A @nytimes editorial board member, @fstockman, ran opinion piece promoting de-bunked protest conspiracies + racist "outside agitator" tropes, who's main source is a conspiracy theorist + YouTube comedian that defends Kyle Rittenhouse + follows leader of the Proud Boys. A thread.
According to study covered in the NYT, the Black + youth led rebellion following the murder of George Floyd by July 2020, had involved between 15-26 million people. The uprising, marked by the burning of a police precinct, sparked a mass movement. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html
Since that time, tens of millions more have taken to the streets in cities + small towns across the US, from Kenosha to Portland. The mass unrest demanding grassroots change is an unparalleled explosion on this scale in American history.
A recent August study also shows that support for the recent protest remains around 75%-70% across all racial groups of Zoomers and younger millennials, while 20% of African-American youth and 10% of white, Asian + Latinx support "revolution" in the US. https://genforwardsurvey.com/download/?did=332
People like @fstockman + Biden campaign seem to be more afraid of the protests alienating Trump supporters, than connecting to the vast majority of non-Republican voters, young people + wider working-class who continue to support the movement, despite continuing media attacks.
Such racist tropes not only attacked people's very political agency, but also attempted to explain away the very real mass violence of the police, which treated an entire cities as enemy combatants to be crushed under the boot of repression.
In an effort to advance this project, the @nytimes has published an opinion piece whose main source is the ramblings of an out of work photographer, conspiracy theorist + Youtube comedian, Jeremy Lee Quinn. https://www.youtube.com/user/kenjiamerica/videos
Jeremy self-identifies as a "Centrist," follows multiple far-Right accounts on social media, shares content from people like Alt-Lite propagandist Tim Pool, defends Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse + called Proud Boys founder Gavin McIness a "standard comedian" on his podcast.
In the week before this report was published in the Times, Jeremy also reached out to connect with current Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, who marched in Charlottesville + currently directs the Latinos for Trump campaign in Florida. Jeremy also follows Enrique on Twitter.
Jeremy, who states they are a resident of Santa Monica, claims to have embarked on a cross country trip of over 7 cities spanning 112 days, in order to expose "insurrectionary anarchists" across the US. Much of this 'reporting' is contradictory and all appears to be conjecture.
For instance, Jeremy claims he was on the ground in Minneapolis when the 3rd precinct was burned in late May, yet states his project began following riots in Santa Monica, which happened after. Both statements can't be true.
The reports that Jeremy wrote over his supposed 112 day trip across the US are horrifically incoherent - to the point that we doubt even the Post-Millennial would cough up $5 to publish such garbage.
Jeremy's reports are filled with randomly sourced imagery and videos found online + the central conspiratorial assertion that because people wore masks or engaged in things like looting - this was somehow magically evidence of someone being an anarchist by default.
The reports are so bad, we wonder if the @nytimes even read these documents - as we here at IGD went through the painstaking and painful process of reading all of them and find it hard to believe people would take them seriously. Here's a roundup of what we found.
Jeremy beings by claiming that rioters are using things like "decoy protests" and "looter teams" in order to "disrupt peaceful protests." He offers no evidence or explanation but includes a photo of "these guys" in a crowd to make it look official. This is InfoWars level cringe.
His "evidence" of a looter team is two random photos that he claims contains people with a "crowbar" which isn't seen and a "lookout" which is a random person standing by a car.
Much of Jeremy's poorly written and horrifically organized report is simply questions to the reader: "We only have to slow down the publicly available video + look for similarly coordinated Riot Instigators to find them. ...Allies to BLM? Or are they celebrating something else?"
Jeremy writes: "We can trace the techniques of these Instigators at work back to where it all began, The Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct Fire..." which is followed with a random photo from a protest as "evidence" or...something.
Again and again without evidence, Jeremy, using random photos from protests, simply prescribes active roles, ideologies, and functions to individuals.
Jeremy also re-uses photos in his report to which he ascribes new meaning to. In a re-using of a photo of what was before called a "looter team," he now writes: "A duo executes what Anarchists call a “Direct Action,” their collaboration crossing racial lines."
Here Jeremy writes, his evidence being a news report livestream video, that because things were thrown at a demonstration, the people that threw them were "tactical anarchists." Brilliant journalism.
Moving into Jeremy's second PDF report of his adrenaline pumping 112 days of hardcore reporting, he shows us a random picture that he claims, without any shred of evidence, is a photo of a "riot leader." Looks like random person standing on the street.
Page after page, Jeremy makes baseless claim after baseless claim with no-evidence. This report that @fstockman is celebrating reads like a drunken rant on a Breitbart comment thread.
By Jeremy's third PDF report, he's basically having an internal conspiratorial conversation with himself, contradicting even his own baseless accusations while going back and forth between making a straight point and pondering randomly. Why did the @nytimes run this?
Here, Jeremy ponders the meaning of a "raised fist." LOL.
Here, Jeremy discovers a person's anarchist-ness because they are observing things around them at a protest. A HA. A Copwatcher. Bingo, anarcho DNA.
Here, Jeremy first decides a random person is an anarchist, and then decides that their shirt makes them a white supremacist. Jeremy then ponders if they could in fact - BE BOTH! BRILLIANT REPORTING!
