Antifa Activists Were Not Responsible For US Capitol Riots
Images provided as evidence of Antifa involvement show Donald Trump supporters at the US Capitol.
Social media posts claim Antifa, a far-left movement, stormed the US Capitol. But Donald Trump loyalists -- some with hats or flags identifying them as such -- breached the building where Congress meets, and images provided as evidence of Antifa involvement show one man who is a supporter of the president and another who is allegedly linked to a skinhead group.
"Indisputable photographic evidence that antifa violently broke into Congress today to inflict harm & do damage. NOT @realDonaldTrump supporters," pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood wrote on January 6, 2020 in a tweet that included two images.
"Do not be fooled. Trump supporters are peaceful. It was antifa that created the violence in our cities over the past several months," said Wood, on a day when the president's backers clashed with police in Washington.
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Wood's account has since been suspended by Twitter.
A screenshot of a tweet taken on January 6, 2021
The claim also appears on Facebook here, here and here, on Instagram here and here and on Twitter here, here and here.
The president's supporters stormed a session of Congress held on January 6 to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election, which Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed was plagued by widespread fraud, including in a speech shortly before the breach of the Capitol.
After security forces cleared the building, lawmakers reconvened and voted to formally certify Bidens's 306-232 Electoral College win, overriding objections from some Republicans.
Since the November 3 presidential election, AFP Fact Check has debunked several of Trump's false statements about the vote, including his premature declaration of victory and a press conference in which he made unfounded claims that the ballot was "rigged" against him.
Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a structureless movement that says it is dedicated to fighting fascism online and in public. It is a favored target of American conservatives, including Trump, who is due to leave office in two weeks.
The image on the left in Wood's tweet shows a bearded man whom AFP photographed inside the US Capitol on January 6. His identity is unclear. The one on the right pictures a man with a similar appearance above a link to the phillyantifa.org blog, posts on which detail information about right-wing opponents.
A screenshot taken on January 6, 2021 shows photos from a tweet by Lin Wood
The blog does include the photo on the right, but not because the man is affiliated with Antifa.
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Rather, the image appears in a September 2018 post identifying him as Jason Tankersley, whom it describes as the "founder of Maryland Skinheads and a longtime neo-nazi who, in the past few years, has attempted to rehabilitate his image."
A screenshot taken on January 6, 2021 shows a photo included in a post an phillyantifa.org
The caption of an undated photo on the Southern Poverty Law Center's website meanwhile says Tankersley is "of the Maryland State Skinheads," without mentioning a specific role in the group.
Other posts claim a man in a horned fur hat, who was also photographed by AFP inside the Capitol building, had previously taken part in a Black Lives Matter protest, and linked him to Antifa.
A screenshot taken on January 6, 2021 shows images from a Facebook post
The man was described in the caption of this AFP photo from November 5, 2020 as presenting himself as a "shamanist and consultant for the Trump supporters" gathered in Phoenix, Arizona. The image shows him holding a sign that refers to the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.
Jake A, 33, holds a QAnon sign as he presents himself as a shamanist and consultant for the Trump supporters gathered in front of the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Arizona on November 5, 2020 (AFP / Olivier Touron)
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And this Associated Press photo caption gives his full name as Jake Angeli and says he is a Trump supporter who spoke at a rally in Phoenix on November 7, 2020.
AFP Fact Check has debunked a series of other false or misleading claims related to the 2020 election here.
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