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ACT For America, a pro-Trump, anti-Muslim hate group, has canceled in-person rallies across 37 locations and moved them online, citing “recent violence in American and in Europe” for its venue changes. While it’s unknown what the group’s online “day of action” will entail, people can still sign up for information on attending the IRL events.
However, an investigation from Gizmodo shows that the group’s pro-Trump “America First” rallies, scheduled for Sept. 9, projected low interest via Facebook events, with as few as two people marked as “going” to events in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Sebring, Florida.
While the RSVP numbers Gizmodo reports don’t surpass eight attendees, 69 people are currently marked as “going” for the rally in Houston, with 25 for Lincoln, Nebraska, and 30 in Boston (though a different event verifies Gizmodo’s reporting that Boston only had eight people RSVP’d as of reporting time).
In a statement posted to right wing publication Breitbart, ACT For America appeared to group counterprotesters with white supremacists and denounced “Neo-Nazis, Antifa, the KKK, and ISIS inspired individuals and groups:”
“In recent weeks, extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas, and in many cases, violence has been the result. Given the security issues of organizing public events, the responsible decision is to deny this opportunity to Neo-Nazis, Antifa, the KKK, and ISIS inspired individuals and groups. ACT for America’s membership is patriotic citizens whose only goal is to celebrate America’s values and peacefully express their views regarding national security.”
Gizmodo cited this past weekend’s demonstrations in Boston, during which 40,000 counterprotesters visually overpowered the 100 people attending the planned “free speech” rally, as evidence of ACT For America’s decision to pull the plug on even showing up. Additionally, mayors across the U.S. have denounced the planned pro-Trump demonstrations and denied the group permits to assemble.
But sure—the cancellation has much to do with violence (that saw a neo-Nazi kill Heather Heyer and injure 19 others with his car in Charlottesville) and nothing to do with this waning interest in publicly protesting for Trump.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.