The alt-right fell for a Twitter joke teasing mass murder by antifa “supersoldiers” on Nov. 4 and now people on both sides of the political aisle are preparing for violence.
As the story goes, these antifascists or antifa “supersoldiers” are plotting to “behead all white parents” and attack “small-business owners,” “kill every single Trump voter” — the exact target of the Saturday attack changes depending on which outlet you ask.
Fueled by fake news stories from the likes of Alex Jones’ InfoWars and Gateway Pundit, the story has spread across conservative news platforms in their coverage of upcoming Nov. 4 protests organized by Members of Refuse Fascism that will peacefully rally for President Donald Trump’s removal from office.
Now protest organizers are worried a repeat of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia protests could erupt as conservative news outlets are urging Trump supporters to “prepare with bullets, food and water” against a threat that doesn’t actually exist
How the Nov. 4 antifa supersoldiers conspiracy started
It can all be traced back to a Twitter post by antifa humorist @KrangTNelson that read: “can’t wait for November 4th when millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents and small business owners in the town square.”
The satirical post was meant to mock the “festering panic over an exceedingly fake Civil War plot for which thousands of FOX News grandparents may, at this very moment, be boarding up their windows in panicked preparation,” the anonymous voice behind the Krang account wrote in a story for Vice.
Stories like this one on InfoWars last month referred to the Refuse Fascism protests, which are intended to be peaceful and nonviolent, as an attempt by antifa to wage Civil War. Krang T. Nelson claims to have been using satire to draw attention to the absurdity of that claim.
But things quickly got out of hand. Dozens of conservative operatives and alt-right voices started reporting this joke as factual news.
Who is Krang T. Nelson and is he antifa?
Krang T. Nelson is the assumed name of an anonymous antifa humorist. The account, active since December 2015, is well known for “shitposting” and taking a satirical approach to current events.
Krang’s account was mass-reported by conservative accounts alleging he was actually trying to incite violence and the Krang account was subsequently suspended.
The suspension irked the left, who felt Krang had been unnecessarily and arbitrarily suspended so, in a show of solidarity, they began reposting Krang’s Nov. 4 tweet verbatim.
And yes, the right took that seriously too.
Answering the question of Krang's antifa connections is a little more complex. Antifa — short for antifascist — isn't a defined organization. There is no defined leadership or heirarchy. It's merely a style of protesting alt-right and white supremacist groups. Complicating this instance is that antifa protesters feel that violence is justified if it is against people advocating causes like slavery and Nazism.
What about the Nov. 4 antifa and anti-Trump protests?
Members of Refuse Fascism are worried real-life violence could infiltrate their protests on Nov. 4 planned in cities across the nation. The protests are all intended to be peaceful and nonviolent, they are calling for the end of the "Trump/Pence regime."
“It’s very dangerous and harmful to take these people as a joke,” Andy Zee, a member of the advisory board for Refuse Fascism told Newsweek.
Zee described how Nazi Germany grabbed onto the Reichstag fire false-flag operation that was blamed on leftists and exploited to accelerate their fascist politics.
“You have to take this stuff seriously because some of them really believe it,” he said.
So far the Refuse Fascism protests are slated to proceed.