Jeremy concludes his epic report by talking about an article published on @crimethinc which offered an analysis of the tactics used by protesters on the streets of Minneapolis. Same article has been heavily demonized by the Right as a "playbook." https://www.fox9.com/news/the-siege-of-the-3rd-precinct-an-anarchist-playbook
This is how @fstockman describes Jeremy Quinn's report: "Mr. Quinn, a 40-something theater student who worked at Univision, spent the past four months marching with “black bloc” anarchists in half a dozen cities across the country, chronicling the experience on his website."
If by marching you mean compiling poorly written and organized PDF's that read like the inner ramblings of the guy from Se7en talking about 'ANTIFA' - then yes.
. @fstockman goes on to describe the HORROR! "In Portland, Ore., he marched with people who shot fireworks at the federal court building. In Washington, he marched with protesters who harassed diners." First they made puffs of smoke and I did nothing, then they came for BRUNCH!
This also goes without saying - but shooting fireworks + disrupting someone's meal don't make you an anarchist. What the author is describing are things they claim people did at a set protest. For our deep dive on anarchism and what it really is: https://twitter.com/IGD_News/status/1288376680516657152?s=20
Jokes aside, @fstockman signs on on Jeremy's conspiracy theory. "It wasn’t mayhem at all. While talking heads on television routinely described it as a spontaneous eruption of anger at racial injustice, it was strategically planned, facilitated and advertised on social media."
In a serious hit your hand against your palm moment, @fstockman writes, "Mr. Quinn began studying footage of looting from around the country and saw the same black outfits and, in some cases, the same masks." As if this is evidence of literally anything.
The degree in which Jeremy's report is white-washed by @Fstockman is also pretty appealing: "Mr. Quinn noticed something strange. A white man, clad in black, had broken the window with a crowbar, but walked away without taking a thing."
Just like in Jeremy's report - at no point in @fstockman's piece is there any attempt to fact-check, talk to experts, or investigate Quinn's outlandish claims. Stockman does reference a discredited study about "anarcho-socialists" however. https://twitter.com/awinston/status/1311499244717645824?s=20
This study, ironically promoted on Quinn's own website, argues that "anarcho-socialist" militias might become a threat like far-Right militias, IGD and Anonymous organize protests by re-tweeting things and re-posting articles + memes will lead to a "mass causality event."
First off, "anarcho-socialist" isn't a term that anyone uses. But it is a way for shitty researchers to throw some groups together to try + make a point, so they did it. The study argues that Redneck Revolt + the @SocialistRA are in danger of becoming possibly violent militias.
Both the John Brown Gun Club + the @SocialistRA, which is a registered non-profit, DO NOT view themselves as "militias." While both run firearms safety classes, they are just as known for organizing mutual aid programs as teaching people how to shoot. https://theblackwallsttimes.com/2020/04/09/tulsa-socialist-group-organizes-mutual-aid-kits-during-covid-19-lockdown/
The study also argues that online memes and hashtags such as the "DEHUMANIZING" several decades old youth slogan "ACAB" is leading to real-world violence against police.
The report also argues that IGD, Anonymous and other online platforms "organized" country wide demonstrations in solidarity with people in Portland, because our online accounts simply re-blogged and re-tweeted calls for solidarity from groups in Portland following attacks by DHS.
Just like Jeremy and @fstockman, the report doesn't see the thousands of "Wall of Mom" groups + others across the US mobilizing in solidarity with the people in #Portland as what it is - an explosion of popular support. But instead can only view it in terms of a vast conspiracy.
The report concludes that "anarcho-socialists" are escalating violence towards a possible "mass casualty event" while citing no actual evidence and providing often false information based on conjecture or analytic graphs about memes or users on Reddit.  https://twitter.com/kenklippenstein/status/1311455920212377601
But the question remains, why has the @nytimes and @fstockman chosen to back such horrific and shoddy journalism? The answer seems simple: its a way for neoliberals to attack popular movements in the streets at a time when Centrists want people pushed back into politics.
This is what makes @fstockman so problematic, is that is weaponizes the pseudo-language of contemporary movements against its own participants. Stockman writes: "That’s the thing about “insurrectionary anarchists.” They make fickle allies."
. @fstockman also refuses to discuss how antifascist, BLM, and anarchist groups have worked together to form massive antifascist coalitions, shutting down neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Boston, and the Bay Area, while agreeing to work in solidarity together.
Nowhere is there discussion about anarchists and Black liberationists working together to support political prisoners or the massive prison strikes in 2016 and 2018 that were called by inside prison formations.
There's a silence from outlets like the @nytimes, if not outright hostility, to social movements, because for the Center, life happens inside of politics - the State - not in working-class and poor people's communities. Anarchism argues for the exact opposite.
This is what is ironic about the Center: they openly embrace conspiracy theories and far-Right positions solely when it comes to attacking the Left and social movements.
Let's start calling this bullshit for what it is: it's Bill Barr with an NPR tote-bag; its liberal counter-insurgency, and it puts all participants in social movements in the cross hairs of State repression. All 26 million of us and counting.
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