TREE OF LIBERTY WEBSITE IS NOW ‘RICKROLL’ SITE
After a national group named the Dimond Center mall in South Anchorage as a site for an armed-but-peaceful protest on Sunday, the mall owners have decided to close the mall and parking lot for the entire day.
Hugh Ashlock said that keeping people safe is the highest priority, and he’s taking no chances in the days leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
“We appreciate the public’s patience, and the outpouring of local support from our customers. People are calling us and saying thank you,” he said.
That doesn’t mean it’s painless — businesses in Anchorage have been crushed by the municipality’s emergency orders that have crushed the economy in Anchorage. Businesses in the Dimond Center, the state’s largest mall, have suffered severe economic impacts from the mayor’s directives.
The news of the event came from a now-disappeared website, “Tree of Liberty,” associated with an anti-government group called the Boogaloo movement, considered advocates of a second civil war in America. The group was reportedly involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The website address is now a “rickroll” site that redirects people to a YouTube channel song of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Rickrolling is a longstanding internet joke.
The original website was shut down by the company that hosted it in Canada, after CBC News revealed that the servers were located in Montreal.
Some have offered the theory that the Dimond Center was chosen in confusion, and that the real location is at the Dimond Courthouse, across from the State Capitol in Juneau. Few consider that credible and law enforcement sources say that there’s no evidence for that theory.
“We’re not making a political statement, but the Dimond Center is a private, family-owned business and is not an appropriate venue for an event such as this,” said Bob Dye, Dimond Center General Manager. “We suggest that a traditional venue like the Park Strip is more appropriate for this rally.”
Dye says the Dimond Center is coordinating with local and federal law enforcement to ensure the event does not take place there and that the property is protected.