Latest Conspiracy Theory? Is Antifa Distributing Money to Incite US Riots?

Published May 31st, 2020 - 06:25 GMT
Latest Conspiracy Theory? Is Antifa Distributing Money to Incite US Riots?
Anti-police graffiti in Seattle, WA after protests against the death of George Floyd. (Jason Redmond / AFP)

As protests erupt in major US cities following the killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the internet is increasingly filled with accusations exchanged between those who are against the protests and those who support them.

If not in the streets watching or taking part in the 'Black Lives Matter' protests following George Floyd's death, American social media users have taken to Twitter and other networks; to explain their stances and voice out their support to either the police or the protesters.

In many US cities, peaceful marches turned violent as angry protesters set several buildings on fire, looted and destroyed shops and cars.

Anti-protests social media users circulated a short video clip from Columbus, Ohio showing a white man handing out money to two black young men. The white man can be heard talking about 'tickets' which according to some Twitter users "is code for a fishy business," suggesting that he was providing them with instructions to loot and destroy properties.

Although the video doesn't mention or show any Antifa symbols, the left-wing "anti-fascist political activist" movement is linked to this incident, according to commentators, who referred to online Antifa calls to donate money to bail out protesters, who have been arrested by the police in different cities.

Some social media accounts also argued that protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota where the latest black victim of what has been termed as 'police brutality' was killed, were not natives to the city, but that "they were flown in by Antifa to lead riots." 

These claims were supported by several US politicians including the Attorney General William Barr and Minnesota Governor Walz who stressed in a press conference that "80% of the people rioting are not natives of the state."

Last week, protests started after a viral video depicting 46-year-old George Floyd gasping his last breath as a white police officer chocked him by kneeling on his neck despite Floyd's pleas to breathe. Floyd, who didn't appear to threaten the officers' lives was reportedly unarmed.

Floyd's last words "I can't breathe" became a widely used chant among protesters across the US.

According to statista.com, the US police have killed more than 30 black people during the last five months of 2020.


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