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Video shows environmental group protesting in San Francisco, not antifa

October 18, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows antifa protesters blocking early morning traffic to prevent employed people from getting to work.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows a demonstration in San Francisco by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion. It is not related to the anti-fascist movement.

THE FACTS: Facebook and Twitter users shared the video with the false claim on Thursday. It shows members of Extinction Rebellion, a global climate protest movement, demonstrating Wednesday morning on Gates Avenue near the University of San Francisco campus.

In the video, protesters hold hands at a crosswalk to block traffic, displaying a sign that says “walk the talk” with the Extinction Rebellion logo at each end. At one point, a man grabs the sign and tosses it over a fence as cars inch toward the protesters. Onlookers who took the video looking down from a nearby building can be heard cheering as the man takes the sign.

Nancy Roberts, who spoke on behalf of Extinction Rebellion in the San Francisco Bay area, confirmed to The Associated Press that the video shows Wednesday’s climate-related protest.

“We are not antifa,” she said. “We are explicitly non-violent.”

The video with the false caption had received more than a million views and 14,000 shares on Facebook by Friday morning.The video was also shared on social media falsely captioned as showing Extinction Rebellion protesters in Canada.

The global movement known for holding peaceful disobedience protests started in 2018 in Britain. It has chapters in 50 countries. On Thursday, Extinction Rebellion protesters in London climbed on the tops of trains as commuters headed to work.

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