Archive for the ‘Antifa’ Category

Dartmouth Professor Defends Antifa Violence [VIDEO] – The Daily Caller

Dartmouth College professor Mark Bray defended the violence used by left-wing Antifa groups, arguing that they need to preemptively strike to avoid the rise of white nationalists.

Host Chuck Todd brought Bray and the Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen back onto Meet the Press Sunday to debate whether Antifas violent tactics are acceptable. Todd previously had Bray and Cohen on his show Wednesday night wherein Bray revealed that he supports responding to extreme right groups with violence. (RELATED:MSNBC: Should The Far-Right Be Confronted With Force?)

Considering someone died in Charlottesville, why do you defend confronting in a violent way? Todd asked Bray on Sunday.

Bray argued that violence is necessary to stop white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups from getting too normalized or powerful, framing the issue as one of self-defense.

A lot of people are under attack, Bray said, and sometimes they need to be able to defend themselves. Its a privileged position to say you never have to defend yourself from these monsters.

Cohen quickly chimed in that protesting with violence is not an issue of self-defense.

No one is saying that if youre slugged in the face you have to sit there and take it, Cohen said. The question here is, when white nationalists want to walk down the street, should people stop them? Thats a very different issue.

I think its a spectacularly bad idea, Cohen argued, to give one group the right to silence another group of people. Its contrary to our values embodied in the First Amendment.

Fascism cannot be defeated by speech, Bray asserted, contending that Antifa needs to strike now to prevent the proliferation of neo-Nazis.

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Dartmouth Professor Defends Antifa Violence [VIDEO] – The Daily Caller

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WATCH: Former Neo-Nazi Recruiter, Antifa Organizer Talk Extremism – Fox News Insider

‘I Knew The Original Nazis’: Arnold Tells Trump to Fully Reject White Supremacists

‘This Is Simply Too Far’: Trish Regan Confronts Dem Guest Over Anti-Trump Rhetoric

A former skinhead leader and an anarchist who formerly organized Antifa activities came together to explain how and why their movements operate.

Scott Crow, a former Antifa organizer, said he became involved in the movement after he witnessed white supremacists factions on the rise in Dallas, Texas in the mid 1980s.

Crow said Antifa is not an established group, but more like a movement of like-minded individuals who come together when conditions are right.

He said that, like in Charlottesville, Va., Antifa saw white supremacists congregating and therefore showed up to counter-protest.

“Anybody who wants to stand up to white supremacists or stop communities of color from being attacked is Antifa,” he said. “It could be your mother.”

Former skinhead and neo-Nazi recruiter Frank Meeink said he went to marches in the early 1990s and held KKK-type banners.

He recalled being pelted with bottles and debris by Antifa demonstrators.

Crow said Antifa does not want to live with violence but must stand up when they see minorities and other people being oppressed.

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WATCH: Former Neo-Nazi Recruiter, Antifa Organizer Talk Extremism – Fox News Insider

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Antifa: A Look at the Anti-Fascist Movement Confronting White …

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Im Amy Goodman, with Juan Gonzlez.

JUAN GONZLEZ: President Trump is facing widespread criticism for his latest comments on the deadly white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Speaking at Trump Tower Tuesday, Trump said the violence was in part caused by what he called the “alt-left.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: OK, what about the “alt-left” that came charging atexcuse me. What about the “alt-left”? They came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Whatlet me ask you this: What about the fact they came chargingthat they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as Im concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute, Im not finished. Im not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.

REPORTER: Mr. President, are you putting what youre calling the “alt-left” and white supremacists on the same moral plane?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Im not putting anybody on a moral plane. What Im saying is this: You had a group on one side, and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious, and it was horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this sideyou can call them the left, youve just called them the leftthat came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but thats the way it is.

AMY GOODMAN: President Trumps comments were widely decried. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted, “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes,” unquote. Earlier this week, Cornel West appeared on Democracy Now!. He painted a very different picture of Charlottesville than President Trump, saying anarchists and anti-fascists saved his life.

CORNEL WEST: Absolutely. You had a number of the courageous students, of all colors, at the University of Virginia who were protesting against the neofascists themselves. The neofascists had their own ammunition. And this is very important to keep in mind, because the police, for the most part, pulled back. The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists who approached, over 300, 350 anti-fascists. We just had 20. And were singing “This Little light of Mine,” you know what I mean? So that the

AMY GOODMAN: “Antifa” meaning anti-fascist.

CORNEL WEST: The anti-fascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and Ill never forget that.

AMY GOODMAN: To look more at the anti-fascist movement, known as antifa, were joined by Mark Bray, lecturer at Dartmouth College. His new book, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

First, pronounce it for us, Mark, and then talk about antifa.

MARK BRAY: Yes, well, its pronounced on-tee-fah. The emphasis is on the first syllable, and its pronounced more on than an, so on-tee-fah. Its commonly mispronounced. But antifa, of course, is short for anti-fascist.

And, you know, President Trumps comments that the altquote-unquote, “alt-left” and alt-right are equivalent moral forces is really historically misinformed and morally bankrupt. The anti-fascist movement has a global history that stretches back overabout a century. You can trace them to Italian opposition to Mussolinis Blackshirts, German opposition to Hitlers Brownshirts, anti-fascists from around the world who had traveled to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. More recently, modern antifa can largely trace its roots to the anti-fascist movement in Britain in the 70s, and the postwar period more generally, that was responding to a xenophobic backlash against predominantly Caribbean and South Asian migration, also to the German autonomous movement of the 80s, which, really, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, had to respond to a really unprecedented neo-Nazi waveunprecedented in the postwar period, of course.

And then, in the United States, we can look at anti-racist action in the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, which took some of these methods of confronting neo-Nazis and fascists wherever they assemble, shutting down their organizing and, as they said, going where they go. Today, in an article I wrote for The Washington Post called “Who are the antifa?” I explain this and show how todays antifa in the United States are really picking up the tradition where these groups left off. And their movement has really accelerated with the unfortunate ascendance of the alt-right following President Trump.

The other minor note I want to make before we continue is that antifa is really only one faction of a larger movement against white supremacy that dates back centuries and includes a whole numberthere are a whole number of groups that fight against similar foes, sometimes using the same methods, that arent necessarily anti-fascists. So, its important not to subsume the entire anti-racist movement within this sort of one category.

JUAN GONZLEZ: And, Mark Bray, in your bookand I want to quote a few lines from ityou say, “Most people have an ‘all-or-nothing’ understanding of fascism that prevents them from taking fascists seriously until they seize power. … Very few really believe that there is any serious chance of a fascistic regime ever materializing in America.” And Im wondering about that and the importance of understanding that concept of yours, for those who are looking at whats happening today in America.

MARK BRAY: Right. So, the way people understand fascism, or the way theyve been taught about it, is generally exclusively in terms of regimes. So, the thought goes, as long as we have parliamentary government, were safe. But we can look back to the historical examples of Italy and Germany and see that, unfortunately, parliamentary government was insufficient to prevent the stopto prevent the rise of fascism and Nazism, and actually provided a red carpet to their advance. So, because of that reason, people think of fascism in terms of all or nothing, regime or nothing.

But we can see in Charlottesville that any amount of neo-Nazi organizing, any amount of a fascist presence, is potentially fatal. And, unfortunately, Heather Heyer paid the price for that. So thats partly why anti-fascists argue that fascism must be nipped in the bud from the beginning, that any kind of organizing needs to be confronted and responded to. Even if, you know, people are spending most of their time on Twitter making jokes, its still very serious and needs to be confronted.

AMY GOODMAN: Can youcan you talk aboutI mean, very interesting, during the South Carolina protests against the white supremacists, there were flags of Republicans in Spain fighting Franco.

MARK BRAY: Right. So, one of the most iconic moments in anti-fascist history is the Spanish Civil War, and, from an international perspective, the role of the International Brigades, brave anti-fascists who came from dozens of countries around the world to stand up to Francos forces. Franco had the institutional support of Nazi Germany and Mussolinis Italy, whereas the Republican side really only had support of the Soviet Union, which, as I discuss in my book, had a lot of problematic aspects to it. So, if we look at the role of the International Brigades, we can see that anti-fascists view their struggle as transnational and transhistorical. And so, today, if you go to an anti-fascist demonstration in Spain, for example, the flag of the International Brigades, the flag of the Spanish Republic is ubiquitous. And these symbols, even the double flags of anti-fascism that people will frequently see at demonstrations, often one being red, one being black, was originally developed as a German symbol, which, in its earliest incarnation, dates back to the 1930s. So, its important to look at antifa not just as sort of a random thought experiment that some crazy kids came up with to respond to the far right, but rather a tradition that dates back a century.

JUAN GONZLEZ: You also talk, in your examples, of other countries, not only the period of the 1930s and 40s, but more recent periods, in England in the 80s, and in Greece, as well, even more recently, and the importance of direct action by anti-fascists to nip in the bud or to beat back the rise of fascist movements.

MARK BRAY: Right. So, part of what I try to do with my book, Antifa, is draw certain historical lessons from the early period of anti-fascist struggle that can be applied to the struggle today. One of them is that it doesnt take a lot of organized fascists to sometimes develop a really powerful movement. We can see that recently with the rise of Golden Dawn, the fascist party in Greece, which, prior to the financial crisis, was really a tiny micro-party and considered a joke by most. Subsequently, they became a major party in Greek politics and a major threat, a violent, deadly threat, to migrants and leftists and people of all stripes across Greek society. This was also true back in the early part of the 20th century, when Mussolinis initial fascist nucleus was a hundred people. When Hiller first attended his first meeting of the German Workers Party, which he later transformed into the Nazi Party, they had 54 members. So, we need to see that theres always a potential for small movements to become large.

And one of the other lessons of the beginning of the 20th century is that people did not take fascism and Nazism seriously until it was too late. That mistake will never be made again by anti-fascists, who will recognize that any manifestation of these politics is dangerous and needs to be confronted as if it could be the nucleus of some sort of deadly movement or regime of the future.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted you to talk, Mark Bray, about the presence of Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller in the White House and what that means to antifa, to the anti-fascist movement.

MARK BRAY: Right. Well, the other side of it is its not just about how many people are part of fascist or neo-Nazi groups. Its also about the fact that far-right politics have the ability to infiltrate and influence and direct mainstream politics. And we can see that with the alt-right. The alt-right is not really actually a lot of people in terms of numbers, but theyve had a disproportionate influence on the Trump administration and certain aspects of public discourse. So, the presence of Bannon and Gorka and Miller in the White House really just gives some sort of a hint as to why it is that Trump yesterday basically said there are good people on both sides of this conflict, that Friday night, when there were neo-Nazis wielding torches in Nazi style and they attacked nonviolent UVA student protesters, that he said, “Oh, well, you know, these are good people.”

