After the fallout from the violent Virginia protests over the potential removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, some right-wing social media users have turned their attention to a statue on the other coast. They argue that if the Charlottesville statue of the Confederate general should be torn down, so should Fremont's Vladimir Lenin sculpture.
On Wednesday, a small crowd of right-wing protesters including Jack Posobiec rallied around the Fremont statue calling for its removal. The ardent Trump supproter, whose full name is John Michael Posobiec III but goes by Jack, has been described as furthering alt-right conspiracy theories, including the debunked “Pizzagate,” which accused Hillary Clinton of running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop. Posobiec gained greater social media fame earlier this week after President Donald Trump retweeted several of his posts accusing the media of not covering gun violence in Chicago.
Sporting a “Make America Great” T-shirt, Posobiec live-streamed the small demonstration for 25 minutes, ending the feed shortly after 1 p.m. Based on the video, no more than a dozen protesters were in the crowd, though the video has already been viewed more than 43,000 times. Posobiec described himself as a “guest speaker” at the gathering.
“They worship Vladimir Lenin, they worship Marx. They worship this statue,” Posobiec said referring to young Seattle liberals. “The alt-left comes here to pay supplication.”
Throughout the video, Posobiec interviews supporters who say they want the “shrine to this idol of evil” taken down. Posobiec and others repeatedly disavow "neo-Nazi wannabes" and “Marxist evil.” One Seattle woman criticized U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal—who yesterday called on Trump to fire Steve Bannon and other staffers she alleges have supported white supremacists—while others held signs reading “Tear it down” or comparing Lenin to Hitler.
“We've got a town here where people wanna have Hitler statues going up,” Posobiec said.
The 32-year-old activist is a U.S. naval reserve officer, although NBC reports his security clearance was suspended for unknown reasons. He was assigned to the Reserve Intelligence Unit at the Office of Naval Intelligence's Naval Maritime Intelligence Center between March 2014 and March 2017.
Beyond Pizzagate, Posobiec promoted the false rumor that Democratic National Committee staff member Seth Rich was murdered for leaking emails to Wikileaks.