On Monday, January 20, the city of Richmond, Virginia will be host to a massive gathering of militias and individual gun owners, protesting against a series of proposed bills in the state legislature. This event started as the annual “Lobby Day” rally for the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) but has quickly gotten out of control. Earlier this week, the FBI arrested several members of Neo-Nazi organization “The Base” who were planning to attend the march with an illegal automatic weapon and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. Governor Northam has declared a “State of Emergency” in the city and banned firearms from the Capitol grounds. He justified this by stating his fear that some protesters attending the event, “have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.” Evidence supporting this fear can be found on 4chan’s far-right /pol board, where at least one Richmond police officer appears to be providing protesters with inside information.
4chan’s /pol board is one of the largest white nationalist gathering places on the Internet. In the lead up to this much-anticipated rally a series of threads titled “/vsg/” (Virginian Spring General) have cropped up to help coordinate anons interested in attending the event. The posts range from general information… …to outright calls for racial violence and the start to a “boogaloo” (far-right terminology for a new civil war. As in, ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’). MediaMatters previously reported on some of these threads and noted: “…users have explicitly organized among themselves for the January 20 rally and have asked about “a meeting spot for anons that are showing up.” In one thread, users discussed which users would be “command[ing]” a “station” to “serve” at the rally and having an “alert for weapons free,” a term meaning permission to shoot at non-friendly targets.”
A Law Enforcement Officer Appears An anti-fascist activist, “B”, reached out to Bellingcat with a link to this archived version of a now-removed /vsg/ thread. In it, an individual with the poster ID “6RuLcY2g” claims to be a Richmond cop working the event and announces that he will be “taking questions”. Shortly thereafter, he posts a picture of his badge next to a crude approximation of the 4chan logo. This in and of itself is not hugely noteworthy. In other /vsg/ threads, users have posted pretending to be law enforcement officers. They have even posted pictures of badges, like this: This “investigator” badge is quite easily debunked as a fake via Google Image Search. But this Richmond police officer badge does not show up on Yandex or Google reverse image searches. And based on this tweet from the Richmond police, the badge posted onto /pol does seem to match the badges issued by the Richmond Police Department.

via bellingcat: Richmond Gun Rally: Is A Virginia Cop Giving 4Chan’s /pol Board Inside Info?