Filed under: Anti-fascist, Central, Critique
As confrontations between the far-Right and anarchists and antifascists have heated up over the last several months, the Alt-Right has played a big role in these confrontations through their continued use of fake social media accounts.
As Buzzfeed exposed the other day to a wider audience what many of us already know quite well, in the wake of the fake ‘Boston Antifa‘ page being exposed on IGD as an account run by Trump supporting Alt-Right trolls, a whole slew of fake antifa bots started to spring up.
Almost all of these accounts are quickly identified as fakes in that they usually are based out of somewhere ironic (Beverly Hills, etc), and post the most random nonsense that is designed to make antifascists look stupid.
As Buzzfeed documented, this memorial day these fake accounts shared photos of veterans graveyards that were supposedly vandalized by antifascists. Of course, the photos were nothing of the sort, and even some of them were pictures from neo-Nazi vandalism sprees. But the incident shows that the Alt-Right, via the depths of 4 and 8chan, is using fake accounts to not only hurt the reputation of antifascists, but also specifically push the wider Right into greater escalations of violence.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) May 14, 2017
The trolls have also been pretty successful so far. In Boston, the official Oath Keepers group in the lead up to a ‘Free Speech’ rally they were doing security for, took as gospel threats from ‘Boston Antifa,’ to the point that they labeled the fake and non-existent group a major threat on their web site.
Ironically, months before the Oath Keepers bragged about how they had infiltrated and mapped the anarchist movement, learning its ins and outs, but yet somehow couldn’t figure out that a long discredited account run by the Alt-Right was feeding them false information.
This reality again played out in New Orleans, as both militia groups and ‘Based Stickmen’ mobilized in the face of threats from another fake antifa group that stated they would literally hijack a crane and destroy Confederate statues that were slated to be removed by the city regardless.
These threats might have been seen as laughable in another light, but the reality is that they were written by members of the Alt-Right that were hoping to push militia members and ‘Based Stickmen’ into fighting with antifascists. In the end, the plan backfired, and hundreds of people flooded into the streets against the monuments and the Alt-Right protesters became a laughingstock.
White Nationalist Troll 'Baked Alaska' went all the way down to LA to protect the Trump Hollywood star – because he's a moron. pic.twitter.com/jeDOxJb7f4
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) May 14, 2017
Let’s also not forget that hilarious time when Baked Alaska heard via a fake account that the Trump Hollywood star was going to be ‘attacked,’ and he rushed down to LA to defend it, only to find, or course, no one there. What a fucking dumb ass.
But perhaps nowhere has this reality been more clear than recently in Texas, where heeding the call from Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, members of the far-Right are again mobilizing against a group that doesn’t exist, “Antifa Texas.” The fake account, run by Alt-Right trolls, claims that they will assemble to destroy a Confederate statue (of slaveholder, Sam Houston) in Houston. Claiming this threat to be very real, Chapman is pushing people to mobilize with him to ‘protect’ the monument, and a variety of other groups have signed on as well. Currently, the “Counter-Protest” to the fake event has over 1,000 people going.
Further still, a wide variety of media have also picked up on the story and continued to refer to the demonstration as a genuine article, even as local, more established organizers have stated that they are not involved in the event and are not taking part in it.
The Conservative Review wrote:
Radicals in Texas have declared war on a nearly 100-year-old statue of Sam Houston, demanding that the statue and “any other landmark that bears the name Sam Houston,” be taken down.
A group calling itself “Texas Antifa” declared on Facebook page saying, “Texans agree the disgusting idols of America’s dark days of slavery must be removed to bring internal peace to our country.” It’s also called on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to support its removal, Jake Reiner reports for KPRC 2.
The Antifa group plans to hold a rally on June 10, as its Facebook post claims that “[s]everal large groups of [Black Lives Matter] have also pledged their support for this historic rally against the idols of an oppressive history.” Houston Black Lives Matter told KPRC 2 they had no affiliation with Texas Antifa and were not planning on attending the rally.
The posts on the Texas Antifa Facebook are equally laughable, and seem clearly designed to simply produce an angry and violent reaction from right-wing Texans – a strategy that is working.
Texas antifa can go ?? themselves. They won't survive the excursion to try to bring pressure to remove it. https://t.co/i4XgyRIleC
— robert johnson (@robert_robjons) May 31, 2017
To be clear, there is no group called “Texas Antifa,” it is a fake account run by Alt-Right trolls trying to escalate violence, as similar accounts have done in the past. Just look at some of the dumb shit being posted on the “Texas Antifa” page:
Butt hurt because we wouldn’t let them have more control. We said we wanted BLM out of Antifa, no BLM at the event, and they didn’t like it because most of their people are members of both, which isn’t that many really.
Our problem with BLM isn’t because we don’t think they have a right to stand up to racism, but the fact they block traffic and instigate violence. Tactics we don’t want. Go fuck yourself Houston Antifa – your shit is why everyone is switching to us. That old style hard core crap is obsolete.
Oh yeah, just kicked you boys out of the private group too. By the way, we started a new Houston Antifa a few days ago in leu of your fit. You are being replaced.
On June 10th, far-Right and Alt-Right groups across the US are mobilizing to take part in anti-Muslim rallies happening across the US. By creating a big splash, Alt-Right trolls are hoping to attract antifascist and anti-racist protesters into a potentially very dangerous situation, but also away from other rallies happening in their local areas. Overall, just like in all of their attempts to get the militia and ‘Stickmen’ more violent, they are hoping to enflame tensions between various groups and increase the possibilities for bloodshed.
Kyle Chapman is a fucking idiot, and anyone that listens to him in a leadership capacity is also extremely fucking dumb as well.
Chapman is making his money through crowdfunding by traveling from protest to protest, so he’s not looking to complain when a fake event pops up on his radar that he can turn into a big deal. Whether it’s ‘antifa’ threatening to attack Trump’s star on the walk of fame, or saying that they will steal a crane to destroy a statue. as long as the story seems to garner enough attention, in Chapman’s mind, who cares?
Other people, eager to cash in on his celebrity, are quick to hop on board and go along for the ride. Then, when the event happens and non-existent protesters don’t show, people like Chapman can claim victory and go home to repeat it all again next week.
One bigger question is, is that if the over 1,000 people who are attending the ‘counter-demonstration’ against “Texas Antifa” knew that they were being duped by a couple of Kekistani trolls in their basement, would they care?
Because for the far-Right, seeking a reason to justify their existence in the age of Trump, maybe it really doesn’t matter to them that the events are fake; maybe what really matters to them is having an excuse to come together. As Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers said recently: “The movement tends to die off during Republican administrations. Antifa, in a way, is a godsend.”
Perhaps for the far-Right, any antifa will do. Especially the kind being controlled by their white supremacist friends in the Alt-Right.