By: Elaine Powell

In October 2017, rumors about violent anti-fascism protests escalated alongside word of the Department of defenses (DoD) scheduled  “communications interoperability” exercise.The conspiracy was all started by a kansas bounty hunter turned YouTuber named Jordan Peltz claiming – with no supporting evidence- that the anti Fascist group Antifa was planning a violent “day of Rage.”

Far right winged people have spun this protest as the start of a civil war. This conspiracy caught on so much so that it gained the hashtag  #civilwar2017 on twitter. The conspiracy also claimed that the Department of Defenses planned communication drill is happening because of the Antifa protest. That is false, Paul english, Army MARS program manager has spoken up about this conspiracy theory saying the drill was planned a year in advance and has nothing to do with any protest.

What is the “communications interoperability” exercise? Well, it is a exercise starting on Saturday, November 4th and will last until the the 6th that will stimulate what would happen in the unfortunate event of a major power outage. No, the power won’t actually go out, in fact the average citizen won’t even be able to tell it’s happening. These drills have been happening quarterly since 2013 and each year have gone seemingly unnoticed.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is working in cahoots with Ham radio operators to practice how they would use their equipment to help military operators in the event of a major power outage. On October 25th  2017, the MARS Facebook page published a version of the announcement in a comment responding to several worried people, the page elucidated the purpose of the exercise. In that post this was said “…In this exercise Amateur Radio operators are conducting a routine training that we do four times a year. The purpose of the training is to prepared for an event we hope will never happen, but should be ready for if it ever does.

These exercises are all about coordinating existing capabilities like amateur radio, and citizen volunteers like MARS members, to be a productive part of the solution in the event something like a severe solar storm ever happens….Yes, will will actually practice a solar storm scenario, go off the air, protect our radio equipment. After the notional storm, we will practice using emergency power (at least for a little while just to say we can, but not long enough to waste gasoline since the electrical service will actually still work), and of course establish radio contact with Amateur Radio Operators throughout the United States and no, there will not really be a solar storm. We are just simulating that too…”

It was also rumored that NASA had claimed there will be 15 days of darkness from the 15th to the 30th of November 2017. Supposedly an electro magnetic pulse (EMP), the government would create with their stimulation on November 4 thru the 6th will disable everything using electricity. The claims also state the entire North American continent will be affected by this EMP and urged people to be prepared with water and canned foods for at least a week but there is nothing concerning this on the Department of Defenses website and the verdict about this rumors is it’s simply fake news.

There will be a communication drill from Saturday, November 4th, 2017 to Monday, November 6th, 2017 but It will not cause your power to turn off nor will it cause days of darkness. There will also be a solar storm stimulation in which the DoD will practice using emergency power but it will not cause 15 days of darkness. Lastly, the DoD is not doing this drill because of the Antifa protest.