If the Baltimore riots seem like a tired replay of Ferguson, there might be a good reason as to why.
A data mining firm with government ties that tracks social media reported that they uncovered a core group of accounts who appear to have driven much of the buzz and even more of the calls to actions by crowds on the ground.
The online activity of a few dozen of the same individuals were linked and timed with key moments in Baltimore and Ferguson, leading up to the most intense cases of both sustained demonstrations and episodes of violent riots in both of these cities.
The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because of its government work, found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson. While further analysis is being conducted on the data, it suggests the presence of “professional protesters” or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray’s death to incite more violence.
One account, which also tracked the recent union protests in New York City as well as other disturbances, tweeted photos of Gray’s funeral and used language that seemed to anticipate violence in Baltimore.
So the spread of violence has been linked to a few paid provocateurs and organized by a small handful of “professional protesters.” Now it is confirmed.
Despite the distance between demonstration locations in Maryland and Missouri, the data mining study identified a core node of perhaps 20-50 social media accounts involved in stirring mass reaction, with shocking examples of cries for violence and destruction not just from the voice of people like Michael Brown’s step father (who shouted ‘Burn this b*tch down’ after the Ferguson grand jury decision) or from random, anonymous riots, but from the accounts of some dedicated organizers on places like Twitter:
The discovery that some social media accounts were tied to cities 825 miles apart was described to Fox News as “surprising.” While it is possible to spoof accounts and make it appear as if someone is in one location when they are really in another, the data mining firm told Fox News that it can’t fully explain the numbers.
The implications adds weight to those who have been arguing that the events – though triggered by controversial and arguably shameful events – appear highly scripted and tightly coordinated… with the integrity of news coverage and the role of provocateurs, “professional protesters” and funding from agenda-driven figures like George Soros (who spent some $33 million funding protest groups) coming into question as they paint a larger picture.
In each case of outrage, mourning, peaceful demonstration, spill overs into violence and riots, martial law and crowd control push back or of false indignation by self-gratifying media figures, the tension between inner-city minorities and police, with examples of each overreaching, is striking and central to the debate.
The use of social media to fuel violence in Baltimore has already been highlighted by law enforcement. On Monday, police said an online call was issued for a “purge” at 3 p.m. ET, starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending in the downtown area. That type of threat is based on a movie called “The Purge,” the plot of which involves rampant lawlessness.
The Washington Times also reported Monday that law enforcement intelligence officials issued a warning after someone sent a text urging people to “kill all white police officers” in reaction to Gray’s death. The text has fueled fears that the violence in Baltimore could spread nationally, according to safety memos obtained by The Washington Times.
There is little doubt that a media campaign has been coordinated to use the civil unrest to attract viewership with a spectacle, while the political establishment has latched onto the events to advance an agenda. The extent to which the whole affair was planned remains unclear, but these social media findings point to a clear team of players central to it all.
While questions mount concerning who is steering the protests and deliberately giving stage to riots and violence, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has come under fire for what seemed a Freudian slip in calling for police to give ‘space’ to ‘those who wished to destroy.’ Though she has claimed she was taken out of context, she was caught on camera stating:
“It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well, and we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
President Obama has condemned the violence and demanded police officers involved in abuse be held accountable; Rev. Al Sharpton has planned a march from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.; meanwhile newly-sworn in Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder’s replacement as Attorney General, is just in time to carry the issue further with civil rights litigation.
Sharpton, a civil rights activist who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, hopes to organize a two-day march from Baltimore to Washington in May.
“The march will bring the case of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Eric Harris to the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Ms. Lynch, in her new role that we all supported, must look and intervene in these cases,” Sharpton said in a press release. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” (source)
Martial law has been prescribed as a remedy to civil unrest and riots, along with other scenarios including economic collapse and pandemic, and gives the system more power while exacerbating cries over the examples of abuse by the system, putting further pressure on society’s fragile order.
At this time, the National Guard has been deployed to Baltimore, but authorities insist that ‘martial law has not been declared,’ though one could be forgiven holding a different interpretation.
Nonetheless, with precedents established in emergency training drills, the events in Ferguson and the stunning reaches of both riots and martial law in dozens of cities back in the 1960s, escalation can only be expected, if not in Baltimore, then in the next city that is sure to follow.
Take a look at the destruction, mayhem and authoritarian control that took place during the massive riots during the 1960s… things could get pretty nasty:
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