Kyle Swenson, Washington Post, November 1, 2017
For anyone logging time on the far right corners of the Internet, this coming Saturday is not just another autumn weekend but the potential start date of an apocalyptic showdown.
While Nov. 4 has become a rallying point on the conservative landscape — complete with a hashtag “civilwar2017″ — down on the other far end of the political spectrum, the reality is equally significant. The left-leaning group Refuse Fascism is planning rallies across the country on Saturday, the first step in a large-scale, long game demonstration organizers hope will achieve nothing less than the unseating of the Trump administration.
Zee maintains that Refuse Fascism is committed to nonviolent protest, and scoffs at the ideas floating through the far right of antifa super-soldiers waging war on mainstream society. If anything, the jarring disconnect over Nov. 4 shows how easily facts are eaten alive by social media and regurgitated as conspiracy theory. The possible violence coloring that disconnect illustrates how truly ideologically isolated the two sides are from one another.
Zee’s group does have big plans for the weekend — and beyond. He tells The Post the group is organizing demonstrations on Saturday in more than a dozen locations, including New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco.
Tapping the same kind of energy unleashed in the Occupy Wall Street movement and Women’s March, Refuse Fascism hopes to spark regular protests against the administration, daily actions that will snowball until “every day there are tens of thousands of people protesting, creating a political crisis in the country with international repercussions, and where you do get a reaction from those in power that they have to do something about it,” Zee said.
The blueprint here, Zee told The Post, is the South Korean mass protest movement that began in October 2016 and 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.”
“On their website, they are calling for an open civil war that they will start here in the United States in November,” a YouTuber named Jordan Peltz said in a clip that went viral. “They are fundraising for weapons, training, ammunition, suppliers. They are not hiding this. They are openly fundraising so they can attack.”
“The end game here is martial law,” one video warns, “is provoking Republicans, patriots, whatever, you and me, into this huge battle, whether it’s just fighting or whether it’s guns. What they will do is they will throw up their arms and say, ‘I told you so, they’re violent’ . . . They want us out there, with our weapons so the government will commence with martial law. And then, I believe, serious gun control-slash-confiscation.”
“Make sure you got enough ammo, make sure your guns are ready,” another poster advised in a clip with more than 110,000 views. “You have to understand these are vicious, vicious people. Your life means nothing to them. In fact, if you’re a white man, you don’t deserve to live.”