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Golden Gate Bridge Anti-Marxist Protest a Hoax

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An anti-Marxist protest announcement that went up on Facebook yesterday appears to be a hoax — unsurprisingly. The event, titled “March Against Marxism,” was set to begin at 9 a.m. this morning where Lincoln Boulevard intersects with Highway 101. Several hours after the event was posted yesterday zero people had RSVP’d as attending, and zero were interested. That alone raised a red flag — who doesn’t RSVP to their own event? And this morning, no one showed up.

The organizer, a person who claims to be 32-year-old San Francisco native John Walters Monroe, said the group would block traffic “until the city of San Francisco agrees that ‘Antifa’ is a terrorist organization.” The motive was somewhat believable after Sunday’s protests in Berkeley, which were launched despite the cancellation of a similarly titled anti-Marxist event.

But the extreme call to “BRING YOUR KIDS TO THE RALLY DAY” because “Antifa wouldn’t dare hurt the future generation of America, or would they…?” felt oddly sensational.

Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Priya Clemens emailed Bay City News this morning shortly after 9:30 a.m., saying that the situation was “All clear! No one’s shown up to protest or counter protest. Just Bridge Patrol, CHP [California Highway Patrol] and media out here.”

The fake rally appears to be the first one to garner such a swell of local media attention this year, with the Examiner, SFGate, KGO, and NBC all reporting on the protest. And it raises an interesting question: Does flooding the media with fake rallies dilute the impact of real ones? What goal did this person or persons have in mind by creating an event they knew no one would attend?

While no doubt frustrating for the news crews who woke up early to trek over to the foggy bridge, it does raise a glimmer of hope for those of us exhausted after the weekend’s chaotic protests. One can only wish that the upcoming “Free Speech Week” at the University of California, Berkeley — which may draw such conservative celebrities as Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter, and Milo Yiannopoulos — is also a hoax.

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Nuala Sawyer

Nuala Sawyer is the News Editor at SF Weekly. You can reach her at (415)-359-2644 or nsawyer@sfweekly.com. Follow her on Twitter at @TheBestNuala.

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