But in the end, the event seemed to have been sabotaged by an elaborate farce that had caught the attention of the Internet over the weekend.
Sacha Baron Cohen – although it is still not clear if the actor was indeed responsible for the stunt. Its publicist did not return CNN’s request for comment and did not comment publicly on the issue.
“Unfortunately, the organizers of the event were put in place by a false flag gag, designed to try to make the event look bad, and it is suspected that it was the famous gag artist Sasha Cohen” wrote the right-wing group Oath Keepers on Facebook, pointing to the British comedian.
Baron Cohen, known for playing fictional characters such as Ali G and Borat, previously set up unsuspecting conservatives in order to ridicule them in his satirical TV series “Who Is America?”, Which aired on Showtime in 2018.
The live video of the event appeared to show a singer in a red shirt and a blue jumpsuit engaging the crowd in racist song. The lyrics of the song referred to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Anthony Fauci, and referred to the coronavirus as “Wuhan flu”. CNN was also mentioned.
Event organizers said they tried to disconnect the microphone
“We were caught,” said event organizer Allen Acosta in a video of the event, posted by Oath Keepers.
Master of Ceremonies Matt Marshall, founder and former leader of Three Percent Washington, another right-wing group, said in the video that a group describing itself as a political action committee (PAC) had contacted the organizers of the “March for our Rights 3 Gathering” about a week before the event.
CNN has contacted Marshall for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Marshall said in the video that the supposed PAC had offered to sponsor the rally, saying it would pay for a scene, hire a production company, and book groups to perform at the event. The group also called on a team of security guards, according to Marshall.
After the Olson Bros Band, a country band from Olympia, performed, another group went on stage. And then the alarm bells went off.
“During the second set … very racist lyrics started,” Marshall wrote in a Facebook post. “We tried to contact the sponsors, but they had left the event.”
Marshall wrote that he and others involved in the incident had tried to cut the power, but were blocked by private security. In the end, they were able to reach the stage and disconnect the microphone, he said. As they did, the group left and jumped into the back of an ambulance, while security guards fled into cars, said Marshall.
Another group said some participants were angry at the prank
Luke Olson, a member of the Olson Bros Band who played before the farce, told CNN that the stunt seemed to irritate some people in the crowd.
“… people started to get upset because I think it made a lot of them stupid, because they sang at the beginning,” said Olson. “But as he went further, the crowd started to get angry, then he threw himself and jumped into an ambulance behind his back. And there was an angry crowd chasing him and trying to stop the ambulance from leaving. “
Olson added that he was not aware of what would happen on stage. He said the group had been contacted by a few people a few days earlier to perform at a “Get Back To Work” rally.
“When we got there, there were a bunch of people with guns, so I think there was a Second Amendment march going on, and they also had a bunch of candidates for Republican governor before our filming, “said Olson. However, we were not aware of these details. We were just thrilled to play our first concert in over three months. “
The organizers then addressed the incident on stage.
“There was some excitement, and there was a singer here who does not reflect the values of the people who attended or the organizer or even parts of the production,” said Acosta. “… I’m sorry you were exposed to it.”
Amanda Jackson of CNN contributed to this report.
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