So, part of it is the organized street presence, but, as we saw, by confronting the organized street presence in Charlottesville, this created the question of just how bad these people are, becauseyou played earlier, Mitt Romney condemned the fact that there could be blame ascribed to both sides. Well, prior to Charlottesville, that was the dominant media narrative. Most mainstream media was saying, “Oh, well, we have, quote-unquote, ‘violence’ on both sides. Hands up. Whos to say whos right or wrong?” But by confronting this, by putting it in the spotlight, by shining a light on what these people really think, its shifted the public discourse and pushed back the ability of some of these alt-right figures to try and cloak their fascism.

JUAN GONZLEZ: And what do you say, for instance, to those who maybe are opposed to the viewpoints of the white nationalists and white supremacists, but also attempt to condemn any attempts to shut themshut them down or not allow them to speak? Orand, obviously, the American Civil Liberties Union fought for the right of the Charlottesvillethe white nationalists to have their rally in Charlottesville.

MARK BRAY: Right. Well, the question of how to combat fascism, I think, always needs to come back to discussions of the 1930s and 1940s. So, clearly, we can see that rational discourse and debate was insufficient. Clearly, we can see that the mechanisms of parliamentary government were insufficient. We need to be able to come up with a way to say, “How can we make sure never again?” By any means necessary, this can never happen again. And the people back there who witnessed these atrocities committed themselves to that.

So the question is: OK, if you dont think that its appropriate to physically confront and to stand in front of neo-Nazis who are trying to organize for another genocide now, do you do it after someone has died, as they just did? Do you do it after a dozen people have died? Do you do it once theyre at the footsteps of power? At what point? At what point do you say, “Enough is enough,” and give up on the liberal notion that what we need to do is essentially create some sort of a regime of rights that allow neo-Nazis and their victims to coexist, quote-unquote, “peacefully,” and recognize that the neo-Nazis dont want that and that also the anti-fascists are right in not looking at it through that liberal lens, but rather seeing fascism not as an opinion that needs to be responded to respectfully, but as an enemy to humanity that needs to be stopped by any means necessary?

AMY GOODMAN: This is Part 1 of our conversation, Mark Bray. Well do Part 2 and post it online at democracynow.org. Mark Bray is the author of a book that is coming out in the next few weeks called Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. He is a lecturer at Dartmouth College.

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McCain, Romney, and Rubio Join the Republicans for Antifa …

McCain and Romney used almost identical language, bending their knees to the media narrative that only two factions were present in Charlottesville during the awful events of last weekend: white supremacist Nazis and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry.

Neither of these gentlemen can claim ignorance of Antifa; the reason both of them piped up is that President Donald Trump mentioned them in his Tuesday press conference. Left-wing politicians and media personalities responded by thundering there is only one side for all right-thinking Americans to be on, because there was only one squad of villains on the ground in Charlottesville.

McCain and Romney obediently bent the knee to this narrative. At the very least, theyre agreeing Antifa should be invisible, accepting the incredibly stupid idea that calling out their violence somehow dilutes criticism of the Tiki Torch Terror. Mentioning Antifa is damned under the lefts new doctrine of Whataboutism, which originally held that history began with the inauguration of President Trump and all prior Democrat sins were absolved, but has mutated into an unlimited free pass for the #Resistance to do whatever it takes to bring down the Trump administration without a peep of protest from tame Republicans.

Senator Marco Rubio went much, much further. He launched a brief tweetstorm that completely absolved Antifa of all responsibility for its actions in Charlottesville, blaming all violence one hundred percent on those who organized the events leading to the Charlottesville terrorist attack (the vehicular homicide perpetrated by James Alex Fields Jr.)

Most astoundingly, Rubio embraced the Crybully Creed, the left-wing fascist idea that hate speech justifies a violent response. Your speech is violence; their violence is speech. Yes, Rubio used exactly those words in his third tweet.

Rubios third tweet explicitly endorses violent responses to hate speech, but the last one is the money shot, as Rubio embraces the essence of Whataboutism and agrees with the media that left-wing thuggery is a fact on the Charlottesville ground that must be ignored if we are to properly condemn white nationalism.

McCain and Romney are politically irrelevant, but Rubio still has political ambitions. Imagine the priceless look of surprise on his face when he gets branded a Nazi because he favors pro-growth tax cuts, free-market reforms, or balks at allowing illegal aliens to vote. Hell be so astounded at the way hate speech is expanded to cover his policy positions, and how the next wave of Antifa thugs justifies a violent response.

In the highly unlikely event that a reporter asks McCain, Romney, or Rubio What about Antifa? they would probably mutter some boilerplate about how of course violence is not the answer. The problem is that their position implicitly accepts (explicitly, in Rubios case) that violence is at least somewhat understandable when it comes from the left. The core criticism of Trump is that he wasnt full-throated and unequivocal in condemning the Nazi wannabees, but the violence of groups like Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter never gets full-throated and unequivocal condemnation.

Democrat politicians are completely firewalled from left-wing violence. They are never expected to denounce lefty vandals, brutes, or assassins. Democrat officials routinely look the other way when left-wing thuggery is perpetrated in their precincts its a nationwide epidemic, with outbreaks nearly everywhere Democrats are in charge but somehow its the Republican Party that gets treated as uniquely susceptible to the contagion of extremism.

Every Republican politician jumping on the Only One Side bandwagon is endorsing the idea that his or her own constituents are so vulnerable to the siren song of white nationalism that allowing a little group of racist pinheads to congregate in a public place is unacceptably dangerous. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen of the GOP, your acceptance of this narrative will come back to haunt you, no matter how moderate and reasonable you imagine yourself to be.

Over at the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren argues that Trump had a duty to denounce specifically and unequivocally the white nationalists whose demonstration last weekend in Virginia became violent, even though Warren acknowledges there were left-wing counter-protesters who were also violent and antagonistic in Charlottesville.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other racist groups who marched through the University of Virginias campus and in Charlottesville last weekend did so because they have been empowered by the presidency of Donald Trump. Dont take my word for it. Look at the photos of those wearing Make America Great Again hats in Charlottesville. Listen to the words of arch-racist David Duke, who said his goal in attending the Charlottesville event was to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. Remember that one of the rallys organizers, chief alt-rightist Richard Spencer, once said his movement has a psychic connection with Trump. Scroll through the countless Twitter accounts with swastikas and racist memes posted in between or alongside statements of support for Trumps candidacy and presidency.

Given all this, Trump has a dutyas the president of the United States, as the head of a major political party, as a decent Americanto make clear that these people are mistaken, that white supremacists and neo-Nazis have nothing in common with Trumps agenda or his vision for the country. It does no good to say, in the same breath, that both sides are a part of the problem. The problem is that one side, the violent, racist side, believes they have an ally in the White House. And they have increasingly good reason to think that.

I dont know, Mr. Warren the violent left is looking awfully emboldened to me at the moment, and they seem firmly convinced they have powerful political allies in Washington, too. There are a lot more of them than there are white nationalists, and Antifa has a unique stranglehold on higher education. Have the Nazi wannabes been able to shut down any campus speeches yet, or dictate the content of university courses?

President Barack Obama couldnt bring himself to unequivocally condemn Islamic terrorism without bringing up the Crusades. Few Democrats can condemn Palestinian atrocities without cursing the Israeli government. Its a staple of left-wing discourse that all parties share the blame when arguments escalate into violence, most criminals should be seen as victims of society, and even violent extremists have legitimate grievances that must be explored. If unequivocal condemnation is coming back in style, the list of the condemned can reasonably begin with neo-Nazis, but it shouldnt end with them.

Also, if were holding Trump accountable for every unpleasant character who dons a MAGA hat, then why arent we holding Bernie Sanders accountable for the fervent supporter who tried to gun down half the Republican caucus at a baseball field? Democrats get to float serenely above the ugly words and deeds of their supporters, but Republicans are personally responsible for the actions of everyone who votes for them? Nuts to that. The time for double standards is over.

Double standards are one of the reasons Trump was elected. People who committed no crime are tired of being treated unfairly in the pursuit of cosmic social justice. Republicans are tired of watching Democrats skate for political offenses that would end any GOP career. Theyre tired of watching the left manipulate opinion with ugly rhetoric and lowest-common-denominator emotional appeals just a few weeks ago, Republicans were accused of attempted murder for trying to repeal Obamacare while every conservative with an ounce of passion is dismissed as a populist huckster.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the finest expressions of uncompromising principle in human history. In order to maintain that standard, we must protect speech and assembly rights for the unsavory, and then use free speech to demolish their toxic ideas. Professing allegiance to the First Amendment while authorizing vigilante gangs to shut down disapproved speech with the Hecklers Veto or clubs and broken bottles, when the Hecklers Veto doesnt get the job done is not good enough. The First Amendment doesnt cover hate speech is a much more dangerous, far more contagious fascist ideal than anything snarled over a tiki torch in Charlottesville.

Frankly, if you cant win an argument with a handful of Nazis without resorting to violence, you suck at freedom. If you cant damn the swastika without also cursing the hammer and sickle, you suck at history.

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Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists seek peace through … – CNN

The 19-year-old didn’t own much in black, the color he knew his fellow protesters would wear head to toe on the streets of Washington that day.

As Bhatt drove into the city for his first-ever protest, he hesitated.

“I thought, there’s a very good chance that I might get arrested, that my whole life could be radically altered in a negative way if I kept driving, and I was really close to turning around,” Bhatt told CNN. “But I think the rationale is that even if it did negatively affect my life, I had still contributed to this movement that was necessary. I was still making an effort to make other people’s lives better, even if it made my life worse, and once I realized that, I had no regrets.”

Bhatt joined protesters dressed completely in black, some with their faces covered by masks — a tactic known as “black bloc” that aims to unify demonstrators’ efforts and hide their identities.

And with them, Bhatt got arrested.

Antifa activists, who operate without any centralized leadership, told CNN that their goal is peace and inclusivity. They often denounce capitalism and government. Since Trump entered the world stage, they’ve condemned his push to tighten immigration rules and what some view as his tendency toward racism.

While Antifa members don’t fit a single category, they say many are millennials and many live on society’s fringes: undocumented immigrants, transgender people, low-wage workers, those who don’t conform to the traditional 9-to-5.

And their methods are often violent. Antifa leaders admit they’re willing to physically attack anyone who employs violence against them or who condones racism — as long as force is used in the name of eradicating hatred.

But their profile has been rising.

Antifa demonstrators have marched in more than a half dozen protests since Election Day in Portland, Oregon, according to police.

