The Washington Post
In Idaho, armed white vigilantes mobilized for antifa protests that never occurred
Protesters had only begun preparing to assemble peacefully in Idaho when a Facebook page for retired police officers advised its followers to stay on high alert.
“We will protect our neighborhoods,” it vowed.
So when early reports about potential violence surfaced just a day later – claiming “ANTIFA agitators” were storming the state this week – scores of residents took to the streets. Armed with military-style assault rifles, they stood guard in places like Coeur d’Alene, aiming to protect the resort town of 50,000 nestled along a lake in northwest Idaho.
“Enough of us swung into action, and put the word out on social media and elsewhere, that we were able to deploy and meet any violent elements that might come here from out of state,” said Trevor Treller, a sommelier and one of the armed locals. Treller, 48, said he mobilized after hearing from trusted voices that “antifa types” were on the move.
It would not prove to be true.
As vigils and protest actions unfolded in Idaho this week, local officials across the state confirmed that not a single participant had defiled a home or storefront in the name of “antifa,” a loose label attributed to far-left activists. Many of the rumors about violent protests originated from a series of dubious Facebook posts, often shared widely and rarely debunked, residents there said.