Misleading: Albanians carried a rafting boat in London on Remembrance Day to mock the United Kingdom.

By: Rahul Adhikari
November 20 2022

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Misleading: Albanians carried a rafting boat in London on Remembrance Day to mock the United Kingdom.


The Verdict Misleading

A video of a symbolic protest held in Tirana, Albania, has been misattributed to the protests held in London by Albanians.

Claim ID 89fac400


Millions of people in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries observed Remembrance Day on November 11, commemorating armed forces members who have died in conflicts since the onset of World War I. A post on Facebook made two claims regarding the commemoration ceremonies in London held earlier this month. First, the post claimed that Albanians draped their flag over the statue of former British prime minister Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, London, during the Remembrance Day weekend. Second, the post claimed that the accompanying video showed Albanians carrying a rafting boat/dinghy on the streets of London "in open mockery" during the same weekend. The same caption and video were shared in other posts by multiple users on the social media platforms. Many users commented with anti-immigrant statements on these posts.

Although a group of Albanian protestors draped their flag over a Churchill statue in London on November 12, the event was not connected to the video of the men marching with a raft, which was actually from a protest in Tirana, Albania.

 In Fact

On November 12, thousands of Albanians gathered in central London to protest U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman's comments terming Albanian immigrants "criminals." The protests were covered by several media organizations, including Sky News. 

 Many photos and videos of the protests were also shared on social media, in some of which an Albanian flag can be seen draped over the pedestal of Winston Churchill's statue in Parliament Square. This incident was reported in several U.K. news publications. The London protest, however, did not witness Albanians marching with a dinghy with their country's flag.  

 A reverse image search of screenshots from the video of the men carrying a black dinghy revealed that the event did not take place in London. One clip from the incident captured from a different angle was found on the Albania-based CNN-affiliated news organization A2 News' YouTube channel. In the video, a group of men can be seen carrying a black dinghy with the Albanian flag mounted in the front and the U.K. flag on the other side, just like in the video shared on Facebook. By comparing the faces of the protestors and the clothes worn by them, it becomes clear that the two videos were taken at the same event.

 According to the video description on YouTube, opposition party supporters held a protest in Tirana, the capital of Albania, against the government over the ongoing price hike issue in the country. The protestors carried a rafting boat with an Albanian and a U.K. flag as a symbol of the crisis of Albanian immigrants who cross the English Channel to arrive in the U.K. Banners pointing arrows at Prime Minister Edi Rama were also seen in the protest.

 We found more visuals of the protest seen in the viral video in an article by the Albanian media outlet Vox News. The same protestors carrying the dinghy can be seen in the photographs shared in the article. Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters had hit the street in Tirana on November 12 as the cost-of-living crisis rose in the country, blaming it on the policies of the ruling center-left government, the Associated Press reported. Food and fuel prices have increased by 8 percent following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

 The opposition blames the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama for not just the current crisis but the existing economic situation, which already sees thousands of youngsters leave the country to seek better opportunities. 

 The Verdict

A video of a symbolic protest against the Albanian government in Tirana was falsely shared with the claim that Albanians mocked the United Kingdom in London. Protesters carried a rafting boat with a U.K. flag and an Albanian flag in Tirana on November 12 to highlight the immigration crisis in their country. Although Albanian immigrants staged a protest in London the same day, during which an Albanian flag was draped over the Churchill statue in Parliament Square, there was no connection between the two protests, which took place in entirely different locations. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before