabbing] will effect AntiFa as being classified as a Domestic Terror Orangization.” Pawl Bazile’s article was shared on Twitter by multiple branches of the Proud Boys. At the same time Paul Bazile shared the link to his article on Twitter, chapters of the Proud Boys in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Connecticut, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, Illinois, Idaho, and Missouri all shared the link on Twitter in coordination.

Other Right Wing websites, used to spread disinformation, are sharing the fake story. The website Pacific Pundit has the headline ‘Ben Shapiro Supporter Stabbed by Antifa Terrorists in Berkeley.’ The author of the piece wrote: “Here’s something you can bet the media will never report” and “Don’t expect any coverage of this at all.” In the article, the author asserts: “AntiFA hates Jews.” The Alt-Right website Silence Is Consent has a posted report ‘Woman Stabbed by Antifa’, with Kyle Chapman as the source of the bulletin. Silence is Consent claims that the woman’s injury was confirmed by CBS San Francisco, but in reality CBS San Francisco never reported that a woman was stabbed.

On the Reddit forum TheDonald (reddit.com/r/the_donald) there are discussion threads about the fake stabbing incident. One discussion thread criticizes the mainstream media for not reporting on the fake stabbing incident. On another discussion thread, a forum moderator does state that the incident could be fake news, but is keeping the thread open for rampant speculation anyway.

The Berkeley police have clarified that the story of the stabbing is not real. On Twitter, they released 2 statements. First they communicated: “Online accounts surrounding a stabbing at last night’s protest are false.” BPD continued: “She fell and wasn’t pushed. No fight. That is what she told us at the scene. These are the actual facts.” However, these statements to the public were made late this morning, after the rumor of the stabbing had already spread across the internet.

The Alt-Right are focused on a misleading interpretation of a photograph featuring a Shapiro supporter lying on the ground. In the circulated photo, the Alt-Right are claiming that a pool of blood can be seen around her head. In actuality, what is shown in the photo is not blood, but rather is her hair laying on the asphalt. There is a male protester looking down at her as she lays on the ground, and the Alt-Right are claiming that he allegedly stabbed her in the neck.

The woman in the photo, the alleged victim, was not stabbed. According to real eyewitness accounts, and according to the police’s own statements, the woman tripped and fell on the asphalt. She was not the victim of a stabbing, or of any other major assault. She did not file a police report about being attacked. What appears to have happened is after someone grabbed her posterboard sign, she chased after the person who took it, tripped and fell.

Given that there is a Right Wing focused “Free Speech Week” on campus from September 24th to 27th, and Alt-Right agitator Amber Cummings is rumored to be planning another event in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, it is likely that more disinformation about Berkeley protests will be generated by conservative outlets.


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Indybay
The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) is a non-commercial, democratic collective of bay area independent media makers and media outlets, and serves as the local organizing unit of the global Indymedia network.