A video has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter attached to a false claim that a group of peaceful — if disruptive — climate action protesters were antifa (or anti-fascist) protesters. In fact, the group was from Extinction Rebellion, this happened last Wednesday, and they were blocking Gough Street and causing a traffic backup that pissed off one dude wearing gray scrubs.
As you can see in the video below, the dude apparently got out of a vehicle and marched up to the group who were holding hands, singing, and blocking traffic at the intersection of Gough and Golden Gate on October 16. He screams, "I gotta go to work! Get the fuck out the way!" and tears the banner out of the protesters' hands, walking it over to the sidewalk and tossing it over a fence. He then grabs a cellphone out of the hands of a person video-recording the protest, and that person claims their phone was damaged in the altercation.
Peaceful, singing @xrsfbay youth activists attacked this morning. Please RT to help us ID the man in grey scrubs. At Golden Gate and Gough in San Francisco. Possibly a @CPMCinSF employee? 1/x pic.twitter.com/buEQ6uaQl6— Vigil For Democracy 🆘 (@vigil4democracy) October 17, 2019
Various idiots of the internet decided that this was one man's rage against "antifa," which is of course silly because if there's one thing you can count on the real antifa not doing, it's holding hands and singing. The video had been shared over 14,000 times with the false antifa caption as of Friday
The Associated Press felt the need to fact-check the antifa claims, writing, "The video shows a demonstration in San Francisco by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion. It is not related to the anti-fascist movement."
Further, they spoke directly with one of the protesters, Nancy Roberts, who said, "We are not antifa. We are explicitly non-violent."
SFGate confirmed that Extinction Rebellion did not file a police report regarding the incident, though supporters did post to Twitter asking for help identifying the attacker.
Is this what it's come to? All protests for "liberal" causes are just automatically labeled "antifa" because conservatives on Twitter don't understand what a protest is?
In any event, Twitter and Facebook were quickly distracted this week, at least regarding antifa, after two members of the Proud Boys hate group were sentenced in New York City to four years in prison for gang assault following a 2018 street brawl with masked antifa activists that was caught on video. Conservative/far-right Twitter says the Proud Boys were just defending themselves.
Thank you those who’ve submitted info regarding the violent incident which took place on 10-12-18 in the UES. As we further the investigation, we urge additional victims/complainants/witnesses to come forward. If you have info, call CrimeStoppers, 800-577-TIPS pic.twitter.com/amUhGvCJLg— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) October 15, 2018