The internet is great because it speeds up the spread of information like never before. Unfortunately, it also allows for the spread of very bad and stupid information. The latest crock of shit to come across Idiot Twitter is unsubstantiated rumors that Antifa sabotaged an Amtrak passenger train, causing it to derail in Washington State early this morning. This is not true.
It’s not true because there is no Capital-A Antifa, as there’s no main organizing body for a nebulous group of people whose only unifying political theory, at its base, is to be against fascism.
Anyway, a report from The Associated Press, which cited an unnamed U.S. official, wrote that the train “may have struck something before going off the track about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle.” At the time of this writing, no further evidence of this claim has been brought to light, and it’s been reported that the train may have been exceeding the speed limit of a curve in the track at the time of the crash.
That didn’t stop conspiracy-peddler Jack Posobeic and right-wing Twitter Man Mike Cernovich from jumping on Twitter and flapping Antifa nonsense at us.
Cernovich also dug up an old post on It’s Going Down, an anarchist website, that talked about sabotaging train tracks back in April in order to “disrupt the movement of trains carrying proppants used in used in natural gas fracturing,” crowing like he’d caught Antifa red-handed.
The post was indeed deleted, which sparked all kinds of delusional delights from the exclusively mouth-breathing.
Right-wing account after right-wing account glommed onto a story from right-wing outlet The Gateway Pundit that drew attention to the deleted anarchist post:
You get the idea.
Here’s the thing, though: It’s Going Down isn’t an Antifa website. It never claimed to be. In its bio, its creators wrote: “We are anarchists: we act in the spirit of autonomy, mutual-aid and solidarity. We have no allegiance to representational politics.”
Antifa, on the other hand, is a group that takes its name from anti-Fascist activism, and it is anti-Nazi and anti-brownshirts. Antifa activists do not believe in abolishing the state, as anarchists do. But, Antifa and anarchists have been blurred together recently because it’s easier for right-wing and fascist agendas to trick their critical-thinking-averse base, and lately, far-right idiots who realize chilling with actual Nazis makes them look really bad to normal and decent people have tried to portray Antifa as some kind of big bad violent communist boogeyman, when it largely isn’t really much of anything.
Hilariously, right-wing supporters do get tripped up by even their own fake Antifa sites.
But even if It’s Going Down was an explicitly and honestly anti-fascist website, which it isn’t, there’s a vast, yawning chasm of a logical and evidence-based leap to be made from “one website saying they’d like to mess with cargo trains” and an actual, tragic derailment of a new passenger train.
The official cause to the Amtrak derailment today hasn’t been discovered yet, so it’s still too soon to go assuming that any form of sabotage was in play. Until we know, just stay off of Twitter.