The National’s Aaron Dessner has responded to the bizarre and unfounded accusation by right wing social media accounts that he was part of the recent protests in Ohio.
The songwriter was erroneously accused of being an “Antifa organizer caught on camera appearing to pay some kids to riot”.
“I’m very fortunate and grateful to wake up every morning in the rural countryside I live in, looking at farmland and these beautiful mountains,” wrote Dessner on Twitter.
“I’ve been here for three months now isolating with my wife and young children,” he continued. “This morning I’ve woken up to the unpleasant and surprising news that I’ve been misidentified by some social media users as someone seen encouraging rioting in Columbus, Ohio.”
“I am not the person some are suggesting I am and I would never support violence of any kind. Nor have I been in Ohio since June 2019.”
After one Tweet, likely made as a joke, had misidentified Dessner as one of the rioters, other right wing accounts had started directing their anger at the Ohio-born musician.
“Like so many,” Dessner wrote, “I’m hoping for peaceful resolution and actual progress addressing these persistent issues in our society.”
Protests have been occuring in many major US cities for days, following the death of George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers.
One officer, who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes, has been arrested and charged with murder.
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Donald Trump has recently declared that antifa – which is not a unified organisation, but an abbreviation of the term “antifascist”, used to describe people who protest against fascism – has been categorised as a terrorist group.
Reports suggest that much of the violence surrounding the George Floyd protests has been escalated by police, with videos being shared which show police vehicles driving into crowds of protesters, and police seemingly firing rubber bullets at peaceful protesters and journalists.