Some military base officials are warning service members to stay away from a series of rumored protests that could take place in major cities across the U.S. tomorrow.
The protests, which will supposedly be organized by the hacker group Anonymous, have been called "Day of Rage" and are supposed to occur in 37 cities, including Washington, D.C., Denver, Colorado, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Internet rumor debunker Snopes.com, however, reports that reports of the protests are likely an unfounded, very similar to a rumor circulated in 2014.
"Those inclined to question the likelihood that an actual 'Day of Rage' is being planned by Anonymous, we note that this rumor is virtually identical to one that was circulated two years earlier after the shooting of teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri," the site says.
Nonetheless, military officials with several commands including U.S. Army North, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois and Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado are urging troops to stay away from locations that could become host to violence.
"Please be advised that the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has posted a safety warning not to be at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 15 due to potential protests and criminal activity. Please be safe and avoid this area during that time," the original post to Scott Air Force Base's Facebook page made this morning says. It was later edited to note that "although these rumors do not appear to be credible, both the National Park Service at the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police have been made aware."
A post by Schriever Air Force Base officials this afternoon, however, does not specifically direct troops to stay away from any rumored protests, but instead asks them to be careful.
"The Air Force recognizes the right of assembly and free speech, it is one of the rights military members serve to defend," the post says. "However we also recognize how important each and every one of you are to us and our mission. Please be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution if you are in an area where the possibility of violence increases and make every effort to safeguard you and your family."
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org