Milwaukee, WI - It all started when a Facebook friend posted that she had just drove under an Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) message. We thought that was strange since we weren’t out with a message and it was in the middle of the day. Then, about two hours later another friend on Facebook posted, “Just drove under The Overpass Light Brigade. Their message was “Vote Sebring.” This confirmed it. The right-wingers had finally made their own LED letters and were out on a bridge by State Fair Park: a bridge were we have staged countless actions during the past 8 months. OLB knew the day would come when the right would start to emulate us. This light brigade action, however, was not an effort to get out a conservative message but rather an effort to discredit the OLB.
Upon reading these two status updates, the OLB immediately posted a status update on its Facebook page informing its community that the message was not from us, but another group had clearly made their own letters to do Tea Party testimonials.
What happened next quickly confirmed that this faux OLB group was not interested in promoting their own messages but instead carrying out a false flag campaign against us. A series of comments from Facebook users started flooding the posted OLB status update claiming that they had seen conservative messages on different bridges all over Milwaukee and beyond. Some comments expressed anger that OLB would actually take out a message supporting a Tea Party candidate like Dan Sebring. Several posted comments expressing that they were “upset that OLB, would take out a message supporting a radically right candidate.” Something seemed strange about these posted comments though. As they were scrutinized more closely, it became clear that they were faux profiles. These profiles were clearly designed to look left-leaning so as to seem more authentic to the OLB community and, in the minds of the false flaggers, stir up anger and confusion against the OLB. One of these fake Facebook profiles was a character named “Allen Wrench”. He posted the following comments:
As Allen Wrench was posting on his own personal Facebook page, to which he had friended many other liberal people in the weeks up to this smear effort, so were several other trolls posting on OLB’s Facebook page, including trolls named David Jackson, Jim Moberg, and Vashanique Brown, and Jerry Rig:
After these comments started rolling in an OLB supporter posted a link to a recently created Facebook page that shed even more light on this right-wing effort to discredit OLB. It was a page called, “Freedom to the Streets”. This page had a picture posted with a “Vote Sebring” message and and seven people holding the 11-letter message. It immediately became apparent that if this group could not even find seven people to hold their message then how in the world were they simultaneously displaying unique messages all over the city? A ha! They weren’t! They were simply displaying one message and using their troll accounts to post fake comments on OLB’s Facebook page to give the false impression that a people-driven effort was actually being deployed around the city. Pretty pathetic huh?
Once the dots were connected the troll zapping began. OLB immediately deleted and banned the troll profiles disguised as left-leaning supporters and posted another status update to their community: