ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WJHL) – After an email claiming to be from ANTIFA was sent to the Asheville Police Department (APD), officials are calling the letter “concerning.”
According to a Facebook post from the APD, the message was sent on the morning of July 3. In a letter titled “Greetings from ANTIFA,” user “Antifafootsoldiers007@hotmail.com” states that this was the “first and only formal warning” regarding demands listed by the author.
You can find the full text below:
“We are tired of your lack of protection for the innocent civilians who are peacefully protesting,” the letter reads. “There have been multiple incidents where there have been immediate threats to the safety, security and well-being of the protestors, with Asheville Police Department having little to no response time.”
According to other posts from the APD, two armed men were present at a protest on June 26 in Downtown Asheville. No political affiliation of the two suspects has been announced.
The letter alleges that citizens in the area have “deputized” themselves for protection.
“If Asheville Police Department does not ensure the safety of the protestors,” the letter reads. “Then we, ANTIFA, will, at all costs.”
The letter then states that the department could face “further action” in the future.
The actual identity of the letter’s author was unknown as of Monday morning, and the APD stated in a post that they were in the process of vetting just how authentic the “ANTIFA” letter really was.
“While Asheville prides itself on protecting free speech rights as well as people and property,” said Asheville Police Chief David Zack. “The email received today runs counter to that spirit.”
In the more than 500 comments on the post, several poked fun at the letter’s plausibility:
“If you’re falling for this,” one user said. “I’m sure we could find you some Nigerian princes willing to make you super rich.”
“You really want us to believe that ANTIFA still uses hotmail?” said another.
ANTIFA is a left-wing political movement defined by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as an effort to “vigorously oppose fascism” through decentralized groups of activists.
“There have been instances where encounters between antifa supporters and the far-right have turned violent,” The ADL explainer reads. “Of those counter-protesters who do engage in violence, not all of them support the antifa movement. Likewise, not all antifa supporters engage in violence. Those violent counter-protesters who are militant antifa adherents believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements.”
No further protests are specified by the letter.