QAnon group harasses Dallas gun violence marchers

Members of the JFK QAnon group harassed March For Our Lives participants in downtown Dallas Saturday, shouting at them that the mass shooting in Uvalde on May 24—in which a gunman killed 19 elementary-school-aged children and two teachers—was orchestrated by the federal government. 

Organizers of Dallas’ March For Our Lives rally had told participants to gather at Dealey Plaza Saturday morning before marching to nearby Dallas City Hall. Members of the two groups encountered one another early Saturday afternoon when several March For Our Lives protestors returned to Dealey Plaza after the march.

“We were just asking each other if we could take pictures of each others’ signs,” said Gabrielle Gonzalez, 20, of her and other gun violence protestors who’d reunited at Dealey after marching to city hall. “Then one of [the members] came up to me and were like ‘what do your signs say, are you on the opposite side of the fence?’ and we were like, ‘we’re with March For Our Lives,’” Gonzalez explained. 

“Then [the QAnon member] was like, ‘did you know that Uvalde has been closed for years? It was fake, it was all an act, it was actors and actresses.’ Then two more [QAnon members] came up and were like ‘none of these are real, mass shootings don’t happen,” Gonzalez continued. 

“And I asked them if they’d like to tell Maite Rodriguez’s parents that,” said Gonzalez. 

Maite Rodriguez was one of 19 kids killed by 18-year-old Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos. Maite was only identifiable by her green Converse sneakers due to the severe mutilation of her body caused by the shooter’s AR-15 rifle.  

The confrontation in Dealey Plaza is rooted in a QAnon conspiracy that has spread across far-right social media forums alleging liberal elites stage mass shootings to divert attention from their alleged misdeeds. Multiple videos and posts pushing the false conspiracy have appeared on the JFK QAnon group’s Telegram channel, which has more than 68,000 subscribers.  

“False flag” conspiracies began gaining traction among a number of right-wing groups in the aftermath of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary—a massacre in which a lone gunman shot and killed 20 students and six teachers at school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Allegations claiming the federal government’s involvement in the attack were initially spread by Austin-based far-right provocateur Alex Jones, who has since trumpeted similar conspiracies regarding the May 14 attack by a lone gunman at a Buffalo, New York grocery store that left 10 dead.

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