Indeed, over the past year, Antifa members have been involved in clashes across the country and the world, including in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Alabama and Nebraska, and at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Before that, he said, Antifa protesters were cheering in celebration for having disrupted the neo-Nazi message.

“We were marching down one of the streets, and energy was ecstatic,” Bhatt said. “We were marching and chanting and engaged in this huge act of solidarity. There was a moment I was at the front of this huge line of people, and we see this other huge group of people marching down another way, and when the two groups met, it felt like the entire city just erupted in cheers and roars.”

Antifa is impossible to track. It isn’t united through a national organization, and it cloaks itself in anonymity.

In speaking to Antifa leaders across the country, CNN found very few who would take off their masks. Indeed, it took months to track down members willing to share their stories.

Many are like Bhatt, a self-described government skeptic with liberal views who didn’t find mainstream politics a good fit for him.

So, he weighed his options.

“Before J20 (January 20, Inauguration Day) happened I was convinced I’d go to NASA or some university to research,” Bhatt said.

Now facing a criminal record, “I don’t know,” he said. “My efforts might be better suited by an organization that helps communities.”

The son of parents who immigrated from India, Bhatt is sure of one thing: He has no plans to stop protesting.

“There are people who were energized by Bernie (Sanders) that now are anarchists,” said an organizer of the website It’s Going Down, a newsblog for Antifa. “People are freaked out by a Trump regime, freaked out by the far-right. A lot of people saw neo-Nazi symbols. There’s a reason why people are becoming polarized. It’s real-life stuff that’s happening.”

“Obviously, Ann Coulter’s outrageous — to my mind, off the wall,” Sanders said. “But you know, people have a right to give their two cents’ worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”

The organizer of It’s Going Down said his website traffic has grown from a few hundred daily hits to between 10,000 and 40,000 hits on its best days.

“There’s a crisis among the left,” he said. “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.”

“There was a normalization of political violence which first started with regard to the Trump rallies,” Levin said.

For almost three decades, Scott Crow was part of the Antifa movement.

“I fought (against) Nazis. I’ve had death threats. I’ve had guns drawn on me. I’ve drawn guns on fascists. I’ve been in altercations. I’ve smoke-bombed places,” he said. “I’ve done a myriad of things to try and stop fascism and its flow over the years.”

Activists don black bloc, Crow said, as a means to an end.

“People put on the masks so that we can all become anonymous, right? And then, therefore, we are able to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not,” he said.

And that means avoiding police, whom many Antifa members see as an enemy, as well as skirting the scrutiny Antifa activists often get from alt-right trolls on the Internet. Black bloc, one member told us, also unites the movement.

“Even though it only takes one person to break a window, it doesn’t matter because the bloc moves together,” said a 26-year-old named Maura, who wouldn’t give her last name.

In New York’s Union Square on May Day, a masked member of the Antifa group Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council told CNN why he wore black bloc and waved a black flag.

“We cover our face because the Nazis will try to find out who we are. And that is a very bad thing because they harass people,” he said. “We’re trying to stop them from organizing. … When they organize, they kill people, they hurt people, they fight people. And we’re the ones who are fighting back.”

It’s a position taken by many Antifa activists: “This is self-defense.”

Antifa activists often don’t hesitate to destroy property, which many see as the incarnation of unfair wealth distribution.

“Violence against windows — there’s no such thing as violence against windows,” a masked Antifa member in Union Square told CNN. “Windows don’t have — they’re not persons. And even when they are persons, the people we fight back against, they are evil. They are the living embodiment, they are the second coming of Hitler.”

Crow explained the ideology this way: “Don’t confuse legality and morality. Laws are made of governments, not of men,” echoing the words of John Adams.

“Each of us breaks the law every day. It’s just that we make the conscious choice to do that,” he said.

Antifa members also sometimes launch attacks against people who aren’t physically attacking them. The movement, Crow said, sees alt-right hate speech as violent, and for that, its activists have opted to meet violence with violence.

Right or wrong, “that’s for history to decide,” he said.

But Levin argues the violence is giving ammunition to racists — and is anathema to the Antifa mission.

“It’s killing the cause — it’s not hurting it, it’s killing it, and it will kill it,” Levin said. “We’re ceding the moral high ground and ceding the spotlight to where it should be, which is shining the spotlight on the vile.”

Levin, who for decades has attended rallies at both extremes to study radical groups, said he put his own body between an Antifa member and a Klan member when Antifa protesters attacked with knives at a February 2016 a rally in Anaheim, California.

“No, it’s not OK to punch a Nazi,” Levin said. “If white nationalists are sophisticated at anything, it’s the ability to try to grasp some kind of moral high ground when they have no other opportunity, and that’s provided when they appear to be violently victimized. That’s the only moral thread that they can hang their hats on. And we’re stupid if we give them that opportunity.”

Nearly seven months after Trump’s election, police in Portland, Oregon, geared up for the 10th protest since Election Day pitting the alt-right and “hard left.”

On that day, June 4, police were coming off a violent May Day protest in which they watched Antifa activists run through the business district, destroying storefronts and setting fires.

Before the June event, “we saw on social media that there was a lot of threats being put back and forth that gave us a lot of concern about physical violence,” Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said.

Hoping to keep June 4 from becoming another May Day, police created a human barricade. Officers stood shoulder to shoulder between two city squares — one filled with alt-right groups, the other with Antifa activists.

After a few hours, it seemed peace had won the day. But then police caught whispers that Antifa members were planning to push past police into the alt-right rally square.

Officers moved in with rubber bullets, pepper spray and smoke bombs. They pushed the masked Antifa activists into a corner and detained them. Many shed their black clothing and left it on the streets as police decided whom to arrest.

“We did seize a large number of weapons or things that could be used as weapons,” Simpson said. “Everything from knives to brass knuckles to poles and sticks and bricks and bottles and road flares and chains. One hundred percent, they came geared up to fight if it would be allowed.”

Despite Portland’s liberal reputation, it has a history of clashes between extreme groups on the right and left. Residents have gotten fed up with the escalating violence, Simpson said.

“It is new, and this, like, this rumble mentality of, ‘I’m going to bring my friends, you’re going bring your friends, and we’re going to fight it out in the park’ — it’s not something we’ve seen here,” Simpson said. “It’s not good for the city. People are just frustrated by it. It’s affecting their livability. It’s affecting their business. It’s affecting their commute.”

Law enforcement in several cities told CNN there’s no excuse for the violence.

“The fires starting — that we saw on May Day — is something we haven’t really seen much of in the past,” Simpson said. “The running through the street, breaking windows and everything in sight, we haven’t seen it as consistently as we’ve seen it in the last eight months.”

In that time, more than 150 people have been arrested. They range in age from 14 to 66, police records show, and include several students, a cook, a franchise restaurant owner and a retail manager, a CNN review of arrestees’ social media accounts found.

On social media, many of the arrestees have posted anti-police messages and anarchist views. Some write that they feel disenfranchised in the current political climate, the CNN review found.

In Berkeley, Antifa and alt-right activists have clashed several times since Election Day. Police say they haven’t seen anything like this since the ’60s.

And in jurisdictions across the country, police told CNN they’ve started enforcing with new vigor laws that bar people from wearing masks during gatherings. For that reason, many Antifa members in Charlottesville did not wear masks, Bhatt said.

“It feels to me like there’s a struggle in the country … of the different kinds of speech and what’s OK to say and what’s not OK,” Simpson said. “But one thing is very clear is that free speech and protected speech can be very offensive and very hateful, but it’s still not a crime.”

With no central leader, Antifa adherents have found each other in local communities. They communicate and recruit largely through social media. Their protests are organized via Facebook.

And of late, in active areas, monthly meetings have increased in frequency to several times each week. Activists take martial arts classes together and strategize about how to achieve their main goal: taking down fascists.

In Portland, where the Rose City Antifa has been active for a decade, members focus on outing people they believe are neo-Nazis, even trying to get them fired and evicted from their homes.

“We’ve done mass mailings. We’ve even gone door to door before in communities,” said the group’s leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’ve gone out to areas that we know that a lot of Nazis live with, like, ‘wanted’ posters, like, ‘Do you have any information on this person?’ and put them up in the area, and we usually get a flurry of tips like, ‘Yeah, this person works here,’ and so on and so on.”

But like other Antifa groups across the country, the Portland sect gets the most attention when violence explodes at its rallies.

And for that, its members don’t apologize.

“You have to put your body in the way,” the group’s leader said, “and you have to make it speak in the language that they understand. And sometimes that is violence.”

It’s a perspective several Antifa activists shared with CNN, even knowing that violence has led to hundreds of arrests across the country.

CNN’s Majlie Kamp and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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Antifa and the ‘Alt-Left’: Everything You Need to Know – RollingStone.com

If you picked your jaw up off the floor just long enough to scratch your head and puzzle at what President Trump meant by the “alt-left” during his now infamous “Remarks on Infrastructure” meltdown on Tuesday, you’re not alone.

“OK, what about the alt-left,” he proffered, “what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?”

So, what about the alt-left? Does it exist, or is it another bullet-dipped-in-pigs-blood fairy tale of Trump’s imagination?

The word no doubt entered the president’s consciousness the same way all his wildest policy ideas, hopes, dreams and paranoid delusions do from tuning in to Fox.

Though it began as an insult within the left a way to further deride the far left and so-called “Bernie Bros” during and after November’s election the right has adopted the phrase, as well. Sean Hannity and other, fringier monsters of the far-right media ecosystem have been, for at least a year now, pushing the idea of the “alt-left” as some sort of answer to the charge that the “alt-right,” a very real political entity, has hijacked and poisoned the Republican party. The Washington Post best described it in 2016 as “The GOP’s response: I know what you are but what am I.”

But there is an actual active and growing group that Trump refers to. However, it’s incorrect to name-check it as the alt-left and it’s downright wrong to morally equivocate it with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist scum that stormed Charlottesville. But it does exist. Only it’s called “antifa,” short for anti-fascist, and it far predates Donald Trump.

First, a bit of history.

Anti-fascism originated in the years leading up to the second World War as a means to fight the spread of fascism across Europe, but in America the progenitors of what Trump would have you call the alt-left can be traced back to 1980s Minnesota. It was during this time that the group “Anti-Racist Action” sprung up around the Twin Cities to combat the rise of local Nazi skinheads. A.R.A., as the group became known, opened chapters across the U.S. and won some major victories against neo-Nazis in that pre-Internet eighties and nineties.

Underground, local punk scenes often served as the stage for these groups to do battle, but the scale and frequency with which they clashed was enough to seep into the popular culture throughout the decade. It ultimately culminated with 1998’s American History X,for which Edward Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as a reformed neo-Nazi skinhead.

