Through what are being called unofficial channels, folks claiming affiliation with the hacktivist group Anonymous have released a ‘nationwide call to action’, listing locations for demonstrations in 37 US cities where simultaneous protests begin at 7pm, EDT.
The ‘collective day of rage’, as per the Anonymous affiliated YouTube video’s description of the particulars of the event, is being billed as “A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest”.
Also being billed by other Anonymous associated accounts as #FridayofSolidarity, the group calls for solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter in its mission to bring about social justice and police reforms, stemming from the recent shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Referring to the subsequent shooting deaths of 5 Dallas area police officers during a BLM protest, “While we do honor these fallen officers, we will not be discouraged, we will not stop, until the officers responsible for the deaths of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the voice in the YouTube video says.
WATCH: Video Message from TheAnonMessage on Youtube
While the YouTube video calls for a ‘collective day of rage’, it also states “We MUST STRESS the importance of staying nonviolent.”
Police Departments and Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, are make preparations for the events.
According to the NY Post, the Defense Department put out an “AllCon”, or All Concerned briefing to post commanders in the US Northern Command, telling soldiers “Please be advised the [US Northern Command] has issued a threat advisory informing DOD personnel that a series of protests has been scheduled to be conducted across the United States on July 15, 2016. For your personal safety, we highly encourage you to avoid this specific location entirely”.
In Pittsburgh for example, local media contacted police in an effort to find out how they plan on responding to the potential for protests.
“We are in close contact with the FBI, almost up to the point of an hourly update. We are monitoring the intelligence along with our federal partners,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told CBS Pittsburgh.
This afternoon, I spoke with Detective Patrick Michaud of the Seattle Police Department, another city on the list.
Michaud confirmed that Seattle PD is aware of the planned demonstration, but did not have specific information on the number of anticipated demonstrators.
According to Michaud, public demonstrations “don’t require a permit” in Seattle.
They are also in communication with other law enforcement agencies about the event.
With all of that said, this isn’t the first time a so called Day of Rage has been announced on the internet.
Similar posts were released in 2014, with a nearly identical set of cities.
Snopes.com in fact says that despite all of the above, it’s all just a hoax.
For those who aren’t planning to join the potential protests, here is a ‘how to’ wiki on what you can do to prepare before and during a public gathering that could potentially get out of hand.
We’ll stay on top of this tomorrow and update our coverage accordingly.
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Cover Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)