A fake antifascist Facebook account set up to “troll leftists” results in actual protests by alternative-right demonstrators
On May 18th, an event set up on Eventbu calling for a rally against President Trump declared: “a local group of self-proclaimed anti-fascism activists called ‘ANTIFA’ are planning on holding a rally at Gettysburg National Battlefield on July 1st in protest of President Trump and asks it’s members to ‘Bring and Burn Confederate Flags’”.
The event was set up by a group called “Harrisburg Antifa”, which was eventually deemed fake by the Central PA Antifa Facebook page.
Supporters of President Trump and members of the alternative right movement (an extremist far-right ideology) have been known to create fake accounts, profiles, and websites in the name of leftists to generate discord and prompt negative coverage of antifascist movements.
The fake event was quickly picked up by the right-wing media, and the Gettysburg Times published a story online on June 23rd about Confederate and far-right groups applying for permits to demonstrate at the Gettysburg National Military Park after reading of “antifascists’ plans to desecrate the park”.
The Central PA Antifa group warned followers on Facebook that the Gettysburg protests were a hoax, stating “We want to make it very clear that this is most likely a fake event organized and promoted the same way the fake Houston rally was.”
Dozens of far-right and Confederate protesters appear to defend Gettysburg from nonexistent attacks, protester shoots self in leg
On July 1st, protesters defending Gettysburg National Park appeared to challenge the fake Antifa movement – no one appeared to desecrate graves or challenge the far-right protesters.
One protester declared, “Our movement toda is going to send a message to Antifa that we’re not plaing around. And if you’re going to come to our national parks and cause problems we’re going to be here to meet you.”
The demonstration came to an abrupt conclusion when Benjamin Hornberger, 23, accidentally discharged his revolver and shot himself in the leg.
Central PA Antifa accused alternative right groups of creating mass hysteria.