On Facebook community groups in areas hard hit by fires, residents have begun frequently posting about forming patrols to look for looters, or worse: antifa, a loosely defined leftist group that is a frequent focus of far-right conspiracy theorists.
“Has anyone seen or heard of 3 guys with Hoodies throwing bottles of gasoline in the Boring golf course?” one person speculated in a private Facebook group for the town of Boring, Ore. “I don’t know if it’s true, so I’m asking here if anyone knows.”
As happened in recent months in response to protests for racial justice, vigilante groups have turned out in rural communities to ward off unsubstantiated threats from antifascist protesters. One such patrol, a group of armed men, stopped an Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter in the Clackamas County community of Molalla on Thursday and told them to leave immediately.
Law enforcement officials who spoke to OPB said they have seen no evidence of antifa or any other vigilante groups starting fires. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Southern Oregon took to Facebook this week to knock down rumors about six antifa members being arrested for setting fires.
Submitted by: Great Gazoo