That status update appeared to reference a gender reveal-related death in Iowa several days previously, when revelers inadvertently detonated a device similar to a “pipe bomb” during a small party:
Authorities say an Iowa family’s attempt at a gender reveal party for a soon-to-be-born baby went horribly wrong when a homemade device that was meant to discharge colored powder instead exploded like a pipe bomb, killing a 56-year-old relative.
The Marion County Sheriff’s office said Pamela Kreimeyer died instantly when debris struck her head Saturday before flying another 432 feet (132 meters) and landing in a nearby field in rural Knoxville, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Des Moines.
Kreimeyer was 45 feet (14 meters) from the device when it exploded.
Family members had been experimenting with explosives in the hopes of posting a colorful announcement on social media, authorities said.
That gender reveal mishap wasn’t even the only explosion-related calamity at such events in Iowa that weekend, although no one was killed in the second incident:
Authorities are investigating another explosion at an Iowa gender reveal party that happened one day after a blast at a similar gathering killed a 56-year-old woman in a nearby community.
Authorities say no one was injured in the explosion [October 27 2019] in rural Waukee, a Des Moines suburb, but they are looking into unconfirmed claims that the blast broke a neighbor’s windows.
Gender reveals gone wrong are not confined to the state of Iowa; in July 2017, a woman was killed and eight others wounded during a gender reveal party in Ohio:
Two men opened fire on a party where a pregnant woman revealed her child’s gender, killing a 22-year-old woman and wounding eight, including the expectant mother and three children, authorities said.
Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney said at a news conference [in July 2017] that two men fired handguns in the living room of the home [on the night of the gender reveal party]. Denney said the two gunmen who fled on foot haven’t been identified or arrested. He wouldn’t discuss details of the investigation into the shootings.
The 22-year-old was identified as Autumn Garrett of Indiana. The three children wounded were ages 2, 6 and 8. None of the eight who were wounded appeared to have life-threatening injuries, he said.
In that incident the gender reveal itself was not responsible, but the shooting occurred at a party — and later, it was found to be an elaborate murder-for-hire scheme. An undated Bust magazine article, published after the Iowa death in October 2019, recapped previous gender reveals gone horribly awry:
This is not the first gender-reveal party that’s had tragic results. In 2017, a gender-reveal celebration in Arizona started a wildfire that destroyed nearly 47,000 acres and caused over $8 million in damages. In 2018, an Australian man doing a burnout in his car with the tires emitting blue smoke, as part of a gender reveal, almost died from being trapped inside the burning vehicle. Gender reveals are not the only instances where people have risked their lives in hopes for a viral video. But, when did viral fame become so infused within the family structure?
After the April 2017 wildfire incident mentioned above, the off-duty Border Patrol agent responsible for detonating an explosive device imprudently was fined $220,000 for starting a fire without a permit, and then he was ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution:
On April 23, 2017, near Green Valley, Ariz., U.S. Border Patrol Agent Dickey, who was off-duty at the time, ignited a fire that spread to Coronado National Forest, federal land administered by the U.S. Forest Service. This fire was referred to as the “Sawmill Fire.” Dickey started the fire by shooting a rifle at a target. Dickey had placed Tannerite, a highly explosive substance, inside the target, intending for it to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm bullet. Dickey fired shots at the Tannerite target, ultimately causing an explosion that started a fire that spread and resulted in damage to more than 45,000 acres of land managed by the State of Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and various private landholders. Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated, and admitted that he started the fire. The total losses attributable to the fire, including suppression costs and damage to land and landholdings, totaled more than $8 million.
Use of explosive and incendiary devices in gender reveals appeared to a common thread in adverse outcomes, but an overall drive to achieve viral notoriety had a hand in inspiring poor decisions. Injuries were not entirely unusual, and fireworks have rained down on unwitting partygoers in gender reveal misfires:
A Philadelphia couple set off pink fireworks, only to have them fall over and fire off at the party’s attendees, some of whom sustained minor burns. Video from the incident captured people alternately screaming in terror and yelling “it’s a girl!”
Questionable taste and consent also comes to issue in more controversial gender reveal endeavors, as was the case with a zoo-related September 2019 reveal and a couple’s use of an actual live hippopotamus in their announcement. Officially, at least two people have died during gender reveals or gender reveal parties, one of whom was killed by shrapnel from a gender revealing device which turned out to be a pipe bomb.
So what is antifa, anyway?
The word is used interchangeably with “antifascist,” and it is broadly defined as a “a person or group actively opposing fascism.” It could also be classified as a movement, but it is not an organized, centralized group. Further, the term is older than it might seem at first blush:
History and Etymology for antifa
borrowed from German Antifa, short for antifaschistisch “anti-fascist,” in Antifaschistische Aktion (multiparty front initiated by the German Communist Party in 1932 to counter Nazism) and in other collocations
An undated BBC page on the origins of antifa and its modern efforts goes into more of its modern definition:
Neo-Nazis, Neo-fascism, white supremacists and racism, and these days the movement that encapsulates some of those ideas: the alt-right.
We spoke to secret Antifa groups in Oregon. They said they come from a variety of political backgrounds but they were united in their opposition to fascism, and they have an anti-government streak. They said they see creeping authoritarianism in the current American administration that they are looking to build “a movement that really insulates us from the policies of Donald Trump”.
“It’s not just resisting the federal administration but also resisting moves that can lead to fascism,” one member told us, “and those happen locally whether from local officials or from local alt-right movements.”
On violent action, BBC seemed to conflate “antifa” with “black bloc” protesters:
Their willingness to use violence marks out Antifa from many other left-wing activists, although the Antifa members we spoke to said they denounce the use of weapons and violent direct action. They said if violence does occur, it’s as a form of self-defence. They also make historical arguments to justify their position. For instance, they ask, what if opponents of the German Nazi Party had been more forceful in their opposition in the 1930s, could World War Two and the Holocaust have been averted?
In the United States, antifascist protesters and their tactics came to prominence after tense protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. During those protests, demonstrator Heather Heyer was struck and killed when a vehicle driven by a “Unite the Right” rally attendee intentionally plowed into a crowd of protesters. In July 2019, driver James Fields was sentenced to life plus more than 400 years in prison:
Fields was one of many far-right protesters who arrived at Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally, which took place in August 2017. He traveled from his hometown of Maumee, Ohio specifically to attend the event. During his trial, prosecutors alleged he had a history of racism, anti-Semitism and violent behavior, citing testimony from a high school classmate who claimed that Fields acted “like a kid at Disney World” during a trip to a concentration camp.
Attempts have been made to link a mass shooter, Connor Betts, to antifascist actions. However, police said that Betts had no racial or political motive based on evidence uncovered during the investigation into the shooting.
In the original post, a post suggests “gender reveal parties have killed more people than antifa.” We found at least two gender reveal party-related deaths between 2017 and 2019, and several other calamities. We were unable to locate any deaths caused directly by antifascist protesters, and as such, the claim is true.