Several dozen pro-Trump protesters showed up to a North Carolina outdoors store on Saturday to mount a counter-protest against an Antifa rally that, as it turns out, was likely a prank, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
The group of counter-protesters stood in front of the store waving flags, including U.S., Confederate, and Trump flags.
According to the Dispatch:
A recent Facebook page called Gaston County Antifa, which is a portmanteau for “antifascist,” had posted earlier in the week that group members “from at least 10 states” were planning to gather in front of the Gander Outdoors store in the Franklin Square shopping center in Gastonia. Other than the Facebook page, there’s no evidence of any such group actually existing in Gaston County, but that didn’t stop those spreading the rumors. Even local website CharlotteStories ran a widely shared article about the fake rally.
Counter-protester Terry Pennington said he had heard a rumor that Antifa members were going to light a massive American flag that flies in front of the store on fire.
“They ain’t here because they’re still in their momma’s basement,” Pennington said.
Pennington told the Dispatch that he made the trip to Gastonia from Locust.
He acknowledged that the Gaston County Antifa post was “most likely” a prank.
“But you see the true supporters,” Pennington said. “We don’t care if it’s a prank. We’re going to show up because what’s going to happen is they’re going to call this and then we ain’t going to show up and then they’re going to really burn down an American flag and it’s going to cause someone to seriously have problems.”
“We don’t care if it’s a prank,” a counter-protestor told the Gaston Gazette. “We’re going to show up because what’s going to happen is they’re going to call this and then we ain’t going to show up and then they’re going to really burn down an American flag and it’s going to cause someone to seriously have problems.”
Can’t wait to see the totally legit and not a parody “Gaston County Antifa” supersoldiers do their 10 AM protest today at Gander Mountain in Gastonia, NC.
10K southern native “patriot” types engaged that FB page and are ready to oppose the anteefa. pic.twitter.com/n6tjWQHZAd
— Djinn (@ARAEveryDay) October 20, 2018