These forerunners to what Trump and Hannity call the alt-left were so successful at banishing white supremacists back in to the shadows of society that, without a rallying cause, they dissipated in most places themselves.

“By the mid-2000s it started to peter out,” says Mark Bray, a visiting historian of political radicalism at Dartmouth and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, which comes out later this month. But now, thanks to white supremacists’ newfound confidence to step out in to public, the old A.R.A.-style groups have made a comeback, rebranded in the age of Trump.

“There’s come another wave of folks who started to use the antifa name instead of Anti-Racist Action, and a lot of those groups started to get going in 2011, 2012 and 2013,” says Bray.It was around this time that white supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term “alt-right.” The rise of that movement served as an accelerant for the nascent antifa groups to expand into what Trump refers to today.

“As someone who pays attention to what goes on with the far left in the U.S., [anti-facism has become] a focal point for politics that was not on the radar back when Occupy Wall Street was going on,” he says. “There were groups, but it wasn’t a focus on the left.”

There are hundreds, likely thousands of active Anti-fascists (or, “antifas,” as they are called) across the country, although it’s hard to pin down an exact number because their movement is so fragmentary and purposely decentralized. There is no Richard Spencer or Milo Yiannopolous equivalent within their movement and anonymity is perhaps their central tenet. Antifas organize in hyper-local crews of eight to twelve, which they call “affinity groups,” as a way to protect against being infiltrated. New York, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon, and Philly are known to be particularly active hubs.

This modern incarnation of Anti-fascism had become infamous earlier this year long before Trump’s Tuesday shout-out primarily for its use of the “black bloc” tactic, wherein multiple “affinity groups,” dressed head-to-toe in black converge upon a public demonstration where white supremacists are known to be. Black blocs exist to cause mayhem and are known to leave a trail of destruction and sometimes violence in their wake.

This destructive streak coupled with disregard for neo-Nazis’ right to free speech has not endeared these groups to the Democratic party in the way that much of the GOP has welcomed the so-called alt-right.

“They are illiberal,” says Bray. “They don’t believe in society as a value neutral public sphere where any kind of ideas can just float around.”

It’s this philosophy that justifies the chaos they’re capable of causing, perhaps most evidently on display the day of Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., when a black bloc materialized to wreck businesses, torch a limo and punch Richard Spencer in the face, giving us the hit heard ’round the Internet. Similar spats have since occurred wherever so-called alt-right figures like Yiannopolous or Spencer try to promote their hate-speech publicly. Berkeley has been one such frequented battleground, but showdowns in places such as Charlottesville and Pikeville, Kentucky, before that, prove that these groups on both the left and right and their radical ideas exist and operate not just in the youthful and idealistic petri-dishes of liberal-arts school campuses, but in towns and cities across the country.

Anti-fascists view the events that transpired in Virginia last week and the President’s subsequent remarks as a watershed moment in the fight against their seemingly ever-ascendant ideological nemisis. “On our side, it’s war,” says one Anti-fascist group leader who was present at Charlottesville and has participated in black bloc activity in cities up and down the East Coast since Trump’s election. “Expect greater support from average people. A lot of [normal people] and libs who would have told us to fuck off and stop being so upsetting are now crossing over into our side. We are seeing a new wave of membership coming in.”

Their ranks had already been swelling pre-Charlottesville, too. An anti-fascist who goes by James Anderson and is the administrator of the website It’s Going Down, which serves as both the chief news outlet and a digital town hall for antifa told me in an interview last spring that the rise in far right violence seen under Trump “has forced a lot of people on the left to actually look at anti-fascism and take it seriously.”

“This shit is real, it’s touching people’s lives, and there’s a very clear line being drawn by the Trump administration that it’s acceptable, permitted and part of the program,” he said at the time. And that was five months before Trump’s near-endorsement of neo-Nazi riffraff from his bigot pulpit this week.

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Noam Chomsky: ‘Self-Destructive’ Antifa Is ‘A Major Gift To The Right … – Townhall

What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was a tragedy. Last Saturday, White nationalists flooded the city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Far left Antifa (anti-fascists) protesters also showed up and skirmishes broke out. Scores of people were sent to the hospital. One woman was killed when a white nationalist plowed through a group of counter demonstrators, 19 others were injured as well. Thats what separates this incident. Yes, white nationalists and Antifa are violent thugs, but Antifa did not kill anyone last weekend. Donald Trumps remarks about the incident may have saved the far left from scrutiny with the media, but they will undoubtedly be back in the news. I dont think what Trump said was wrong; he blamed both sides for political violence. In generalyou cannot have a credible condemnation or discussion of toxic political rhetoric without slamming the far left. Again, with Charlottesville, a person died which changes the game. Nevertheless, CNNs Jake Tapper noted that reporters at Charlottesville were also assaulted by the far left.

Antifa is just as radical and violent. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg noted that these folks were just as hate-filled as the white nationalists who showed up, only to have the progressive Twitter mob force her to retract her previous tweets. That seems in keeping with the very ideology they claim they want to stomp out. The Washington Examiner spoke with linguist and political activist Noam Chomksy, who said the Antifa movement, is a gift to the right. He also said it was self-destructive.

The left-wing “Antifa” movement is rising in prominence after clashing with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., but one progressive scholar says the anti-fascists feed the fire they seek to extinguish.

“As for Antifa, it’s a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were,” Noam Chomsky told the Washington Examiner. “It’s a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant.”

Many activists affiliated with the loosely organized Antifa movement consider themselves anarchists or socialists. They often wear black and take measures to conceal their identity.

Chomsky said, “what they do is often wrong in principle like blocking talks and [the movement] is generally self-destructive.”

“When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it’s the toughest and most brutal who win and we know who that is,” said Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “That’s quite apart from the opportunity costs the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism.”

The violence in Charlottesville ended Saturday when an alleged white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of anti-racism activists, not all of whom were Antifa activists, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others. The driver has been charged with murder.

As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. In this case, it looks like conservatives could agree with Chomsky on something: Antifa is pretty terrible as well.

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The Fascists Were Using Antifa against Conservatives – National Review

You must love Antifa, ya cuck.

Will you also condemn Antifa, BLM, and radical Muslims? Im disappointed in you.

Its in reading these desperate social-media messages about violent left-wing protesters that I realized the true purpose of the tiki-torch ectomorph rally in Charlottesville. The Unite the Right rally had little to do with defending Confederate memorials, or any particular reading of southern history, however misguided. The designated speakers werent exactly kids who grew up learning how to give a rebel yell from Paw-Paw. Two of the billed speakers were anti-Semitic podcasters from New York; another fancies himself an American version of Frances NouvelleDroite. The Robert E. Lee statue was a MacGuffin or, rather, he was Antifa bait, and the college town that it happened to be in was just a place where Antifa could be expected to swim. The organizers dont want heritage, they wanted footage.

Really, what they wanted to do was to set a trap for conservatives. The explosive growth of Antifa during the 2016 campaign and since the election of Donald Trump has become a fixture in conservative media. Conservatives had warned that mainstream-media figures were summoning an awful thing into being by cheering on masked left-wingers who punched Nazis. Soon, anyone you wanted to punch would start looking like a Nazi.

Sure enough. Aggressive left-wing direct action started falling on conservative speakers on campus. And Antifa played the main role in shutting down speeches by Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter. Even if conservatives, of the type that wears loafers and bowties, had become used to holding Yiannopoulos and Coulter at arms length, the sight of left-wingers using violence and the threat of worse riots to shut them down caused some rallying effect.

The organizers of Unite the Right wanted to achieve the same thing for themselves. A spectacle would attract Antifa, who would predictably use violence. Some mainstream-media figures would endorse that violence, and some conservatives, they believed, would feel obliged to defend the ActualFascists because, hey, these left-wing mobs are attacking Americas legal and social norms of free speech. In other words, even if the assorted Jew-haters and fashy dorks cant persuade conservatives to adopt a no enemies to the right posture, perhaps Antifa would.

And then one of these MAGA-fascists rammed his Dodge muscle car into peaceful protesters, killing a woman.

That fact scuttled the rally organizers talking point that it was Antifa or poor policing that initiated and caused all the violence. And it prevented conservatives from venturing the both sides argument that so swiftly blew up in President Trumps face.

The murder of Heather Heyer was a revelation, and so too was the way that rally co-organizer Christopher Cantwell, met news of her death by sneering, The fact that nobody on our side died, Id go ahead and call that points for us. At the exact moment Richard Spencer and his friends successfully recaptured the alt-right label from the so-called alt-light Gamergaters and other populists, it became stained in blood.

Still, the problem Charlottesville presents for the larger alt-light is serious. There seemed to be a real upside to cultivating a reputation as the edgiest and most transgressive political movement going. Youre free of the pieties that come from longer-lived movements. You look authentic, even fresh. And your stock goes up. But theres an iron law at work here: As soon as anyone identifiably on the right gets the reward of attention for being transgressive, the Neo-Nazis swiftly show up, and the value of transgressive right-wing politics returns to its true value in America, near zero.

It was amusing to see Gavin McInnes disavow the fiasco in Charlottesville. McInnes has cultivated a gang-like aura among his all-male fraternal organization, the Proud Boys. He and his group had dropped out of the rally once he got the vibe that it was going to turn into a white power thing. I remember hearing William F. Buckley had to drum out the Nazis from National Review, and it didnt sound like a big deal, McInnes said in his recent video, But when you do it, you realize how tedious it is.

No kidding.

Most of the debate about Confederate monuments after Charlottesville has been a distraction. The rally organizers came prepared for violence, and they wanted it. They wanted footage of themselves getting punched and maced so that they could use conservative antipathy to Antifa to erode conservative antipathy to ActualFascists. Dont fall for it.

READ MORE: What Identity Politics Hath Wrought The Alt-Right Is Bad And So Is Antifa Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee?

Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior writer at National Review.

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‘Antifa’ Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right – New York Times

You need violence in order to protect nonviolence, Ms. Nauert added. Thats whats very obviously necessary right now. Its full-on war, basically.

Others on the left disagree, saying antifas methods harm the fight against right-wing extremism and have allowed Mr. Trump to argue that the two sides are equivalent. These critics point to the power of peaceful disobedience during the civil rights era, when mass marches and lunch-counter protests in the South slowly eroded the legal enshrinement of discrimination.

Were against violence, just straight up, said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups. If you want to protest racists and anti-Semites, it needs to be peacefully and hopefully somewhere away from where those guys are rallying.

Antifa adherents some armed with sticks and masked in bandannas played a visible role in the running street battles in Charlottesville, but it is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members of the movement. Its followers acknowledge it is secretive, without official leaders and organized into autonomous local cells. It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past several months to the fight the far right.

