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Will There Be a National Black Lives Matter ‘Day of Rage’ on Friday, July 15?
US Military Personnel Placed on Guard
By Debra Heine
Rumors have been swirling all week that a national “Day of Rage” has been planned for Friday to protest the recent police-involved shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
A group claiming to be part of the hacktivist group “Anonymous” posted a video on July 9 to promote the protests, featuring graphic footage from the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings. In their message to “citizens of the world,” an account calling itself the “TheAnonMessage” said, “We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.”
An Anonymous Twitter account, however, disputed that any such protests have been planned.
Snopes noticed that the call for nationwide protests tomorrow is identical to an “Anonymous” call for protests that circulated in 2014.
The rumors of a “Day of Rage” of August 2014 were circulated for quite a while in advance of that date, and the @OpFerguson Twitter account denied any involvement in planning or calling for such an action several days beforehand.
As we pointed out back then, one of the key aspects of Anonymous is its amorphous nature and overall lack of central organization; as such, anyone can initiate an Anonymous “operation,” and none is ever officially sanctioned by any particular portion of the collective.
The potential for widespread violent protests in 37 U.S. cities has put the military on guard.
According to Bill Gertz at the Washington Times, the U.S. Army North sent out a notice warning military personnel to avoid the 37 cities on the “Days of Rage” protest list.
The notice says that “being anywhere near these protests greatly increases the chance that you could become a victim of violence. When the mob mentality takes over, normally decent people can commit heinous acts.”
The “Alcon” notice — short for “all concerned” — urges commanders to pass on the warning to all Army troops who may be traveling to the cities.
“Use this as a list of places NOT to be on Friday the 15th,” the notice says. “While the media does specify nonviolence and denounces the actions taken against police officers that were not involved in these deaths, with the tagline ‘Day of Rage’ it is safe to expect emotions to be running very high on both sides of the line. No matter how great your empathy might be for those who have unjustly lost their lives, these protests are not safe places to be.”
And Fox 2 Now, St. Louis reported that Scott Air Force Base in Western Illinois posted a warning on Facebook Thursday morning.
Please be advised that the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has posted a safety warning not to be at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 15 due to potential protests and criminal activity. Please be safe and avoid this area during that time.
The message was updated later to include:
The potential protests are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the victims of police brutality. It is a reaction to last week’s officer involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. This is part of a release Anonymous posted to YouTube on Saturday:
“We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.
To police departments across the United States. We are not your enemy. However, it is in your hands if you want us to stay that way or not. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated.
To the St. Anthony and the Baton Rouge Police Departments, we’ve already launched attacks on your virtual infrastructure. We are prepared to release every single piece of evidence that will expose your corruption and blatant disregard for human life.
Once again we are calling upon the citizens of the United States, in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement as well as other civil rights activists, to participate in a day of action against the injustices of corrupt officers. On Friday, July 15th, we will all flood the streets at strategic locations in order to maximize our voice. The locations and times will be located in the description below. Tell your family, tell your friends. We will change the world together. Our freedom depends on it.”