Well, there was a lot a talk about Antifa protesters showing up at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to protest and vandalize Confederate graves and burn the flag of the would-be rebel nation at the historic battle site. There are some problems of course. For starters, there are no Confederate gravesites at Gettysburg. Emily Zanotti of Heat Street had more:
Civil War re-enactors and the National Parks Service are bracing for Anti-Confederate—and Antifa—protests July 4th weekend as Gettysburg battlefield and memorial in Pennsylvania celebrates the 154th anniversary of the pivotal battle.
According to local media, rumors are swirling that several groups affiliated with anti-Confederate monument protests across the south are targeting the Civil War battlefield. That site hosts its own Confederate memorial and Confederate cemetery, alongside more than a thousand other memorials marking one of the bloodiest battles in American history.
A Civil War re-enactor forum claimed that a Facebook page appeared last week, calling on Antifa groups near Gettysburg to gather during the anniversary celebration to desecrate Confederate Gettysburg graves, and burn Confederate flags. A local blog also reported threats from “Antifa”-linked protest groups, and an event on a local website called “Burn the Confederate Flag to Trigger Trump Fans.”
Both the Facebook pages and the event appear to have been scrubbed. Even so, protesters on both sides of the debate over whether America should embrace the Confederate Flag have squared off at Gettysburg before, so the National Parks Service is taking the rumors seriously.
From Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who included that local Antifa groups thinks a lot of hoaxers got their fifteen minutes of fame:
The Park Service says it is keeping track of numerous possible indicators of trouble at the Battle of Gettysburg anniversary from July 1-3 – including reports that AntiFa may be planning to damage memorials and even desecrate gravestones at the historic battleground where the Union turned the tide of war against the South in 1863.
The Central Pennsylvania AntiFa group says on its facebook page that such reports are “most likely false” and “smell fishy.”
Nevertheless, groups that sought to protect the battlefield from desecration by progressives attended just in case something happened (via Philadelphia Inquirer):
Groups planning to counter protests by anarchists at Gettysburg National Military Park during this weekend’s 154th anniversary of the Civil War battle might find themselves turning out for nothing.
A total of four groups have now applied to exercise their First Amendment rights at the battlefield, said Katie Lawhon, a park spokeswoman.
Two of the groups that are ready to rally may find themselves with time on their hands if a fifth group – which hasn’t yet applied for a permit – doesn’t show up.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and a group called Real 3% Risen have received special use permits for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in a special section north of Meade’s Headquarters, Lawhorn stated.
Blessedly, at the end of the day, nothing happened (via Penn Live):
While rumors of demonstrations and possible flag burnings in Gettysburg ran rampant this week, only a half dozen Confederate flag supporters were on site Saturday before noon.
The handful of people were from the Real 3% Risen group and they said they came in response to the rumors.
The group's members said they were prepared to stay all day to protect the country's monuments and American flags. By noon, they were still the only demonstrators around as streams of visitors passed by to enjoy the park's events.