Driven by a range of political passions including anticapitalism, environmentalism, and gay and indigenous rights the diverse collection of anarchists, communists and socialists has found common cause in opposing right-wing extremists and white supremacists. In the fight against the far right, antifa has allied itself at times with local clergy, members of the Black Lives Matter movement and grass-roots social-justice activists. It has also supported niche groups like Black Bloc fighters, who scrapped with right-wing forces in Berkeley this year, and By Any Means Necessary, a coalition formed more than two decades ago to protest Californias ban on affirmative action for universities.

George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia who counts himself as both an antifa follower and a scholar of the movement, said it did not have a single origin story. The group has antecedents in Europe, especially Germany and Italy, where its early followers traded shots with Nazis in the 1930s and fought against Benito Mussolinis Blackshirts. Its more recent history has roots in the straight-edge punk rock music scene, the anti-globalization protests of the 1990s and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The closest thing antifa may have to a guiding principle is that ideologies it identifies as fascistic or based on a belief in genetic inferiority cannot be reasoned with and must be physically resisted. Its adherents express disdain for mainstream liberal politics, seeing it as inadequately muscular, and tend to fight the right though what they call direct actions rather than relying on government authorities.

When you look at this grave and dangerous threat and the violence it has already caused is it more dangerous to do nothing and tolerate it, or should we confront it? Frank Sabat said. Their existence itself is violent and dangerous, so I dont think using force or violence to oppose them is unethical.

Another antifa activist, Asha, 28, from Philadelphia, who also declined to give her full name, said that when people advocate for genocide and white supremacy, that is violence. She added, If we just stand back, we are allowing them to build a movement whose end goal is genocide.

In the days after the violent events in Charlottesville, some antifa members responded with an angry call to arms, saying they could not back down from what they described as the aggressors on the right, even if it meant an escalation into gunfights.

I hope we never get there, said a 29-year-old antifa anarchist from California who goes by the pseudonym Tony Hooligan. But we are willing to get there.

Not all antifa followers are as belligerent, nor are their tactics exclusively violent. When not attending what he called big mobilizations like the one in Charlottesville, Frank Sabat has done ordinary community organizing, advocating prison reform and distributing anarchist literature at punk rock shows. Others say they do the same in antifa strongholds like Philadelphia, the Bay Area of California and the Pacific Northwest.

The Berkeley campus has been a particular hotbed of antifa activity, and university officials have criticized the group. In February, black-clad protesters, some of whom identified themselves as antifa, smashed windows, threw gasoline bombs and broke into a campus building, causing $100,000 in damage.

The very notion of contesting ideas and perspectives with violence is antithetical to everything a university stands for, said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman.

One of antifas chief functions, members said, is to monitor right-wing and white supremacist websites like The Daily Stormer and to expose the extremist groups in dispatches on their own websites like ItsGoingDown.org. According to James Anderson, who helps run ItsGoingDown, interest in the site has spiked since the events in Charlottesville, with more than 4,000 followers added for a total of over 23,000.

But antifa is not some new sexy thing, Mr. Anderson added. He noted that some of those who had scuffled with those on the right at Mr. Trumps inauguration or at more recent events in New Orleans and Portland, Ore., were veterans of actions at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008, where hundreds of people were arrested, and at Occupy encampments in cities across the country.

Nonetheless, Mr. Anderson said, the far rights resurgence under Mr. Trump has created a fresh sense of urgency. Suddenly, he said, people are coming into your town with hate. It has to be confronted.

One of the most vivid examples of antifa violence occurred in January at Mr. Trumps inauguration, where a masked member of the movement punched the prominent white supremacist Richard B. Spencer (who was pepper-sprayed by an antifa activist in Charlottesville). That single blow started a national debate over whether it was morally justifiable to punch a Nazi.

Mr. Spencer, an avid opponent of the left, still drew distinctions among factions within the left-wing community.

Its important to differentiate antifa from liberals, he said. I dont think its an overstatement to say that antifa believes in whatever means necessary. They have a sadistic streak.

Other right-wing figures, like Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a so-called conservative fraternity of Western chauvinists, have said antifa has done itself no favors by assuming that its enemies all share the same views. Mr. McInnes was invited to Charlottesville but declined to go, he said, because of the presence of explicit white supremacists like Mr. Spencer.

In the past, antifa activists have engaged with people who were clearly something less than outright neo-Nazis, raising questions about who, if anyone, deserves to be punched and whether there is such a thing as legitimate political violence.

Like many of their opponents, some antifa members insist that they are merely reacting to pre-existing aggression.

The essence of their message is violence, Jed, an antifa organizer in New York who asked that his name not be used, said of his right-wing foes. The other side his side is just responding.

But Ms. Nauert said she believed that, now more than ever, physical confrontation would be needed.

In the end, she said, thats what its going to take because Nazis and white supremacists are not around to talk.

Thomas Fuller reported from Oakland, and Alan Feuer and Serge F. Kovaleski from New York. Caitlin Dickerson contributed reporting from New York, and Sonner Kehrt from Berkeley, Calif. Alain Delaqurire contributed research.

A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Left-Wing Faction Ready to Swing Its Fists at the Far Right.

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Dartmouth Professor Defends Antifa Violence [VIDEO] – The Daily Caller

Dartmouth College professor Mark Bray defended the violence used by left-wing Antifa groups, arguing that they need to preemptively strike to avoid the rise of white nationalists. Host Chuck Todd brought Bray and the Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen back onto Meet the Press Sunday to debate whether Antifas violent tactics are acceptable. Todd previously had Bray and Cohen on his show Wednesday night wherein Bray revealed that he supports responding to extreme right groups with violence. (RELATED:MSNBC: Should The Far-Right Be Confronted With Force?) Considering someone died in Charlottesville, why do you defend confronting in a violent way? Todd asked Bray on Sunday. Bray argued that violence is necessary to stop white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups from getting too normalized or powerful, framing the issue as one of self-defense. A lot of people are under attack, Bray said, and sometimes they need to be able to defend themselves. Its a privileged position to say you never have to defend yourself from these monsters. Cohen quickly chimed in that protesting with violence is not an issue of self-defense. No one is saying that if youre slugged in the face you have to sit there and take it, Cohen said. The question here is, when white nationalists want to walk down the street, should people stop them? Thats a very different issue. I think its a spectacularly bad idea, Cohen argued, to give one group the right to silence another group of people. Its contrary to our values embodied in the First Amendment. Fascism cannot be defeated by speech, Bray asserted, contending that Antifa needs to strike now to prevent the proliferation of neo-Nazis. WATCH: Follow Amber on Twitter

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WATCH: Former Neo-Nazi Recruiter, Antifa Organizer Talk Extremism – Fox News Insider

‘I Knew The Original Nazis’: Arnold Tells Trump to Fully Reject White Supremacists ‘This Is Simply Too Far’: Trish Regan Confronts Dem Guest Over Anti-Trump Rhetoric A former skinhead leader and an anarchist who formerly organized Antifa activities came together to explain how and why their movements operate. Scott Crow, a former Antifa organizer, said he became involved in the movement after he witnessed white supremacists factions on the rise in Dallas, Texas in the mid 1980s. Crow said Antifa is not an established group, but more like a movement of like-minded individuals who come together when conditions are right. He said that, like in Charlottesville, Va., Antifa saw white supremacists congregating and therefore showed up to counter-protest. “Anybody who wants to stand up to white supremacists or stop communities of color from being attacked is Antifa,” he said. “It could be your mother.” Former skinhead and neo-Nazi recruiter Frank Meeink said he went to marches in the early 1990s and held KKK-type banners. He recalled being pelted with bottles and debris by Antifa demonstrators. Crow said Antifa does not want to live with violence but must stand up when they see minorities and other people being oppressed. Watch more above. Krauthammer on Bannon Getting ‘Scaramucci-ed’: He ‘Machine-Gunned Everyone in the WH’ Shapiro: Bannon Will Return to Breitbart, ‘Smash’ Trump When He Disagrees

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Antifa: A Look at the Anti-Fascist Movement Confronting White …

