Yesterday was an extremely chaotic day and one that will go down in American history. There has been plenty of fallout in the few hours since the Capitol building was stormed. Many different claims have been coming in from a variety of places.
One of the most striking photos to come from the Capitol was of a man wearing a fur viking-esque hat, shirtless, with an American flag and face paint. In today’s America there is much attention paid to conspiracy theories and not trusting a lot of media. Not long after photos of the man, Jake Angeli, were released, rumors started to circulate saying that he was really a part of Antifa. Part of this theory is because pictures have surfaced of him at a Black Lives Matter march this past summer in Arizona. News outlets have claimed to have debunked this rumor, however. One source states, “Angeli was indeed at a Black Lives Matter protest. The problem for far-right conspiracy theorists is that he was there to protest the protest” (Davis). He is also alleged to be a QAnon supporter (Ruelas).
The theory that Antifa was responsible for the events at the Capitol was also seen within the government. Taking from an article I wrote yesterday, Representative Matt Gaetz put out the thought during the Senate proceedings on Wednesday that perhaps these were Antifa members. He began his statement acknowledging that he wasn’t sure if the information was accurate but said, “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters. And in fact, they were members of the violent terrorist group, antifa” (Flapol).
Gaetz wasn’t alone in his blame of Antifa. Sarah Palin also blamed Antifa for some of yesterday’s actions. Paul Gosar, a representative from Arizona, shared his beliefs on Antifa’s involvement as well (Williams).
Davis, Charles. “Trump Supporters Falsely Claim a Far-Right Activist at the US Capitol Is Actually a Member of ‘Antifa’.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 7 Jan. 2021, http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-supporters-falsely-claim-a-far-right-activist-at-the-us-capitol-is-actually-a-liberal-2021-1.
Powers, Scott. “Matt Gaetz Blames Antifa, Democrats’ Rhetoric for Capitol Attack; Defends Donald Trump.” Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government., 7 Jan. 2021, floridapolitics.com/archives/392939-matt-gaetz-blames-antifa-democrats-rhetoric-for-capitol-attack-defends-donald-trump.
Ruelas, Richard. “QAnon Supporter from Arizona Dressed in Fur and Horns Joins Storming of US Capitol.” Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 7 Jan. 2021, http://www.yahoo.com/news/qanon-supporter-arizona-dressed-fur-221131030.html.
Williams, Jordan. “Some on Right Blame Antifa, Not Trump, for Mob at Capitol.” TheHill, The Hill, 7 Jan. 2021, thehill.com/homenews/news/533088-conservatives-blame-antifa-not-Trump-for-violence-at-capitol.