Some Trump supporters are planning a bank run protest in the event that the former president gets arrested in Manhattan this week.
According to the George Washington Initiative (GWI), an organisation that highlights disinformation, Donald Trump’s supporters have increasingly advocated for a bank run in recent days as a “nonviolent form of social disobedience”.
“Driven by false flag paranoia, Trump supporters are leaning into the bank run call to action over other nonviolent forms of social disobedience, such as boycotts and calling on strikes. This narrative has already surpassed the chatter it received yesterday,” the group said in a tweet on Monday.
“The goal is to cause as much harm as possible.”
The protest plans come after Mr Trump posted on Truth Social that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s grand jury investigation into a $130,000 hush money payment he is accused of making to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 for her silence about an affair alleged to have occurred a decade earlier.
In his post, Mr Trump exhorted his supporters to protest against his arrest.
Bank runs involve people pulling their money out of the banking system in protest.
The GWI said it had found “growing chatter around the topic”, reported Newsweek.
The group told the outlet that “the chatter is growing at a logarithmic rate which will hamper the narratives’ ability to spread, marginalizing any impact that may occur”.
The group’s graphs showed the volume of searches for a potential bank run nearly quadrupled in Friday and Saturday, with queries rising again on Monday.
The bank run call comes after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) last week.
Some concerns have been raised on social media about the impact of the bank run in an already fragile banking system.
“No there will be no violence. If Trump gets arrested, they are planning to pull their money out of the banking system. You will see a bank run of mass proportions. It won’t take much right now to crash the entire monetary system,” wrote a Twitter user.
“Be a shame if Trump supporters led a nationwide bank run,” said alt-right activist Jack Posobiec, known for his support of the former president.
Mr Trump’s call for protests has, however, generated muted reactions from several supporters.
At the Lower Manhattan protest, reporters outnumbered pro-Trump demonstrators on Monday, reported the Associated Press.
Ali Alexander, an organiser of the “Stop the Steal” movement that staged rallies to promote the former president’s false claims that the 2020 elections were stolen, warned supporters they would be “jailed or worse” if they protested in New York.
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser who spoke at rallies on the day before the Jan 6 insurrection, also urged caution.
“If you do choose to publicly protest, it is vitally important that you keep your protest peaceful, civil, orderly and completely legal,” he said on Monday.