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No, Antifa is not starting a civil war in America this weekend

An Antifa demonstrator holds up the remains of a tattered and burned US national flag during a protest in Denver, Colorado on June 10, 2017.
An Antifa demonstrator holds up the remains of a tattered and burned US national flag during a protest in Denver, Colorado on June 10, 2017. Jason Connolly/Getty Images

Antifa supersoldiers will hold rallies, protests and demonstrations Saturday, kicking off a civil war in the United States — according to right-wing conspiracy theorists.

There had been rumours circulating online about the civil war for some months, but a recent article by right-wing website InfoWars amplified the theory.

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The website posted an article explaining that the far-left group, which stands for “anti-fascists,” will attempt to overthrow U.S. President Donald Trump’s government.

The right-wing organization, the John Birch Society, also put out videos urging Americans to say at home.

“November 4th […] millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents,” another website by the name of Gateway Pundit wrote last week.

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The message gained momentum with the hashtag #CivilWar2017. Many social media users have apparently believed the stories and voiced concerns online.

“Is this real? What kind of world are we living in to want to ‘behead’ one another? We are all Americans,” read one public Facebook status by user Maggie Southerland.

“Be aware that the goofy Antifa creeps are planning protest in liberal cities across the nation beginning on Saturday,” another user named Mike W. Taylor warned in his status.

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But, according to The Guardian, no major Antifa protests are planned for Nov. 4.

A left-wing group called Refuse Fascism is planning rallies across the country, though.

One of the group’s organizers, Andy Zee, told The Washington Post that it is committed to non-violent protests, and said the notion of an impending civil war is “absurd.”

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“It’s absurd. Calling for a civil war? Pick a date for a civil war? Honestly, what do you say to this?” Zee said.

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Zee told the newspaper that the group wants to emulate the energy of the Occupy Wall Street protests, which were largely peaceful and continued for several months. Eventually, the group does hope for Trump’s impeachment.

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But the conspiracy theory has created fears that there will be some clashes this weekend, if Refuse Fascism carries out its demonstrations.

Historian Mark Bray, who has studies Antifa, told The Guardian there may be counter-protests by right-wing groups — but no civil war.

“There is no revolution or civil war planned for 4 November,” he said.

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