A few dozen Trump supporters showed up to guard a sporting goods store in North Carolina, waiting for Antifa protesters to show up. They never came.
The few dozen flag-waving Trump supporters were fooled into guarding the store after reading a viral — but fake — Facebook post from a fictional group called Gaston County Antifa. The group claimed to be part of the international Antifacist movement, a loosely organized group that, for decades in Europe, has showed up to oppose white supremacist groups and in more recent years has moved to the United States.
As the Dispatch reported, the North Carolina Trump supporters believed that the Antifa group was planning a rally at a Gander Mountain Outdoors store. The fake Facebook post caused a stir in the small community and even garnered coverage from a local news website.
Some people also shared the fake page’s pictures on social media, imploring local police to be on the lookout for the group. As the Dispatch report noted, the pictures shown on the Gaston County Antifa page were actually taken from a different Antifa page and have been used in other hoaxes.
@GPDNC here are some of the faces of Antifa In Gaston County. They are making physical threats. The next time their group destroys property or attacks people you can arrest this group @AshevillePolice pic.twitter.com/MTYJcXvE9K— CJ Flyer (@CJFlyer91) October 15, 2018
The Trump supporters showed up waiving American flags — and some with Confederate flags — ready to take on Antifa. Though the post was revealed as a fake, some of the Trump supporters had other ideas about why they never showed up.
“They ain’t here because they’re still in their momma’s basement,” demonstrator Terry Pennington told Dispatch.
Even though he and the others were fooled by the fake post, Pennington said he didn’t regret taking some time out of his weekend to stand in a strip mall and waive a flag.
“But you see the true supporters,” Pennington said. “We don’t care if it’s a prank. We’re going to show up because what’s going to happen is they’re going to call this and then we ain’t going to show up and then they’re going to really burn down an American flag and it’s going to cause someone to seriously have problems.”
This is not the first time that Trump supporters have been fooled into an embarrassing gaffe. At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last year — which is something of the Comic-Con for conservatives — someone brought a bunch of red, white, and blue flags with the word Trump emblazoned across the front. As GQ noted, attendees waved the flags without noticing it was actually the Russian flag they were holding.