(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
If you believe what you read on some far right websites, civil war and a blackout of communications by the Department of Defense is all planned for Saturday. But don't believe it, it's not happening. Here's what IS happening.
In the past few weeks, far right websites have written stories about a planned 'civil war' organized by the far left, known as Antifa. Infowars warned “Antifa Plans ‘Civil War’ to Overthrow the Government' while others have told people to stay home that day.
The truth is, a civil war to overthrow the government isn't exactly happening. On Saturday, the left-leaning group Refuse Fascism is planning rallies across the country to protest the government and President Donald Trump (guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States). From Atlanta to New York to San Francisco and Seattle, protesters are planning to meet and protest the Trump administration.
The hope, according to an interview done with one of the group's organizers by the Washington Post, is to eventually remove Donald Trump from office. But Andy Zee says the organization was formed around two main points.
“One is that the nightmare must end, and second, in the name of humanity we must refuse to accept a fascist America," Zee said.
The nonviolent protests are planned to be the beginning, Zee said. He said the organization is using the South Korean mass protest movement that started in October 2016 as a blueprint. It eventually led to President park Geun-hye's removal from office in March.
“What we are trying to unleash is a process of continuous protest,” Zee said. “We can’t just wait for the other shoe to drop. We’ve been saying from the beginning, with fascism, it can be too late.”
The message has been a bit conflated online where rumbles about the planned demonstrations surfaced earlier this year. On September 26, protesters blocked a Los Angeles freeway with signs that read "NOV 4 IT BEGINS", according to LA Weekly.
Video clips surfaced on YouTube that claimed the protesters were stockpiling weapons and planning an attack and eventually martial law.
Zee denies the speculation.
Department of Defense Power outage?
At the same time, rumors began circulating that the Department of Defense scheduled a 'communications interoperability' exercise with the American Radio Relay League for the same day.
Snopes debunked that story about the planned outage and learned from Paul English, the Army MARS program manager, that the DOD does drills every quarter and has for the past four years.
"No we will not **actually** be turning off the electrical power grid. While I strive for realism when planning exercises, turning off the electricity all across the US is way above my pay-grade, so we just have to simulating that." (sic)
Despite the assurances from both the DOD and protest organizers, online hysterics have continued. Yes, there will be protests; yes, there will be a DOD drill; no, you won't lose power or cell phone service; yes, it will be safe to leave your home.