Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Far Right Losing Mind Over False November 4 "Civil War" Story

On September 26, 2017, the American-based Refuse Fascism called for a nation wide protest against Donald Trump and his policies in a rather dramatic way. A group of activists holding signs blocked traffic on Highway 101 in California. Each sign was a letter that combined stated "Nov 4 It Begins!" The activists were arrested, charged with misdemeanors, and released.

The protests is being called, "This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!" Refuse Fascism, calling for non-violent protests that will last several days (or until both Trump and Vice-president Pence are no longer in office) looked to the Women's March in January as the model to best emulate. Another group associated with Refuse Fascism organized similar protests in 2005 and 2006 when President Bush was in office.

So to sum up, a leftist movement has called for peaceful national protests against a government they find objectionable. Doesn't sound particularly menacing.... unless of course you're a member of the far-right in which case this is obviously an effort to overthrow the American government in a violent civil war sponsored by George Soros:
The idea of “Antifa” (short for anti-fascism) has become a fixture in America’s popular imagination in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election, albeit in a way that tends to have very little basis in reality. The group—which has no formal organizational structure, and is best defined as a tactic associated with protesting against the threat of fascism—has been falsely blamed for everything from the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas to covert collaborations with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). Now, “antifa” is apparently plotting a civil war in the United States that will begin on November 4, according to a pervasive right wing conspiracy theory. 
This story, which can be found across social media, sometimes attached to the hashtag “#CivilWar2017,” is not only utterly fake, it’s also potentially dangerous, according to half a dozen left wing activists who spoke to Newsweek, expressing concerns that it could inspire senseless violence from people who believe it to be true. 
The spark of this conspiracy, as one might guess, emerged from Alex Jones’s InfoWars website. Paul Joseph Watson, a British YouTube performer who frequently functions as Jones’s sidekick, posted a misleading story with the headline, “CIVIL WAR: Alt-left Plans Anti-trump Riots in Major Cities on November 4.” The August 22 report, if it can credibly be called one, clocks in at less than 400 words, and features no first-hand reporting outside of a link to a page on the website of a far-left activist group, The Revolutionary Communist Party. Regardless, it performed well for InfoWars, generating more than 9,000 shares on Facebook and more than 2,000 comments on the InfoWars website.
This isn't the first time that the far-right, a group composed of Islamophobes, white nationalists/supremacists, "alt-right" personalities, and militias have embraced misinformation disseminated through social media and far-right conspiracy sites such as Breitbart and Infowars:

However this particular rumor is perhaps more concerning because it feeds into the far-right's paranoia and many seem very anxious, even excited, at the prospect of dealing out retribution to those they have long considered to be traitors.

As far as this writer knows, there is no event on November 4 being planned by any anti-racist or anti-fascist group. However that hasn't stopped the same paranoia we've witnessed in the United States finding it's way up here:

The statement above or ones of a similar nature have found their way onto other Canadian far-right groups including the Northern Guard, Canadian Combat Coalition, and WCAI. For example, Steven Alexander Huey Dewey Louie Gregory Myatt has been going on about this since September:

 The comments in the III% Canada page are what I have come to expect:

Other posts promote both violence towards "antifa" as well as related conspiracy theories:

The last screen shot is interesting. It purports to be "leaked footage" of "antifa" training for civil war, however it looks more like some of the videos I've seen coming out of Russia of far-right activists training with weapons. In addition, if training with weapons is indicative of a desire to violently overthrow the government, I could point to perhaps 1000s of videos and photos of members of the far-right paramilitary training. You know, like these ones:

But I digress.

So given the paranoia, it is understandable that some people are worried that a hothead might do something stupid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And when nothing happens they will claim victory for scaring "those antifa pussies" into hiding on the 4th.
It is a tactic that has been used before, usually in high school....

Bully spreads a rumour that someone wants to fight him. Said person finds out and says naw and getting involved with that bs. Day come, no fight. Bully claims other party chickened out. Bully claims this as a victory.