Fact Check: NO Evidence That Antifa Is Starting 'Red Army;' ACORN NOT Funding Antifa

Fact Check

  • by: Eric Ferkenhoff
Fact Check: NO Evidence That Antifa Is Starting 'Red Army;' ACORN NOT Funding Antifa What Army?

Is there evidence that Antifa forming a "Red Army" to attack the group's enemies and that ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- is providing ammunition and weapons training? No, there is no evidence. The radio host making the claim offered no evidence to support it. ACORN disbanded in the United States a decade ago.

The claim can be found in an article (archived here) published by The Dave Weinbaum Show's site on June 25, 2020, under the title "ANTIFA Announces Formation of a -Red Army - in U.S. The Violent Left Says They Want a Shooting Civil War." The story opened:

For well over a year and a half, ANTIFA and fellow travelers have continued their violent "peaceful" marches attacking constitutional rule of law in the U.S.

Initially, ANTIFA got away with beating Trump supporters bloody as Democrats ordered cops to stand down and let it happen, labeling anyone who believes in our nation's highest law "Nazi" or "fascist" and of course, "racist" and "white supremecist." However, more recently, ANTIFA's paid masked thugs have been the ones suffering the thumping in confrontations provoked by Democrats and the mainstream media. How has ANTIFA responded to the series of humiliating defeats? By calling up a 'Red Army' to "annihlate" their enemies. By purchasing firearms and ammunition and training like... like a militia.

The organization formerly known as ACORN has been providing ammunition and former military small arms instructor to train 'Red Army' elements, and this activity has been going on across the U.S. for more than a year.

Here is what the story looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Community and labor activist Wade Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, said none of Weinbaum's allegations add up. "Oh yeah, I was just checking on our secret cache of weapons," he joked to Lead Stories before explaining that such a move would be improbable given there was no longer a U.S.-based ACORN.

The U.S. organization splintered into many unaffiliated state groups after an undercover story ran by Project Veritas. In the story, which led to lawsuits that Project Veritas has settled, Project Veritas head James O'Keefe posed as a pimp to catch on camera ACORN employees discussing tax evasion for a fictitious human-trafficking ring. The site Media Matters investigated the claims against ACORN and proved them false.

As for the reference in the title of the article to an Antifa "announcement," there is nothing in the article to substantiate or even elaborate on what sort of "announcement" is referred to.

The rest of the short story on Weinbaum's site, again with no sourcing, reads:

The twisted minds of the radical leftists now in charge of the Democrat Party view their unlawful, unprovoked violence against political enemies as "self-defense." In reality, ANTIFA's "self-defense" looks a whole lot like textbook fascism. in other words, using force and violence to suppress opposing points of view is exactly what Hitler's Brown Shirts did. And using violence to achieve political goals is the textbook definition of terrorism.

There can be no doubt that Democrats are now controlled by a fascist domestic terror organization built on a pack of lies.

There can be no doubt that politicians have ordered law enforcement not to enforce the law.

So one thing is perfectly clear now: If the authorities do not stop and prosecute this sort of political violence, peace-loving American gun owners will.

No matter what Democrats say, you have a universal human right to self protection -- not granted by but guaranteed by our nation's highest law. When the police refuse to do their jobs, law abiding citizens will have no choice but to protect themselves and their loved ones, as is their basic human right.

During the 2016 elections, there were blatant incidents of ANTIFA intimidating voters while local cops were ordered to stand down and federal authorities were busy trying to further an illegal coup attempt against President Trump. No one has been punished for these violations of law, and so it is reasonable to anticipate that ANTIFA and BLM will widen and intensify their violence during the 2020 election season.

Antifa has been blamed by conservatives, including President Trump -- who said he was considering a declaring it a terrorist organization -- of inciting violence and looting during the protests that took over American streets in the aftermath of George Floyd's death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Lead Stories cannot find any evidence to support an ACORN-funded Antifa planning to do battle with a "Red Army" against the right. Nor is there evidence that Antifa controls the Democratic Party or that cops were ordered to stand down as Antifa carried out scores of voter intimidation efforts against Trump supporters. Finally, there is no evidence that federal authorities were busy attempting a coup of Trump.

Members of Congress have recently asked the FBI for investigate a pattern of false claims about Antifa "meant to magnify and invoke fear about activities of left-wing protest group," according to NBC News. This is the letter sent by Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Peter Welch of Vermont to the FBI director:

The picture of the so-called Red Army in Weinbaum's story appears to be taken from the site Far Left Watch, which claimed in 2018 that violent Antifa operations were active in six U.S. cities. One of those groups, Red Guards Austin, ended that same year. Far Left Watch was started in 2017.

Weinbaum, a far-right commentator from central Missouri, has taken his show to Facebook after leaving Missouri's KTTR in Rolla. On the About page of his website, he writes:

A few years ago Dave entered the field of radio talk show hosts and currently produces and stars on The Dave Weinbaum Show on KTTR Rolla (99.7FM and 1490AM) for listeners in Central Missouri.

Dave is also a frequent emcee of the Mid-Missouri Tea Party.

But a sales representative at KTTR Rolla said Weinbaum no longer works there, without elaborating on why he departed. Attempts to reach Weinbaum at a number that Lead Stories was given, as well as through Facebook, went unanswered.

Here are a few of the recent articles published by Lead Stories debunking claims about Antifa:

Fact Check: Antifa Is NOT Planning A Training Session August 15, 2020 In Garnet, Montana

Fact Check: The FBI Did NOT Say Teachers Are The Number One Occupation Of Antifa Activists

Fact Check: Photo of 'Antifa Against Bikers' Banner is NOT Real; Antifa Did NOT Warn Hells Angels To 'Watch Out We Are Coming To Sturgis'

Fact Check: Leaked IRS Tax Returns Did NOT show George Soros Wired $1.7M To Antifa

Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Accept Campaign Donation From Antifa

Fact Check: George Floyd Death Protester Did NOT Accidentally Drop Riot Manual

Fake News: Antifa Has NOT Killed 16 People

Fake News: Antifa Does NOT Plan Border Siege in El Paso

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  Eric Ferkenhoff

Managing Editor Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.

 

Read more about or contact Eric Ferkenhoff

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