Who burned the homeless camp? Antifa and Infowars play the blame game over Austin riots
As rioters clashed with police and set cars on fire in Austin on Sunday, the mayhem touched an often-forgotten segment of the Texan city: the homeless. Video footage shared on social media showed a homeless man’s mattress and belongings being dragged into a fire by rioters, as a camera crew from conspiracy site Infowars filmed the carnage.
According to one self-described “anti-capitalist” and “anti-fascist” activist, the blaze was started by the Infowars team, so they could film it and frame the left-wing rioters for the act.
An InfoWars crew here in Austin set fire to a homeless man's belongings and shared their despicable act through various social media accounts in an effort to demonize protestors, who I know for a fact would never do this.Note at the end, he's shouting directly at the cameraman. https://t.co/9f5CojvkhZ— Eldon Katz (@eldon_katz) June 1, 2020
Commenters zoomed in on the pixelated head of one of the arsonists, and claimed his hat was emblazoned with Infowars’ logo. However, it’s impossible to tell from the grainy footage.
But there was more to the story. Infowars’ cameraman told the site that he had started filming when he noticed Antifa dragging people from their cars on the I-35 highway. His assistant, Savanah Hernandez, then released a video showing multiple angles of rioters gathering up material from the homeless encampment and setting it alight.
People are trying to blame the destruction of the homeless people's property on Infowars. Here are multiple angles of rioters stealing from and burning the property of the homeless throughout the night and starting fires near their camps. pic.twitter.com/7LnnS7GvBL— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) June 1, 2020
In one bizarre and depraved scene, protesters pause to take selfies next to the destruction.
Alex Jones, the iconoclastic polemicist behind Infowars, has promised to file defamation lawsuits against the Twitter users supposedly smearing his site. Until the case is brought to court – an unlikely possibility – the true series of events on Sunday night is unknown, lost in the fog of unrest.
The same kind of blame game has played out all across the country over the six nights of riots and looting that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday. Democratic officials have blamed “white supremacists,” “drug cartels,” and even “white men” in general for stoking the lawlessness, while conservatives and the Trump administration have blamed Antifa and the “radical left.”
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