This post will be updated periodically.
We most strongly condemn the damaging of telecommunications infrastructure. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of criminal behavior, for whatever reason.
If towers are damaged emergency communications can be disrupted, endangering the lives of those needing critical care. It makes the work of the emergency services so much harder. We have a lot of respect for those working in emergency services as they put their lives at risk, daily, on behalf of everyone else during this pandemic.
If communications are disrupted those in hospital wards cannot be in contact with their loved ones.
Telecommunication workers have been threatened, one had a brick thrown at him, and verbally abused. A worker was spat at and consequently had to go into coronavirus quarantine. They were just doing their job.
Questions remain about the causes of these fires and who the culprits are.
A. Could some of these fires be explained by electrical malfunction or overheating?
The NZ Herald reports that police have confirmed, in a preliminary finding, that an April 9 transmission tower fire in Porirua was caused by a fault.
Historic examples of Cell Tower Fires and Collapsing Towers
In April last year a beautiful old church was destroyed in South Africa. The church steeple housed cell tower antennas. We are not aware of the result of the forensic investigation into the cause of the fire.
Note that not all the masts under discussion below are 5G enabled.
Overheating: 5G heats up base stations https://www.emfsa.co.za/news/5g-heats-up-base-stations/
Could increased power consumption have played a role?
B. Anti-5G protesters
Australia May 2020 – 5G fires: Australian mobile companies work with police to prevent arson attacks. Police investigate whether fire at a telecommunications tower at Cranbourne West in Melbourne was suspicious. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/may/27/5g-fires-australian-mobile-companies-work-with-police-to-prevent-arson-attacks?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1590562892
While it’s not yet absolutely certain what motivated these specific attacks, the mayor of Liverpool said he had received threats after condemning the 5G/coronavirus theory, and the Irish News reported that in footage of the mast being set on fire voices could be heard saying “f**k 5G.” A minimum of 53 towers have been set ablaze across the UK. EE, a British mobile network operator warned that conspiracy theorists pose a “risk to human life”. and “these senseless crimes are creating unnecessary risk to human life, both to those that live in the areas being targeted and to the emergency services working to contain the situation.”
Some reports suggest that over 60 masts have been damaged in the UK.
A mast providing mobile connectivity to the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham was also damaged.
Firefighters were forced to evacuate properties in Dagenham, Essex, in the early hours after a mast was set ablaze. Two 19-year-old men and an 18-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of arson. Enquiries into the cause are ongoing
In north Donegal, Ireland two masts were set alight. Investigators found pieces of coal near both masts, which provide 3G and 4G internet coverage to nearby Letterkenny Hospital.
May 2020: Derby 5G mast burned in suspected arson attack https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/live-updates-5g-mast-burned-4160977
8 June 2020, Coronavirus: Man jailed for 5G phone mast arson attack. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-52966950?fbclid=IwAR2-UPfs3MdANQOGYLxrEws6Aa4ufnUZEtelXAFy2N4UqXFeLqjaYQUDTrs Three years in prison for man who set fire to phone mast after researching 5G coronavirus theories https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/three-years-prison-man-who-18381653
Towers were damaged in Rotterdam, Liessel, Beesd and Nuenen, where a phrase cursing 5G was sprayed on the transmission box of one of the Dutch towers, which is eerily reminiscent of the same phrase yelled in a video depicting the burning of one of the U.K. towers. In addition, two towers were damaged in Almere – neither of the towers were 5G enabled, one tower was designed only for use by the emergency services. Authorities are blaming the vandalism on the coronavirus/5G conspiracy theory.
The Dutch group Stop 5GNL has issued a formal statement, distancing themselves from acts of violence and destruction. https://www.ed.nl/kempen/stop-5gnl-neemt-afstand-van-sabotage-zendmasten~ae373ac8/?fbclid=IwAR0Mj9EJD_ZpG1ifTsG6C_7AQ2VXTVl11KywsYjP74ryKCjCLRduuIOUjk4
April 28, 2020: 22nd incident in the Netherlands since April 3rd. The police released multiple videos, showing suspects in various fires, resulting in two arrests. https://nltimes.nl/2020/04/28/police-investigating-22nd-transmission-mast-fire-one-flevoland-town
A cell tower was set alight in the town of Pelt, which is close to the Dutch border. The fence around the radio mast has been damaged and the mast itself has been “significantly damaged” by the fire. The transmission mast hosted equipment from Proximus and Telenet. The Belgian police cannot yet say whether the arson of the radio mast in Pelt and the incidents in the Netherlands have anything to do with each other. The affected transmission tower in Belgium does not use 5G technology.
Police said they were investigating arson in connection with an antenna burning on the roof of a Limassol building in Agios Antonios. The antenna in question was installed 20 years ago. Local media also speculated that the perpetrators may have been individuals who oppose the installation of a 5G network in the Republic of Cyprus and they simply went against the wrong target.
(Auto-translated and edited) The Municipality of Bibinje announced the senseless destruction of Wi-Fi equipment, funded by the EU project Wifi4EU. In February, the municipality installed wireless Internet signal transmission equipment at several locations in the site. But with the spread of misinformation that “the Municipality of Bibinje secretly and at night installed 5G signal equipment“, there was an act of vandalism. Equipment installed at the Crljenica Sports Center has been partially destroyed.
⁃February 2020: A spokesperson for the Memphis Fire Department said fires at four different cell towers were found to be intentionally set.
