Heavily Armed “Militia” Fooled by Hoax Antifa Protest

Over the holiday weekend, hundreds of "militia" members traveled to Gettysburg

A few of the sex icons in Gettysburg who are very angry that people disagreed with them on the internet
A few of the sex icons in Gettysburg who are very angry that people disagreed with them on the internet
The Washington Post via Getty Im
By Jack Tien-Dana / July 6, 2020 12:14 pm

Thanks to coronavirus, this Fourth of July was one of the most muted in recent memory — traveling to get drunk on a boat just doesn’t feel the same anymore, and fireworks lose their luster when they’re already being set off directly outside your window every night. Still, even with reduced travel across the country, hundreds of militia members managed to swarm Gettysburg to squash an Antifa demonstration. There was one minor snag: the rally was an internet hoax.

Since the beginning of June, the anonymous Facebook page Left Behind USA has advertised that it was hosting a flag-burning rally in Gettysburg in honor of Independence Day. “Let’s get together and burn flags in protest of thugs and animals in blue,” the page posted in mid-June. And, in order to ensure that this was fun for the whole family, the event would feature Antifa face-painting and organizers would “be giving away free small flags to children to safely throw into the fire.”

Unsurprisingly, scores of gullible, angry rubes interpreted this as their personal Bat Signal, because the only thing separating America from total anarchy is apparently a bunch of middle-aged dads who lift dusty kettlebells in their garage and their adult sons on Parler. A group that calls themselves the Pennsylvania State Militia avowed it would mobilize its “county response team” as “a deterrent against the enemy forces.” Similarly, another popular Facebook post claimed that a “controlled unclassified law enforcement bulletin” provided evidence that Antifa members were “MURDERING White people and BURNING DOWN Suburbs.” In reality, there was nothing for these LARPing weirdos to fight or protest against, save for a guy visiting the grave of a dead ancestor.

This hoax is yet another example of conservatives getting pranked on social media. In fact, this isn’t even the first time that radical right-wingers have fallen for a variation of this prank. In addition, over the last few weeks alone, Tik Tok teens and K-Pop stans have derailed a Trump rally and have hijacked several hateful hashtags. For a group that is so aggressively Online, the alt-right really sucks at it. 

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