The use of the Declaration of Independence and the refrain “1776” have become commonplace means for far-rightists to frame their call for rebellion and revolution. For example, People’s Rights, a group whose activists, ideas, and materials can be found in the threads of COVID denial Facebook groups, has cited the Declaration of Independence to build its case for insurrection and secession in eastern Oregon.
In addition to being a self-proclaimed Three Percenter, Finucane posted photos on his personal Facebook page from at least one rally also featuring the Proud Boys. Both Three Percenters and Proud Boys have been implicated in the January 6 nationalist insurrection in Washington. D.C.
Finucane and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
On Mewe, Finucane posted a “Declaration of Restoration Public declared on the 27th day of August, 2021,” that espoused conspiracy theories, spread misinformation about immigrants, assailed Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists, and promoted the false idea that Donald Trump is president. It also called for,
“sheriffs and to such portions of the military as are still loyal Americans and still able and willing to perform their sworn duty of protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States to take whatever action may be necessary to dismantle and remove the Joe Biden, Kamala Harris—along with all of their supporters—from the position of President and Vice President of the United States.”
Elsewhere on Facebook, Finucane simply declared that “A civil war is coming.”
Such is the direction of far-right insurrection that some participants in COVID denial Facebook groups are trying to steer this mobilization.
Calls to arms and visions of encroaching civil war are frequent features of far-right politicking. Similar ideas can also be found in Facebook COVID denialism groups. For instance, a post in Illinois Citizens Against Government Overreach (2999 members) cited the Declaration of Independence and added, “Always Remember This is what the first Civil war was about Constitutional Separation Constitutional Civil Insurrection Constitutional Revolution It’s Time We The People Make America Great Again.” 
Others have referred to a potentially emerging civil war. Citing the idea that the Biden administration could implement vaccine requirements for interstate travel, a member of WISCONSIN Liberty, Freedom, Community, Rally & Action Page (11,761 members) declares, “This screams start of a civil war if I’ve ever seen it.” A post in Open Ohio! (5,885 members) claims that the idea of vaccine passports represents “your papers showing you properly obey they (sic) government” and amounts to “tyranny in its most sinister and evil form,” declaring, “They go through with this, by God there will be civil war.”
In Unmask our Children Kankakee County IL (1,191 members), an individual poses the question, “Where do you guy’s think this is all going to lead?” The self-answer:
“I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy but, I think we’re going to be looking at a civil war. First it’s the mask, next it will be the experimental vaccine they are pushing so hard. Now, they’re talking about putting ppl in camps. who I assume will be the unvaccinated.”
A post in REOPEN NJ included a picture of COVID-19 statistics from the office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and declared, “Oh boy they’re really pushing it…. Rally the troops! We have a Civil War coming!”
In keeping with such language, very real on-the-ground violence from this mobilization is found at COVID denial protests. This came into clear relief when the Grand Traverse County (Michigan) Prosecutor filed “assault or assault and battery” charges against two men in connection to an attack on a Record–Eagle reporter covering a protest against mask and vaccine mandates in Garfield Township on August 26. The reporter said he had been punched in the face.
The event was hosted by the COVID denial Facebook group Citizens Liberating Michigan (156 members). The group’s Administrator, Heather Ferry Cerone, was audio-recorded “challenging the reporter’s presence” at the event and “asking attendees to stand in front of him.” Despite later supporting “Constitution Day,” the Associated Press reported that the day of the event, Cerone called the 911 dispatcher to say that “a reporter was standing just outside a pavilion” where the event was occurring and “was not welcome.”
Earlier in August, Cerone had opposed a Traverse County “diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging” resolution, referring to it as “the Marxist/Communist DEIB/Critical Race Theory resolution.” In the common verbiage of antisemitism, Cerone has referred to a commissioner who allegedly supported diversity as a “paid Soros operative,” a reference to liberal Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
Elsewhere participants in a “Let Them Breathe” rally disrupted a Poway (California) United School District meeting to the point that the meeting had to be adjourned. The school district’s chief communications officer stated that “Due to the ongoing disruption of the Sept. 9, 2021 Board of Education meeting and the concerns for the safety and well-being of staff and students attending the meeting, law enforcement recommended we adjourn and reschedule the meeting.” The Administrator of the Let Them Breathe Facebook (18,600 members) group had taken credit for providing fliers and t-shirts to the group.
Against the backdrop of such specifically Facebook group-driven incidents, COVID denial mobilizations, activists, and opponents of basic health measures have repeatedly been involved in violent incidents and threats of violence – a pattern that can only be amplified by the large scale presence of COVID denial activism in these online forums.
A Florida anti-mask activist was charged with aggravated child abuse after an alleged attack on a Fort Lauderdale High School student who criticized his recording “his latest anti-mask stunt,” NBC News reported. Dan Bauman, 50, reportedly “pushed the girl into a fence, grabbed her hand and twisted her arm ‘in an aggressive manner’” before a school resource officer and a security guard pulled him off her,” NBC said in a summary of an incident report.
Victor Lee Tucker, Jr., 30, of Palmetto, Georgia, was charged with murder and aggravated assault after he allegedly “got into an argument with a cashier about his face mask” during checkout. In Springfield, Missouri, anti-vaxxer “Christopher Key and his half-dozen followers,” who refer to themselves as the “vaccine police,” descended on a Walmart. In his approach to the store, Key live-streamed himself making claims about vaccines being like “Nazi Germany” and stating of pharmacists that “if they do not stand down immediately, then they could be executed. They can be hung in the state.”
In Sutter Creek, California, a teacher was allegedly assaulted by a parent upset at his child having to wear a mask. Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson told a reporter that, “The teacher was bleeding…He had some lacerations on his face, some bruising on his face, and a pretty good knot on the back of his head.”
As described by Security, in July 2020, the Retail Industry Leaders Association already “expressed alarm” about “instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers who are under the misguided impression that wearing a mask is a violation of their civil liberties.” That same month, McDonald’s survey of more than 4,000 employees found that “that 44% of respondents said they had been verbally or physically assaulted after confronting customers who weren’t wearing masks.”