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Im Amy Goodman, with Juan Gonzlez. JUAN GONZLEZ: President Trump is facing widespread criticism for his latest comments on the deadly white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Speaking at Trump Tower Tuesday, Trump said the violence was in part caused by what he called the “alt-left.” PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: OK, what about the “alt-left” that came charging atexcuse me. What about the “alt-left”? They came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Whatlet me ask you this: What about the fact they came chargingthat they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as Im concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute, Im not finished. Im not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day. REPORTER: Mr. President, are you putting what youre calling the “alt-left” and white supremacists on the same moral plane? PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Im not putting anybody on a moral plane. What Im saying is this: You had a group on one side, and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious, and it was horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this sideyou can call them the left, youve just called them the leftthat came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but thats the way it is. AMY GOODMAN: President Trumps comments were widely decried. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted, “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes,” unquote. Earlier this week, Cornel West appeared on Democracy Now!. He painted a very different picture of Charlottesville than President Trump, saying anarchists and anti-fascists saved his life. CORNEL WEST: Absolutely. You had a number of the courageous students, of all colors, at the University of Virginia who were protesting against the neofascists themselves. The neofascists had their own ammunition. And this is very important to keep in mind, because the police, for the most part, pulled back. The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists who approached, over 300, 350 anti-fascists. We just had 20. And were singing “This Little light of Mine,” you know what I mean? So that the AMY GOODMAN: “Antifa” meaning anti-fascist. CORNEL WEST: The anti-fascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and Ill never forget that. AMY GOODMAN: To look more at the anti-fascist movement, known as antifa, were joined by Mark Bray, lecturer at Dartmouth College. His new book, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. First, pronounce it for us, Mark, and then talk about antifa. MARK BRAY: Yes, well, its pronounced on-tee-fah. The emphasis is on the first syllable, and its pronounced more on than an, so on-tee-fah. Its commonly mispronounced. But antifa, of course, is short for anti-fascist. And, you know, President Trumps comments that the altquote-unquote, “alt-left” and alt-right are equivalent moral forces is really historically misinformed and morally bankrupt. The anti-fascist movement has a global history that stretches back overabout a century. You can trace them to Italian opposition to Mussolinis Blackshirts, German opposition to Hitlers Brownshirts, anti-fascists from around the world who had traveled to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. More recently, modern antifa can largely trace its roots to the anti-fascist movement in Britain in the 70s, and the postwar period more generally, that was responding to a xenophobic backlash against predominantly Caribbean and South Asian migration, also to the German autonomous movement of the 80s, which, really, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, had to respond to a really unprecedented neo-Nazi waveunprecedented in the postwar period, of course. And then, in the United States, we can look at anti-racist action in the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, which took some of these methods of confronting neo-Nazis and fascists wherever they assemble, shutting down their organizing and, as they said, going where they go. Today, in an article I wrote for The Washington Post called “Who are the antifa?” I explain this and show how todays antifa in the United States are really picking up the tradition where these groups left off. And their movement has really accelerated with the unfortunate ascendance of the alt-right following President Trump. The other minor note I want to make before we continue is that antifa is really only one faction of a larger movement against white supremacy that dates back centuries and includes a whole numberthere are a whole number of groups that fight against similar foes, sometimes using the same methods, that arent necessarily anti-fascists. So, its important not to subsume the entire anti-racist movement within this sort of one category. JUAN GONZLEZ: And, Mark Bray, in your bookand I want to quote a few lines from ityou say, “Most people have an ‘all-or-nothing’ understanding of fascism that prevents them from taking fascists seriously until they seize power. … Very few really believe that there is any serious chance of a fascistic regime ever materializing in America.” And Im wondering about that and the importance of understanding that concept of yours, for those who are looking at whats happening today in America. MARK BRAY: Right. So, the way people understand fascism, or the way theyve been taught about it, is generally exclusively in terms of regimes. So, the thought goes, as long as we have parliamentary government, were safe. But we can look back to the historical examples of Italy and Germany and see that, unfortunately, parliamentary government was insufficient to prevent the stopto prevent the rise of fascism and Nazism, and actually provided a red carpet to their advance. So, because of that reason, people think of fascism in terms of all or nothing, regime or nothing. But we can see in Charlottesville that any amount of neo-Nazi organizing, any amount of a fascist presence, is potentially fatal. And, unfortunately, Heather Heyer paid the price for that. So thats partly why anti-fascists argue that fascism must be nipped in the bud from the beginning, that any kind of organizing needs to be confronted and responded to. Even if, you know, people are spending most of their time on Twitter making jokes, its still very serious and needs to be confronted. AMY GOODMAN: Can youcan you talk aboutI mean, very interesting, during the South Carolina protests against the white supremacists, there were flags of Republicans in Spain fighting Franco. MARK BRAY: Right. So, one of the most iconic moments in anti-fascist history is the Spanish Civil War, and, from an international perspective, the role of the International Brigades, brave anti-fascists who came from dozens of countries around the world to stand up to Francos forces. Franco had the institutional support of Nazi Germany and Mussolinis Italy, whereas the Republican side really only had support of the Soviet Union, which, as I discuss in my book, had a lot of problematic aspects to it. So, if we look at the role of the International Brigades, we can see that anti-fascists view their struggle as transnational and transhistorical. And so, today, if you go to an anti-fascist demonstration in Spain, for example, the flag of the International Brigades, the flag of the Spanish Republic is ubiquitous. And these symbols, even the double flags of anti-fascism that people will frequently see at demonstrations, often one being red, one being black, was originally developed as a German symbol, which, in its earliest incarnation, dates back to the 1930s. So, its important to look at antifa not just as sort of a random thought experiment that some crazy kids came up with to respond to the far right, but rather a tradition that dates back a century. JUAN GONZLEZ: You also talk, in your examples, of other countries, not only the period of the 1930s and 40s, but more recent periods, in England in the 80s, and in Greece, as well, even more recently, and the importance of direct action by anti-fascists to nip in the bud or to beat back the rise of fascist movements. MARK BRAY: Right. So, part of what I try to do with my book, Antifa, is draw certain historical lessons from the early period of anti-fascist struggle that can be applied to the struggle today. One of them is that it doesnt take a lot of organized fascists to sometimes develop a really powerful movement. We can see that recently with the rise of Golden Dawn, the fascist party in Greece, which, prior to the financial crisis, was really a tiny micro-party and considered a joke by most. Subsequently, they became a major party in Greek politics and a major threat, a violent, deadly threat, to migrants and leftists and people of all stripes across Greek society. This was also true back in the early part of the 20th century, when Mussolinis initial fascist nucleus was a hundred people. When Hiller first attended his first meeting of the German Workers Party, which he later transformed into the Nazi Party, they had 54 members. So, we need to see that theres always a potential for small movements to become large. And one of the other lessons of the beginning of the 20th century is that people did not take fascism and Nazism seriously until it was too late. That mistake will never be made again by anti-fascists, who will recognize that any manifestation of these politics is dangerous and needs to be confronted as if it could be the nucleus of some sort of deadly movement or regime of the future. AMY GOODMAN: I wanted you to talk, Mark Bray, about the presence of Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller in the White House and what that means to antifa, to the anti-fascist movement. MARK BRAY: Right. Well, the other side of it is its not just about how many people are part of fascist or neo-Nazi groups. Its also about the fact that far-right politics have the ability to infiltrate and influence and direct mainstream politics. And we can see that with the alt-right. The alt-right is not really actually a lot of people in terms of numbers, but theyve had a disproportionate influence on the Trump administration and certain aspects of public discourse. So, the presence of Bannon and Gorka and Miller in the White House really just gives some sort of a hint as to why it is that Trump yesterday basically said there are good people on both sides of this conflict, that Friday night, when there were neo-Nazis wielding torches in Nazi style and they attacked nonviolent UVA student protesters, that he said, “Oh, well, you know, these are good people.” So, part of it is the organized street presence, but, as we saw, by confronting the organized street presence in Charlottesville, this created the question of just how bad these people are, becauseyou played earlier, Mitt Romney condemned the fact that there could be blame ascribed to both sides. Well, prior to Charlottesville, that was the dominant media narrative. Most mainstream media was saying, “Oh, well, we have, quote-unquote, ‘violence’ on both sides. Hands up. Whos to say whos right or wrong?” But by confronting this, by putting it in the spotlight, by shining a light on what these people really think, its shifted the public discourse and pushed back the ability of some of these alt-right figures to try and cloak their fascism. JUAN GONZLEZ: And what do you say, for instance, to those who maybe are opposed to the viewpoints of the white nationalists and white supremacists, but also attempt to condemn any attempts to shut themshut them down or not allow them to speak? Orand, obviously, the American Civil Liberties Union fought for the right of the Charlottesvillethe white nationalists to have their rally in Charlottesville. MARK BRAY: Right. Well, the question of how to combat fascism, I think, always needs to come back to discussions of the 1930s and 1940s. So, clearly, we can see that rational discourse and debate was insufficient. Clearly, we can see that the mechanisms of parliamentary government were insufficient. We need to be able to come up with a way to say, “How can we make sure never again?” By any means necessary, this can never happen again. And the people back there who witnessed these atrocities committed themselves to that. So the question is: OK, if you dont think that its appropriate to physically confront and to stand in front of neo-Nazis who are trying to organize for another genocide now, do you do it after someone has died, as they just did? Do you do it after a dozen people have died? Do you do it once theyre at the footsteps of power? At what point? At what point do you say, “Enough is enough,” and give up on the liberal notion that what we need to do is essentially create some sort of a regime of rights that allow neo-Nazis and their victims to coexist, quote-unquote, “peacefully,” and recognize that the neo-Nazis dont want that and that also the anti-fascists are right in not looking at it through that liberal lens, but rather seeing fascism not as an opinion that needs to be responded to respectfully, but as an enemy to humanity that needs to be stopped by any means necessary? AMY GOODMAN: This is Part 1 of our conversation, Mark Bray. Well do Part 2 and post it online at democracynow.org. Mark Bray is the author of a book that is coming out in the next few weeks called Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. He is a lecturer at Dartmouth College.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

