QAnon conspiracy theorists find kinship on the Tampa Riverwalk

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The battle to save and resurrect America set up along the Tampa Riverwalk on a hot winter Saturday, a dim corner of the internet come alive in red hats.

In the headlines that day were a downed Ukrainian jet, more tension with Iran, impeachment papers — a fresh installment of the news onslaught that never seems to stop. Here, believers had an explanation for all of it. They wore shirts that said THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM and WE ARE THE NEWS NOW. They unfolded camp chairs to listen to speakers who claimed a deeper understanding of the world, one where nothing is random.

“This is the Great Awakening,” said one of the headliners to the buoyant crowd, “and it is unfolding exactly as it should, make no mistake about that.”

It was just after 3 p.m., with a light breeze ruffling the riverside trees and skyscrapers magnifying the sun. The Pirate Water Taxi, flying the stars and stripes, came in to dock….

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