White supremacists pose as Antifa online, call for violence


Brand as protests rage across the country over the police killing of George Floyd white nationalist groups have been using the unrest to their advantage not a new tactic remember Charlottesville in twenty seventeen you from Charlottesville Virginia white nationalist rally that descended into deadly violence it is impossible beyond words you also had people that were very fine people on both sides some of those very fine people included neo **** Klansmen protesters from other alt right groups trump blamed antifa a collection of people who protest fascism and he's blaming that group for today's unrest it turns out that some of the people involved in Charlottesville are also behind the violence in today's protests and joining us now to talk about that is Amy's Potomac she's executive director of integrity first for America and that's a nonprofit group suing the organizers of the Charlottesville unite the right rally for conspiring to commit violence thanks for joining us thanks so much for having me well where do you see some of the same people popping up now so it's really important to understand how these groups operate and some are incredibly organized with military style higher keys and others are a little bit more amorphous but the same trends we see throughout the board whether it's in Charlotte's veil or now or the many other white supremacist accident happened in between most notably just last night and number of news outlets reported that a white supremacist group called identity Evropa which is one of the defendants in our Charlotte's lawsuit in fact they're the group that quoine that phrase you will not replace us that we heard chanted a few moments ago I'm they were posing as antifa on Twitter to urge violence including during the protests Twitter suspended the account the other day but that tweet had gone viral minute set people off understandably so who are concerned about violence in their communities and allow people including the president to then say that they were going to target antifa deploy the military and so on and so the ways in which we see these extremist groups trying to call walked a moment like this and use it to spread not just is this information but also he an actual violence is a sad trend that has been happening over and over again over the last few years our our so I just wanna unpack that a little bit more about the role of identity Europa first of all what is this organization so there are a number of neo **** and white supremacist groups that are focused around this idea of identity the idea of a white identity and identity Europa believes that there should be a white homeland they believe in the white identity being superior to all there are white supremacist group in that sense and they're big claim to fame if you L. was helping to organize the Charlottesville violence what happened in Charlottesville was not an accident it was not Spontini yes this violence rather the violence is planned for months in advance on social media by number of neo **** and white supremacists including identity Europa where they talked about everything in advance from what to wear what to bring for lunch with weapons to carry and whether they could hit protesters with cars and then claim self defense which is of course ultimately what they did identity Evropa and over played a role in which they organized white supremacists from around the country to descend on Charlottesville and helped us bird this weekend of violence of course as you might expect since they were sued by my organization and since they started seeing additional fallout he will bad PR from their role in Charlotte's well they've tried to rebrand the now go by American identity movement but at the end of the day if they're the same white supremacist organization that has been working to sow disinformation fear violence and of course we are going to ensure that they remain liable for the violence that they cost insurance now sadly there role spreading disinformation and hate and violence right now during the George Floyd protest only underscores the importance of holding them accountable so aside from posting fake tweets posing as antifa do you think that they are actually posing as demonstrators on the streets or that other alt right groups are doing that too posing as as demonstrators and and causing havoc so we don't know for sure exactly who is posing as who at this point but what we do now is that there are a number of extremists including a number far right extremists were trying to take advantage of this moment and exploit it for their own game we also know that they're armed extremists were showing up at these protests in trying to start riots or urge what they call a Google which is their code for a second civil war you might know these guys by their automatic weapons and Hawaiian shirts which are the hallmarks of their identity and some might claim that they're there to protect the protesters but I wouldn't let that fool you they are part of this loose coalition of far right militia extremists who believe in urging a second civil war or some sort of revolution they're generally support of anti government violent resistance and they think that these protests can serve as a catalyst for the violent upheaval that they've long wanted we've only seen a number of incidents over the last few days in which these will extremists have been showing up at protests with their automatic weapons in some cases we've had folks arrested including one who was arrested for firing shots at a black lives matter rally the other day we had the department of homeland security warned lawn for or spend that white supremacists including some of these Google extremists are encouraging their supporters to shoot protesters one of these extremists that on telegram which is a social media site frequented by extremists that they are encouraging them to quote frame the crowd around you for the violence and so we've seen over and over again a number of these extremists go to these protests with their heavy weaponry with our automatic weapons and then either bring violence against the protesters themselves or try to frame the protesters for violence there's so many details that are still on the phone but these anecdotes definitely illustrated construct a concerning pattern and where are they most active these extremists have been everywhere we saw a report of police using automatic weapons and other tactical gear from local extremist in Denver they've truly been all over the place I believe one of the arrest of a protester a rather of an armed extremist who was firing shots at the rally was in North Carolina until they're all over the country and typically these extremists are finding each other online on social media platforms like the very one which the Charlottesville violence was planned and they're inspiring each other with their means and with these other calls to violence so that when an individual goes to one of these protests armed with their automatic weapons wearing their you know their meetings on their desks and on their shirt wearing those Hawaiian shirts it's part of this larger effort to call walk these protests and spread their extremist ideology use these protests exploit them to further their really stick a vision for a second civil war and by second civil war you man like a race war exactly you know and and I would say a race war in certain cases within the balloon movement there are various ideologies as well some are straight up white supremacists who believe that we need to whites rather a race work to spur the rise of a truly white society others are more focused on taking down the government itself they're worried about the government quote you know stealing their guns their quote unquote individual liberty and so within the movement it's important understand that there are factions but there are certainly white supremacists within the global movement and ones who as you said it are doing so are sort of trying to use these protesters burn race war on and bring about this collapse of society that they so crave and so these guys as you say and I assume most of our guys are pretty identifiable because they have their Hawaiian shirts are carrying weapons but I assume there are other groups that are more under the radar a hundred percent I think over the next few weeks we're certainly gonna learn a lot more about who might be coming to these protests are just coming and and looting inciting violence trying to take advantage of a very legitimate protests and distract from it in order to spread their own hate and violence and I think that's really what this is all about at the end of the day these are extremists who are trying to coop these protests in order to sow fear so he and his distract from the actual issues at hand which are racial justice and police brutality and so as they continue to do this it only serves to undermine the very legitimate protesters were out on the streets rightfully sharing their grievances and standing up for the justice thank George for and so many others

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