McCain, Romney, and Rubio Join the Republicans for Antifa …

McCain and Romney used almost identical language, bending their knees to the media narrative that only two factions were present in Charlottesville during the awful events of last weekend: white supremacist Nazis and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry. Neither of these gentlemen can claim ignorance of Antifa; the reason both of them piped up is that President Donald Trump mentioned them in his Tuesday press conference. Left-wing politicians and media personalities responded by thundering there is only one side for all right-thinking Americans to be on, because there was only one squad of villains on the ground in Charlottesville. McCain and Romney obediently bent the knee to this narrative. At the very least, theyre agreeing Antifa should be invisible, accepting the incredibly stupid idea that calling out their violence somehow dilutes criticism of the Tiki Torch Terror. Mentioning Antifa is damned under the lefts new doctrine of Whataboutism, which originally held that history began with the inauguration of President Trump and all prior Democrat sins were absolved, but has mutated into an unlimited free pass for the #Resistance to do whatever it takes to bring down the Trump administration without a peep of protest from tame Republicans. Senator Marco Rubio went much, much further. He launched a brief tweetstorm that completely absolved Antifa of all responsibility for its actions in Charlottesville, blaming all violence one hundred percent on those who organized the events leading to the Charlottesville terrorist attack (the vehicular homicide perpetrated by James Alex Fields Jr.) Most astoundingly, Rubio embraced the Crybully Creed, the left-wing fascist idea that hate speech justifies a violent response. Your speech is violence; their violence is speech. Yes, Rubio used exactly those words in his third tweet. Rubios third tweet explicitly endorses violent responses to hate speech, but the last one is the money shot, as Rubio embraces the essence of Whataboutism and agrees with the media that left-wing thuggery is a fact on the Charlottesville ground that must be ignored if we are to properly condemn white nationalism. McCain and Romney are politically irrelevant, but Rubio still has political ambitions. Imagine the priceless look of surprise on his face when he gets branded a Nazi because he favors pro-growth tax cuts, free-market reforms, or balks at allowing illegal aliens to vote. Hell be so astounded at the way hate speech is expanded to cover his policy positions, and how the next wave of Antifa thugs justifies a violent response. In the highly unlikely event that a reporter asks McCain, Romney, or Rubio What about Antifa? they would probably mutter some boilerplate about how of course violence is not the answer. The problem is that their position implicitly accepts (explicitly, in Rubios case) that violence is at least somewhat understandable when it comes from the left. The core criticism of Trump is that he wasnt full-throated and unequivocal in condemning the Nazi wannabees, but the violence of groups like Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter never gets full-throated and unequivocal condemnation. Democrat politicians are completely firewalled from left-wing violence. They are never expected to denounce lefty vandals, brutes, or assassins. Democrat officials routinely look the other way when left-wing thuggery is perpetrated in their precincts its a nationwide epidemic, with outbreaks nearly everywhere Democrats are in charge but somehow its the Republican Party that gets treated as uniquely susceptible to the contagion of extremism. Every Republican politician jumping on the Only One Side bandwagon is endorsing the idea that his or her own constituents are so vulnerable to the siren song of white nationalism that allowing a little group of racist pinheads to congregate in a public place is unacceptably dangerous. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen of the GOP, your acceptance of this narrative will come back to haunt you, no matter how moderate and reasonable you imagine yourself to be. Over at the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren argues that Trump had a duty to denounce specifically and unequivocally the white nationalists whose demonstration last weekend in Virginia became violent, even though Warren acknowledges there were left-wing counter-protesters who were also violent and antagonistic in Charlottesville. White nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other racist groups who marched through the University of Virginias campus and in Charlottesville last weekend did so because they have been empowered by the presidency of Donald Trump. Dont take my word for it. Look at the photos of those wearing Make America Great Again hats in Charlottesville. Listen to the words of arch-racist David Duke, who said his goal in attending the Charlottesville event was to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. Remember that one of the rallys organizers, chief alt-rightist Richard Spencer, once said his movement has a psychic connection with Trump. Scroll through the countless Twitter accounts with swastikas and racist memes posted in between or alongside statements of support for Trumps candidacy and presidency. Given all this, Trump has a dutyas the president of the United States, as the head of a major political party, as a decent Americanto make clear that these people are mistaken, that white supremacists and neo-Nazis have nothing in common with Trumps agenda or his vision for the country. It does no good to say, in the same breath, that both sides are a part of the problem. The problem is that one side, the violent, racist side, believes they have an ally in the White House. And they have increasingly good reason to think that. I dont know, Mr. Warren the violent left is looking awfully emboldened to me at the moment, and they seem firmly convinced they have powerful political allies in Washington, too. There are a lot more of them than there are white nationalists, and Antifa has a unique stranglehold on higher education. Have the Nazi wannabes been able to shut down any campus speeches yet, or dictate the content of university courses? President Barack Obama couldnt bring himself to unequivocally condemn Islamic terrorism without bringing up the Crusades. Few Democrats can condemn Palestinian atrocities without cursing the Israeli government. Its a staple of left-wing discourse that all parties share the blame when arguments escalate into violence, most criminals should be seen as victims of society, and even violent extremists have legitimate grievances that must be explored. If unequivocal condemnation is coming back in style, the list of the condemned can reasonably begin with neo-Nazis, but it shouldnt end with them. Also, if were holding Trump accountable for every unpleasant character who dons a MAGA hat, then why arent we holding Bernie Sanders accountable for the fervent supporter who tried to gun down half the Republican caucus at a baseball field? Democrats get to float serenely above the ugly words and deeds of their supporters, but Republicans are personally responsible for the actions of everyone who votes for them? Nuts to that. The time for double standards is over. Double standards are one of the reasons Trump was elected. People who committed no crime are tired of being treated unfairly in the pursuit of cosmic social justice. Republicans are tired of watching Democrats skate for political offenses that would end any GOP career. Theyre tired of watching the left manipulate opinion with ugly rhetoric and lowest-common-denominator emotional appeals just a few weeks ago, Republicans were accused of attempted murder for trying to repeal Obamacare while every conservative with an ounce of passion is dismissed as a populist huckster. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the finest expressions of uncompromising principle in human history. In order to maintain that standard, we must protect speech and assembly rights for the unsavory, and then use free speech to demolish their toxic ideas. Professing allegiance to the First Amendment while authorizing vigilante gangs to shut down disapproved speech with the Hecklers Veto or clubs and broken bottles, when the Hecklers Veto doesnt get the job done is not good enough. The First Amendment doesnt cover hate speech is a much more dangerous, far more contagious fascist ideal than anything snarled over a tiki torch in Charlottesville. Frankly, if you cant win an argument with a handful of Nazis without resorting to violence, you suck at freedom. If you cant damn the swastika without also cursing the hammer and sickle, you suck at history.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists seek peace through … – CNN

The 19-year-old didn’t own much in black, the color he knew his fellow protesters would wear head to toe on the streets of Washington that day. As Bhatt drove into the city for his first-ever protest, he hesitated. “I thought, there’s a very good chance that I might get arrested, that my whole life could be radically altered in a negative way if I kept driving, and I was really close to turning around,” Bhatt told CNN. “But I think the rationale is that even if it did negatively affect my life, I had still contributed to this movement that was necessary. I was still making an effort to make other people’s lives better, even if it made my life worse, and once I realized that, I had no regrets.” Bhatt joined protesters dressed completely in black, some with their faces covered by masks — a tactic known as “black bloc” that aims to unify demonstrators’ efforts and hide their identities. And with them, Bhatt got arrested. Antifa activists, who operate without any centralized leadership, told CNN that their goal is peace and inclusivity. They often denounce capitalism and government. Since Trump entered the world stage, they’ve condemned his push to tighten immigration rules and what some view as his tendency toward racism. While Antifa members don’t fit a single category, they say many are millennials and many live on society’s fringes: undocumented immigrants, transgender people, low-wage workers, those who don’t conform to the traditional 9-to-5. And their methods are often violent. Antifa leaders admit they’re willing to physically attack anyone who employs violence against them or who condones racism — as long as force is used in the name of eradicating hatred. But their profile has been rising. Antifa demonstrators have marched in more than a half dozen protests since Election Day in Portland, Oregon, according to police. Indeed, over the past year, Antifa members have been involved in clashes across the country and the world, including in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Alabama and Nebraska, and at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Before that, he said, Antifa protesters were cheering in celebration for having disrupted the neo-Nazi message. “We were marching down one of the streets, and energy was ecstatic,” Bhatt said. “We were marching and chanting and engaged in this huge act of solidarity. There was a moment I was at the front of this huge line of people, and we see this other huge group of people marching down another way, and when the two groups met, it felt like the entire city just erupted in cheers and roars.” Antifa is impossible to track. It isn’t united through a national organization, and it cloaks itself in anonymity. In speaking to Antifa leaders across the country, CNN found very few who would take off their masks. Indeed, it took months to track down members willing to share their stories. Many are like Bhatt, a self-described government skeptic with liberal views who didn’t find mainstream politics a good fit for him. So, he weighed his options. “Before J20 (January 20, Inauguration Day) happened I was convinced I’d go to NASA or some university to research,” Bhatt said. Now facing a criminal record, “I don’t know,” he said. “My efforts might be better suited by an organization that helps communities.” The son of parents who immigrated from India, Bhatt is sure of one thing: He has no plans to stop protesting. “There are people who were energized by Bernie (Sanders) that now are anarchists,” said an organizer of the website It’s Going Down, a newsblog for Antifa. “People are freaked out by a Trump regime, freaked out by the far-right. A lot of people saw neo-Nazi symbols. There’s a reason why people are becoming polarized. It’s real-life stuff that’s happening.” “Obviously, Ann Coulter’s outrageous — to my mind, off the wall,” Sanders said. “But you know, people have a right to give their two cents’ worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.” The organizer of It’s Going Down said his website traffic has grown from a few hundred daily hits to between 10,000 and 40,000 hits on its best days. “There’s a crisis among the left,” he said. “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.” “There was a normalization of political violence which first started with regard to the Trump rallies,” Levin said. For almost three decades, Scott Crow was part of the Antifa movement. “I fought (against) Nazis. I’ve had death threats. I’ve had guns drawn on me. I’ve drawn guns on fascists. I’ve been in altercations. I’ve smoke-bombed places,” he said. “I’ve done a myriad of things to try and stop fascism and its flow over the years.” Activists don black bloc, Crow said, as a means to an end. “People put on the masks so that we can all become anonymous, right? And then, therefore, we are able to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not,” he said. And that means avoiding police, whom many Antifa members see as an enemy, as well as skirting the scrutiny Antifa activists often get from alt-right trolls on the Internet. Black bloc, one member told us, also unites the movement. “Even though it only takes one person to break a window, it doesn’t matter because the bloc moves together,” said a 26-year-old named Maura, who wouldn’t give her last name. In New York’s Union Square on May Day, a masked member of the Antifa group Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council told CNN why he wore black bloc and waved a black flag. “We cover our face because the Nazis will try to find out who we are. And that is a very bad thing because they harass people,” he said. “We’re trying to stop them from organizing. … When they organize, they kill people, they hurt people, they fight people. And we’re the ones who are fighting back.” It’s a position taken by many Antifa activists: “This is self-defense.” Antifa activists often don’t hesitate to destroy property, which many see as the incarnation of unfair wealth distribution. “Violence against windows — there’s no such thing as violence against windows,” a masked Antifa member in Union Square told CNN. “Windows don’t have — they’re not persons. And even when they are persons, the people we fight back against, they are evil. They are the living embodiment, they are the second coming of Hitler.” Crow explained the ideology this way: “Don’t confuse legality and morality. Laws are made of governments, not of men,” echoing the words of John Adams. “Each of us breaks the law every day. It’s just that we make the conscious choice to do that,” he said. Antifa members also sometimes launch attacks against people who aren’t physically attacking them. The movement, Crow said, sees alt-right hate speech as violent, and for that, its activists have opted to meet violence with violence. Right or wrong, “that’s for history to decide,” he said. But Levin argues the violence is giving ammunition to racists — and is anathema to the Antifa mission. “It’s killing the cause — it’s not hurting it, it’s killing it, and it will kill it,” Levin said. “We’re ceding the moral high ground and ceding the spotlight to where it should be, which is shining the spotlight on the vile.” Levin, who for decades has attended rallies at both extremes to study radical groups, said he put his own body between an Antifa member and a Klan member when Antifa protesters attacked with knives at a February 2016 a rally in Anaheim, California. “No, it’s not OK to punch a Nazi,” Levin said. “If white nationalists are sophisticated at anything, it’s the ability to try to grasp some kind of moral high ground when they have no other opportunity, and that’s provided when they appear to be violently victimized. That’s the only moral thread that they can hang their hats on. And we’re stupid if we give them that opportunity.” Nearly seven months after Trump’s election, police in Portland, Oregon, geared up for the 10th protest since Election Day pitting the alt-right and “hard left.” On that day, June 4, police were coming off a violent May Day protest in which they watched Antifa activists run through the business district, destroying storefronts and setting fires. Before the June event, “we saw on social media that there was a lot of threats being put back and forth that gave us a lot of concern about physical violence,” Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said. Hoping to keep June 4 from becoming another May Day, police created a human barricade. Officers stood shoulder to shoulder between two city squares — one filled with alt-right groups, the other with Antifa activists. After a few hours, it seemed peace had won the day. But then police caught whispers that Antifa members were planning to push past police into the alt-right rally square. Officers moved in with rubber bullets, pepper spray and smoke bombs. They pushed the masked Antifa activists into a corner and detained them. Many shed their black clothing and left it on the streets as police decided whom to arrest. “We did seize a large number of weapons or things that could be used as weapons,” Simpson said. “Everything from knives to brass knuckles to poles and sticks and bricks and bottles and road flares and chains. One hundred percent, they came geared up to fight if it would be allowed.” Despite Portland’s liberal reputation, it has a history of clashes between extreme groups on the right and left. Residents have gotten fed up with the escalating violence, Simpson said. “It is new, and this, like, this rumble mentality of, ‘I’m going to bring my friends, you’re going bring your friends, and we’re going to fight it out in the park’ — it’s not something we’ve seen here,” Simpson said. “It’s not good for the city. People are just frustrated by it. It’s affecting their livability. It’s affecting their business. It’s affecting their commute.” Law enforcement in several cities told CNN there’s no excuse for the violence. “The fires starting — that we saw on May Day — is something we haven’t really seen much of in the past,” Simpson said. “The running through the street, breaking windows and everything in sight, we haven’t seen it as consistently as we’ve seen it in the last eight months.” In that time, more than 150 people have been arrested. They range in age from 14 to 66, police records show, and include several students, a cook, a franchise restaurant owner and a retail manager, a CNN review of arrestees’ social media accounts found. On social media, many of the arrestees have posted anti-police messages and anarchist views. Some write that they feel disenfranchised in the current political climate, the CNN review found. In Berkeley, Antifa and alt-right activists have clashed several times since Election Day. Police say they haven’t seen anything like this since the ’60s. And in jurisdictions across the country, police told CNN they’ve started enforcing with new vigor laws that bar people from wearing masks during gatherings. For that reason, many Antifa members in Charlottesville did not wear masks, Bhatt said. “It feels to me like there’s a struggle in the country … of the different kinds of speech and what’s OK to say and what’s not OK,” Simpson said. “But one thing is very clear is that free speech and protected speech can be very offensive and very hateful, but it’s still not a crime.” With no central leader, Antifa adherents have found each other in local communities. They communicate and recruit largely through social media. Their protests are organized via Facebook. And of late, in active areas, monthly meetings have increased in frequency to several times each week. Activists take martial arts classes together and strategize about how to achieve their main goal: taking down fascists. In Portland, where the Rose City Antifa has been active for a decade, members focus on outing people they believe are neo-Nazis, even trying to get them fired and evicted from their homes. “We’ve done mass mailings. We’ve even gone door to door before in communities,” said the group’s leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’ve gone out to areas that we know that a lot of Nazis live with, like, ‘wanted’ posters, like, ‘Do you have any information on this person?’ and put them up in the area, and we usually get a flurry of tips like, ‘Yeah, this person works here,’ and so on and so on.” But like other Antifa groups across the country, the Portland sect gets the most attention when violence explodes at its rallies. And for that, its members don’t apologize. “You have to put your body in the way,” the group’s leader said, “and you have to make it speak in the language that they understand. And sometimes that is violence.” It’s a perspective several Antifa activists shared with CNN, even knowing that violence has led to hundreds of arrests across the country. CNN’s Majlie Kamp and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

