Calls for nationwide demonstrations as part of a "day of rage" Friday in response to recent police-involved shootings across the country could be a hoax, but authorities in Chicago say they are prepared should any protests erupt.
After an unverified YouTube video claiming to be from the group Anonymous began circulating on social media, Black Lives Matter in Chicago and a Twitter account purportedly associated with Anonymous have both decried the event.
The video called for what has been dubbed a “day of action” Friday, “in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the victims of police brutality as well as alongside the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.”
“We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest,” a voice can be heard saying in the video.
Among the locations listed as potential protest sites was Chicago’s Daley Center, at 50 W. Washington St., where an event was slated to be held at 6 p.m.
Black Lives Matter tweeted Friday afternoon that there was "no Black Lives Matter promoted #DayofRage," however.
Twitter account @YourAnonNews also tweeted, "There is no such thing as an 'Anonymous day of rage.'"
Chicago police said while the event also remained unconfirmed with the department, they are preparing for any potential demonstrations.
“Although the event is unconfirmed, CPD is aware of the planned rally this afternoon and will ensure adequate police resources are in place to ensure the safety of demonstrators and the public,” the department said in a statement.
The U.S. Army released a statement Friday saying it was not aware of any specific threats after an advisory warning personnel of potential protests was reportedly leaked.
“The safety of our Soldiers and their family members is extremely important to us,” the Army said in a statement. “For security reasons, we don't discuss force protection measures that we put into place at our Army installations or the specifics of cautionary advice we provide to our personnel. However, the advisory was to provide situational awareness for all Army Personnel to avoid those areas as a precautionary measure. At this time, we do not have information regarding any specific threats to DOD personnel.”
As Snopes first reported earlier this week, the Friday rumor is similar to one that circulated in 2014 amid protests in Ferguson, Missouri.