The Rise of the Left’s Violent, Fascist Antifa
Its destruction is incompatible with a society governed by the rule of law.
The group says it wants to stop “fascists.” Antifa “is any group that’s willing to stand up against fascists by any means necessary,” said one activist interviewed by CNN.
This includes the white supremacists and neo-Nazis it calls the “alt-right,” but the group also directs its violence at conservatives. In fact Antifa’s enemy is really anyone who is not left wing. They want “to take on government and capitalism” as well as the alt-right, said CNN’s reporter.
Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson being attacked by Antifa at a rally in Berkeley:
First he catches a slap in the head, then someone gashes him with something in his ribs. He keeps his hands up, as though that will save him, while he keeps getting dragged backwards by his shirt, Tiny trying to pull him away from the bloodthirsty ninjas. Someone crashes a flagpole smack on Joey’s head, which will leave a welt so big that Tiny later calls him “the Unicorn.”
Not wishing to turn his back on the crowd, a half-speed backwards chase ensues, as Joey and Tiny are blasted with shots of bear spray and pepper spray. They hurdle a jersey barrier, crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Way while antifa continue throwing bottles at them.
The mob stalks Joey and Tiny all the way to an Alameda County police line. … No arrests are made. Except for Joey and Tiny, who are cuffed.
For example, Joey Gibson, the half-Japanese organizer of Patriot Prayer rallies. Although he preaches “freedom, spirituality, unity, peace, and patriotism,” Antifa has attacked him many times and vandalized his car. It threatens his rallies with violence.
Fascist, alt-right? No. Patriot Prayer’s leadership and most of its speakers are nonwhite. They denounce white supremacists. The group recently posted a call to prayer on Facebook that went: “Praying Via Facebook live at 8pm in 5 min. Atheist, christian, gay, straight, conservative, or liberal- forget your labels and come help free Portland.”
Black Bloc Violent Anarchists
Antifa activists often dress head to toe in black, masking their faces. This is known as Black Bloc. They do this to hide their faces from the police in order to evade arrest.
Scott Crow, a longtime Antifa organizer, says the masks give them the ability “to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not.” Some already have criminal records and don’t want the police to recognize them. Others don’t want to be recognized since they are paid protesters who travel around the country showing up at protests and rallies.
Antifa’s “by any means necessary” includes extreme violence. Antifa says it can use violence to “stop hatred.” Crow admits,”I’ve drawn guns on fascists.” He justifies violence by saying, “Don’t confuse legality and morality.”
Last year in June at a Trump rally in San Jose, Antifa punched and threw eggs at people leaving a Trump rally. An editor of the Antifa website It’s Going Down told Vice that violence is “fun.” Activists train together in martial arts classes. They carry clubs and sticks.
The destruction of other people’s property is a major Antifa tactic. One Antifa member told CNN, “There’s no such thing as violence against windows.” Last February in Berkeley, Antifa smashed windows and threw Molotov cocktails, starting fires.
Antifa claims its name stands for anti-fascism, but some believe it is really Orwellian named.
Antifa Squelches Free Speech
In response to a white supremacist rally in Sacramento in June 2016, Antifa activists planning a counter-event declared, “No Free Speech for Fascists! … Their rally must be stopped by any means necessary.” Sure enough, they violently attacked the white supremacists at the rally, carrying “Stand Against Hate” signs. They told CNN their goal is “peace and inclusivity.”
Antifa has forced the cancellation of several conservative events. It got the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in Portland, Oregon shut down in April. The group threatened to “rush into the parade” and “drag and push” those marching with the GOP. On August 27, Antifa beat unarmed conservatives who showed up to a canceled “Say No To Marxism” rally in Berkeley.
Antifa violently protested Trump’s inauguration. The Trump administration is now looking into websites that recruited them.
Charlottesville Brings Antifa to Prominence
Police allowed Antifa to face off against a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville last month. Homeland Security alerted officials in advance that “an escalating series of clashes had created a powder keg that would likely make the event ‘among the most violent to date’ between white supremacists and anarchists.”
Yet the police failed to show up in riot gear. They sent a small number of officers to handle the rally. At times, they failed to separate the clashing sides. At one point, police led the neo-Nazis straight into a group of Antifa.
The violent clashes resulted in the death of a young woman. A neo-Nazi ran his car into a group of protesters, running her over. The Charlottesville City Council has demanded that the city manager provide an explanation for the “apparent unwillingness of officers to directly intervene during overt assaults captured in many videos.”
An Escalating Problem
The left is starting to adopt the “radical ideals” promoted by the group.
Antifa’s dangerous tactics are becoming mainstream. Antifa organizer Scott says the left is starting to adopt the “radical ideals” promoted by the group. They’ve made inroads into the “disenfranchised peaceful progressive movement.” An organizer of the website It’s Going Down, a newsblog for Antifa, observed, “There’s a crisis among the left, and they’re looking for alternatives outside of party structures. The anarchist movement is one that’s working outside structures. … People are excited about that.”
Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham recommends labeling Antifa a terrorist organization. State legislatures around the country are passing laws prohibiting masks during gatherings. Antifa shows no signs of slowing down. The group describes itself as anarchists. Its destruction is incompatible with a society governed by the rule of law.
A Mirror Image
For a group set up to oppose “fascists,” Antifa has failed to offer any alternative. Its anarchism justifies violent protest that’a nearly a mirror image of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis it opposes. As conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza writes, “The so-called ‘antifascist’ movement in America today bears a strange resemblance to the very fascism it purports to combat.”
Like the original fascists in Italy and then Germany, Antifa hates the idea of free speech for others. The Atlantic observes, “Antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not.”
D’Souza writes: “When we see masked Antifa protesters in black, carrying weapons, disrupting public events and blocking speakers from campus, this looks more like fascism than its opposite.” All they do is strengthen the alt-right and make more people sympathize with it. Maybe that’s the point.
Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC.
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