⁃May 2020: The Departmenf Of Homeland Security is reportedly issuing alerts to wireless telecom providers and law enforcement agencies about potential attacks on cell towers and telecommunications workers.
The DHS warned that there have already been “arson and physical attacks against cell towers in several US states.” The DHS alert will include “advice on ways to reduce the risk of attack, including installing appropriate sensing and barriers, cyber-intrusion detection systems, closed-circuit television and monitoring drone activity near towers,”. The DHS report also warned of possible attacks against the electric grid. https://www.wired.com/story/the-dhs-prepares-for-attacks-fueled-by-5g-conspiracy-theories/
12 June 2020, Coronavirus: Technicians held in Peru over false 5G Covid links https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-53021239
3 May 2020, North Ossetia: In Nogir, a settlement north of Vladikavkaz, residents has been left without cellular service after a cell tower was burned down by residents who feared 5G technology. https://oc-media.org/a-cellular-mast-burns-in-north-ossetia-over-5g-technology-fears/
March 7th, 2020: Last Friday in Laval, Quebec, a cellphone tower went up in flames. The blaze forced 20 people who lived nearby to evacuate. Three days later, two other cellphone towers in nearby towns were lit on fire within 20 minutes of each other, and the following day, another tower in Laval was set ablaze. Early Thursday morning, two more towers caught fire, this time in St-Jerome and Blainville. Quebec police arrested a man and woman in a nearby town but have not laid charges. “(The couple) is linked to the fires of the cell towers that occurred in the last days,” tweeted Quebec Provincial Police (in French). “They will be questioned.” https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/g5px8x/5g-conspiracy-theory-coronavirus-cell-tower-fires-canada
May 29th, 2020. Another 5G mast in Poland destroyed. The perpetrators are facing up to 5 years in prison. There are many opponents of the 5G network and acts of vandalism also occur in Poland. Another mast that was destroyed in the country is the one located in Sielec. A 35-year-old inhabitant of Chełm damaged the tower structure. The police took care of the matter and the accused is facing up to 5 years imprisonment. There was also an act of vandalism in Lodz. https://www.komputerswiat.pl/aktualnosci/sprzet/kolejny-maszt-5g-w-polsce-zniszczony-sprawcy-grozi-do-5-lat-wiezienia/9hpgbsq?utm_source=www.komputerswiat.pl_viasg_komputerswiat&utm_medium=referal&utm_campaign=leo_automatic&srcc=ucs&utm_v=2
C. Racial Motivation
Nazi and Chinese flags were hoisted atop a phone tower in regional Victoria. Kyabram locals have condemned it as racially motivated. It is the second instance of a Nazi flag being flown in plain sight in rural Victoria this year. Dr Dvir Abramovich, of the Anti-Defamation Commission, called the act “disgusting”. He added: “It is chilling to think that in Australia in 2020, there are individuals with dangerous hatred in their hearts, walking our streets, who openly celebrate Hitler’s satanic ideology.”
Anti-5G conspiracy theories linked to far-right antisemitism:
“People seeking out information on the 5G controversy in Facebook groups will soon find themselves exposed to any number of alternative conspiracy theories, many only tangentially related to 5G,” researcher Gregory Davis says. “Many of these theories are implicitly or explicitly anti-Semitic, with the rollout of 5G and many other alleged crimes being laid at the feet of prominent Jewish individuals or organisations.”
D. Covert state-backed campaigns
Some experts have pointed to overt propaganda efforts by Russian state media to push such narratives. A recent YouTube video published by RT suggested that children playing near 5G cell towers could suffer cancer, nose bleeds and learning disabilities. Other researchers have raised the possibility of covert state-backed campaigns. None of the social media platforms have announced concrete evidence of clandestine foreign operations focused on the topic.
European law enforcement officials are being pulled off terrorism cases in order to investigate arson attacks against 5G cellphone towers. “We have also seen a great expansion into pushing this narrative by social media troublemakers and bot networks controlled by state actors such as Russia, Iran and others.”
Bloomberg also reported that the social media campaign that promotes a COVID-19/5G connection is possibly driven by a state actor or other malicious group using fake accounts and fake posts.
Former Vodafone executive’ in 5G conspiracy video is UK pastor
The Guardian has revealed that the voice on the tape making the baseless claims is an evangelical pastor from Luton who recently tried to convince Zimbabweans to use cryptocurrency in their economy.
Vodafone insiders told the Guardian that while James had worked for the company, he was hired for a sales position in 2014 at a time when 5G was not a priority for the company and was unlikely to be in his remit. They said he ultimately left Vodafone after less than a year. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/24/vodafone-exec-5g-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-video-revealed-pastor-luton-jonathon-james?fbclid=IwAR3dXX5G9clq-xj-AeMwzKtYntkaDtq34Q13tj5ru9YEUInf0WjHryMpqVo
France: Posted on 03/20/21-One year in prison for setting fire to telecoms installations
(Auto-translated from French)
A 52-year-old man was sentenced Friday afternoon in Valence to three years’ imprisonment, two of which were suspended, for having set fire to the facilities of the operator Orange in the Drôme at the beginning of the year. The man, is a “fierce opponent” to all that is “antennas, microwave relays, radio wave emissions”… https://www.20minutes.fr/justice/3003067-20210320-drome-an-prison-incendie-installations-telecoms
Advice to administrators of facebook pages:
There are individuals that deliberately post inflammatory comments under a post, promoting the burning or damaging of towers. The aim is to get the comments reported, resulting in the removal of the facebook page. Administrators need to keep a close eye on their pages.