The Amtrak train that derailed Monday was making the inaugural run on a new, faster route,
The Amtrak train that derailed Monday was making the inaugural run on a new, faster route. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Alt-right conspiracy peddler Jack Posobiec wasted no time at all blaming Monday's Amtrak derailment in Pierce County on the anarcho-leftist group Antifa. His evidence? A seven-month-old now-deleted blog post from the anti-fascist news site It's Going Down.

In the blog post—which originally appeared on the anarchist news site Puget Sound Anarchists in April 2017—the group claims to have poured concrete on BNSF tracks outside the Port of Olympia to protest fracking. They wrote:

These train tracks are part of a system of pipelines, fracking wells, mines, clearcuts, control centers, fiberoptics, dams, highways and factories that cover the planet and are physical manifestations of a process that is destroying the ecosystems, cultures, and inhabitants everywhere. Behind this network of infrastructure there are politicians, CEOs and bureaucrats who have private security, cops, prison guards, non-profit directors, PR consultants and the legacy of 500 years of colonization to back them up. We oppose all of these manifestations, infrastructural, personal and ideological. We blocked the train tracks because we want to blockade the entire web of domination that is slowly killing us.

Posobiec now points to that blog post being taken down as proof of the two incidents being connected. However, I spoke to an anonymous representative from It's Going Down, who told me the post was actually taken down months ago, precisely because the alt-right media has been making claims about the connections between train accidents and direct action against train companies. But, he told me, anti-fascists had nothing to do with today's Amtrak derailment, which took place almost 20 miles away from the Port of Olympia, on a new, never-before-used faster Amtrak route between Seattle and Portland.

"They are trying to make anti-fascists the boogie man," the anonymous activist told The Stranger. "They take any sort of tragedy that involves the American public, be it be mass shooting or train derailments, and connect it to popular movements like Black Lives Matter or anti-fascists because they want to associate these movements with everyday Americans being injured and killed. They pin it on the left by producing and spreading conspiracy theories, especially at the beginning, when there is little information out there. The only people celebrating what happened today are people on the right who use it as an opportunity to spread their snake oil."

While there has been no official explanation for the derailment yet, the new route had already raised safety concerns at a public meeting earlier this month. KOMO reports that Lakewood mayor Don Anderson argued against the route, saying it was unsafe and more safety precautions were needed. “Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens,” Anderson said. Posobiec has yet to tweet about that.