This Saturday, conservatives and Alt-Right members braced for an all-out war against white people and the Trump administration by Antifa activists, but all that happened was one woman was arrested for allegedly throwing coffee at a Trump supporter — and even that could not be corroborated by the NYPD at press time.
If that sounds crazy, that’s because it is.
Despite clamoring for months of the coming insurrection, these claims were quickly discredited. Instead, what really happened was, a group with no association with Antifa organized a police-permitted rally and march from Times Square to Washington Square Park.
The rumors of civil war began back in August with a whacky Youtube video posted by bail bondsman Jordan Peltz. In the video, Peltz, dressed like a police officer, sitting in a police-like vehicle, though not being a police officer, warns that civil war with Antifa would begin in November.
Peltz based his claim on information viewed on the Refuse Fascism website, an anti-Trump protest group organized by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). Peltz said the group was preparing for “an open civil war” by “fundraising for weapons, training, ammunition, supplies. They’re not hiding this.” Then he said the war would start with attacks on police officers and first responders.
“If you’re white, you’re a Trump supporter, you’re a Nazi then to them. And it will be open game on you,” Peltz claimed.
The video went viral and was soon echoed through Alt-Right social media circles. In late September, Infowars – run by the right-wing blogger Alex Jones – published an article amplifying these claims, saying Antifa groups planned nationwide riots to instigate a civil war to overthrow the Trump administration.
Throughout October social media account holders began to add their own absurd gloss to the conspiracy theories – one Facebook user even claimed the gang MS-13 and the New Black Panther Party were teaming up with Antifa.
— stimulator (@stimulator) October 27, 2017
As the fake-news fervor burned through the internet, leftwing humorist Krang T Nelson tweeted a satirical take that quickly got reported by rightwing media outlets as fact.
After that, Gateway Pundit referenced the tweet in an article with the headline: ANTIFA Leader: “November 4th […] millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents.” At this point, Fox News picked up the story and ran the conspiracy theory as fact.
Refuse Fascism does not have any affiliation with the loosely networked Antifa movement and serves as a front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party, a splinter of the 1970s-era Students for Democratic Society s led by one-time free speech activist Bob Avakian, according to an in-depth report by Mic. RCP has long been a staple of 21st century protest movements, known for high-jacking popular social justice trends and protests of the times. The used this tactic during Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter protests.
Refuse Fascism organizes nonviolent rallies and street marches, and has never had any formal connections with the direct action anarchist groups that characterize Antifa.
Today in New York, events unfolded with little confrontation. Rightwing media accounts explained away the inaccuracy of their reporting by claiming their exposure of the plot scared Antifa into scaling back their nefarious plans – despite the overwhelming facts that show Refuse Fascism never intending to start a violent uprising in the first place. If they had, of course, the NYPD would never have issued them a permit.
— Shay Horse (@HuntedHorse) November 4, 2017
— 80-year-old Antifa (@StopMotionsolo) November 4, 2017
Late in the evening on Saturday, a group of 15-20 Trump supporters holding Three-Percenter, Confederate and American flags gathered in Washington Square Park, according to video and a witness who declined to provide his name but who is known to us as a reliable newsgatherer. There, Trump supporters were confronted by 50-60 Refuse Fascism counter-protesters. One man holding an American flag was Jovanni Valle, aka “Jovi Valle,” wearing oversized, blocky eyeglasses and a red “Make America Great Again Hat.” He is known among activists as a notorious right-wing troll – a “poor man’s Lauren Southern.”
As the groups argued and the grand arch glowed in the background, police looked dispassionately on. Others documented the activity with cameras.
The night ended with one reported arrest of a woman for allegedly throwing coffee at a Trump supporter, although this could not be corroborated by the NYPD at press time.