The National Guard
The National Guard on the steps of the Utah State Capitol following the murder of George Floyd. Image by AP PHOTO

Military uprising claim is shot down in flames

Meg Williams June 26, 2023

Two videos show the US National Guard being mobilised following an executive order.


False. One video dates back to the George Floyd protests in 2020 while the other shows troops preparing for a festival.

Australian conspiracy theorists are drumming up excitement about “military movements” in the US, claiming that two video clips show unusual deployments of the National Guard after an executive order. 

This is false. The first clip dates back to June 2020, when the National Guard was deployed in Los Angeles in anticipation of mass protests following the murder of George Floyd

The second clip was shot in Philadelphia on June 14, 2023. However, the vehicles in the image were from the Pennsylvania National Guard and were travelling to take part in the city’s Stripes and Stars Festival

The claim appears to be part of a broader QAnon conspiracy theory

The claim was made in a Facebook Live video (archived here) from an account AAP FactCheck has covered on several occasions, see here, here, here, here and here.

Claim the US military is on the move
 The co-hosts use two videos to back up their claim. 

From the 25min 8sec mark, one of the co-hosts introduces the first of the two clips, saying: “Let’s start off with these military movements… What are the National Guard doing in Hollywood? There’s no emergency, so it’s not a state issue. So therefore, they must be there on executive orders.”

An executive order is a signed, written directive from the president.

National Guard personnel and vehicles can be seen dotted along a road. In the background, someone can be heard saying: “This is on Hollywood Boulevard, literally the National Guard.” 

While the clip does show Hollywood Boulevard, it does not show the National Guard having been deployed following a recent executive order.

Instead, the video was shot in June 2020, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer when the National Guard was deployed to Los Angeles in anticipation of mass protests (see news coverage here, here, and here).

At the  26min 7sec mark the co-host introduces a second clip showing three military vehicles travelling along Walnut Street in Philadelphia. 

AAP FactCheck has confirmed the original footage was shot by a local news account, ThatNewsJawn.

A representative from the Pennsylvania National Guard told AAP FactCheck the vehicles were preparing for the city’s Stripes and Stars Festival which celebrates the birthday of the US flag and US Army.

“The Pennsylvania National Guard had personnel and equipment present at the Stripes and Stars Festival in Philadelphia on June 14,” Major Travis Mueller of the Pennsylvania National Guard told AAP FactCheck in an email. “Those types of vehicles were on display for the public.” 

The two co-hosts make a number of vague claims regarding the videos including that something big is happening, or is about to happen, claiming that “it’s all starting to fall apart” and that the “Khazarian mafia are on the retreat”. 

Donald Trump
 Many QAnon followers believe Trump is preparing a military-backed attack. 

While they do not explicitly explain the significance of the supposed military movements, their claim resembles ideas connected to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

In 2017, a 4chan post from an anonymous account named “Q” — who claimed to be a high-level government insider — predicted that then-president Donald Trump would initiate a military-backed attack on “deep-state” officials. This attack was known to QAnon adherents as “The Storm,” and some still believe The Storm is approaching despite Trump’s election defeat in 2020.

The QAnon conspiracy theorists also implicate Hollywood as part of the supposed “global elites”.

In other posts on social media, people have been connecting similar videos of “military movements” to a “Deep State takedown” and the arrival of “The Storm” (see also here and here). 

Similar videos have been debunked recently here, here, and here.

The Verdict

The claim that two videos show the US National Guard being mobilised following an executive order is false. 

One of the videos is three years old and shows the National Guard preparing for protests following the killing of George Floyd. The other video shows Pennsylvania National Guard vehicles preparing to take part in Philadelphia’s Stripes and Stars Festival. 

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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