Antifa and the ‘Alt-Left’: Everything You Need to Know – RollingStone.com

If you picked your jaw up off the floor just long enough to scratch your head and puzzle at what President Trump meant by the “alt-left” during his now infamous “Remarks on Infrastructure” meltdown on Tuesday, you’re not alone. “OK, what about the alt-left,” he proffered, “what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?” So, what about the alt-left? Does it exist, or is it another bullet-dipped-in-pigs-blood fairy tale of Trump’s imagination? The word no doubt entered the president’s consciousness the same way all his wildest policy ideas, hopes, dreams and paranoid delusions do from tuning in to Fox. Though it began as an insult within the left a way to further deride the far left and so-called “Bernie Bros” during and after November’s election the right has adopted the phrase, as well. Sean Hannity and other, fringier monsters of the far-right media ecosystem have been, for at least a year now, pushing the idea of the “alt-left” as some sort of answer to the charge that the “alt-right,” a very real political entity, has hijacked and poisoned the Republican party. The Washington Post best described it in 2016 as “The GOP’s response: I know what you are but what am I.” But there is an actual active and growing group that Trump refers to. However, it’s incorrect to name-check it as the alt-left and it’s downright wrong to morally equivocate it with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist scum that stormed Charlottesville. But it does exist. Only it’s called “antifa,” short for anti-fascist, and it far predates Donald Trump. First, a bit of history. Anti-fascism originated in the years leading up to the second World War as a means to fight the spread of fascism across Europe, but in America the progenitors of what Trump would have you call the alt-left can be traced back to 1980s Minnesota. It was during this time that the group “Anti-Racist Action” sprung up around the Twin Cities to combat the rise of local Nazi skinheads. A.R.A., as the group became known, opened chapters across the U.S. and won some major victories against neo-Nazis in that pre-Internet eighties and nineties. Underground, local punk scenes often served as the stage for these groups to do battle, but the scale and frequency with which they clashed was enough to seep into the popular culture throughout the decade. It ultimately culminated with 1998’s American History X,for which Edward Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as a reformed neo-Nazi skinhead. These forerunners to what Trump and Hannity call the alt-left were so successful at banishing white supremacists back in to the shadows of society that, without a rallying cause, they dissipated in most places themselves. “By the mid-2000s it started to peter out,” says Mark Bray, a visiting historian of political radicalism at Dartmouth and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, which comes out later this month. But now, thanks to white supremacists’ newfound confidence to step out in to public, the old A.R.A.-style groups have made a comeback, rebranded in the age of Trump. “There’s come another wave of folks who started to use the antifa name instead of Anti-Racist Action, and a lot of those groups started to get going in 2011, 2012 and 2013,” says Bray.It was around this time that white supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term “alt-right.” The rise of that movement served as an accelerant for the nascent antifa groups to expand into what Trump refers to today. “As someone who pays attention to what goes on with the far left in the U.S., [anti-facism has become] a focal point for politics that was not on the radar back when Occupy Wall Street was going on,” he says. “There were groups, but it wasn’t a focus on the left.” There are hundreds, likely thousands of active Anti-fascists (or, “antifas,” as they are called) across the country, although it’s hard to pin down an exact number because their movement is so fragmentary and purposely decentralized. There is no Richard Spencer or Milo Yiannopolous equivalent within their movement and anonymity is perhaps their central tenet. Antifas organize in hyper-local crews of eight to twelve, which they call “affinity groups,” as a way to protect against being infiltrated. New York, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon, and Philly are known to be particularly active hubs. This modern incarnation of Anti-fascism had become infamous earlier this year long before Trump’s Tuesday shout-out primarily for its use of the “black bloc” tactic, wherein multiple “affinity groups,” dressed head-to-toe in black converge upon a public demonstration where white supremacists are known to be. Black blocs exist to cause mayhem and are known to leave a trail of destruction and sometimes violence in their wake. This destructive streak coupled with disregard for neo-Nazis’ right to free speech has not endeared these groups to the Democratic party in the way that much of the GOP has welcomed the so-called alt-right. “They are illiberal,” says Bray. “They don’t believe in society as a value neutral public sphere where any kind of ideas can just float around.” It’s this philosophy that justifies the chaos they’re capable of causing, perhaps most evidently on display the day of Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., when a black bloc materialized to wreck businesses, torch a limo and punch Richard Spencer in the face, giving us the hit heard ’round the Internet. Similar spats have since occurred wherever so-called alt-right figures like Yiannopolous or Spencer try to promote their hate-speech publicly. Berkeley has been one such frequented battleground, but showdowns in places such as Charlottesville and Pikeville, Kentucky, before that, prove that these groups on both the left and right and their radical ideas exist and operate not just in the youthful and idealistic petri-dishes of liberal-arts school campuses, but in towns and cities across the country. Anti-fascists view the events that transpired in Virginia last week and the President’s subsequent remarks as a watershed moment in the fight against their seemingly ever-ascendant ideological nemisis. “On our side, it’s war,” says one Anti-fascist group leader who was present at Charlottesville and has participated in black bloc activity in cities up and down the East Coast since Trump’s election. “Expect greater support from average people. A lot of [normal people] and libs who would have told us to fuck off and stop being so upsetting are now crossing over into our side. We are seeing a new wave of membership coming in.” Their ranks had already been swelling pre-Charlottesville, too. An anti-fascist who goes by James Anderson and is the administrator of the website It’s Going Down, which serves as both the chief news outlet and a digital town hall for antifa told me in an interview last spring that the rise in far right violence seen under Trump “has forced a lot of people on the left to actually look at anti-fascism and take it seriously.” “This shit is real, it’s touching people’s lives, and there’s a very clear line being drawn by the Trump administration that it’s acceptable, permitted and part of the program,” he said at the time. And that was five months before Trump’s near-endorsement of neo-Nazi riffraff from his bigot pulpit this week. Sign up for our newsletter to receive breaking news directly in your inbox.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

Noam Chomsky: ‘Self-Destructive’ Antifa Is ‘A Major Gift To The Right … – Townhall

What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was a tragedy. Last Saturday, White nationalists flooded the city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Far left Antifa (anti-fascists) protesters also showed up and skirmishes broke out. Scores of people were sent to the hospital. One woman was killed when a white nationalist plowed through a group of counter demonstrators, 19 others were injured as well. Thats what separates this incident. Yes, white nationalists and Antifa are violent thugs, but Antifa did not kill anyone last weekend. Donald Trumps remarks about the incident may have saved the far left from scrutiny with the media, but they will undoubtedly be back in the news. I dont think what Trump said was wrong; he blamed both sides for political violence. In generalyou cannot have a credible condemnation or discussion of toxic political rhetoric without slamming the far left. Again, with Charlottesville, a person died which changes the game. Nevertheless, CNNs Jake Tapper noted that reporters at Charlottesville were also assaulted by the far left. Antifa is just as radical and violent. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg noted that these folks were just as hate-filled as the white nationalists who showed up, only to have the progressive Twitter mob force her to retract her previous tweets. That seems in keeping with the very ideology they claim they want to stomp out. The Washington Examiner spoke with linguist and political activist Noam Chomksy, who said the Antifa movement, is a gift to the right. He also said it was self-destructive. The left-wing “Antifa” movement is rising in prominence after clashing with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., but one progressive scholar says the anti-fascists feed the fire they seek to extinguish. “As for Antifa, it’s a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were,” Noam Chomsky told the Washington Examiner. “It’s a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant.” Many activists affiliated with the loosely organized Antifa movement consider themselves anarchists or socialists. They often wear black and take measures to conceal their identity. Chomsky said, “what they do is often wrong in principle like blocking talks and [the movement] is generally self-destructive.” “When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it’s the toughest and most brutal who win and we know who that is,” said Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “That’s quite apart from the opportunity costs the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism.” The violence in Charlottesville ended Saturday when an alleged white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of anti-racism activists, not all of whom were Antifa activists, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others. The driver has been charged with murder. As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. In this case, it looks like conservatives could agree with Chomsky on something: Antifa is pretty terrible as well.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

The Fascists Were Using Antifa against Conservatives – National Review

You must love Antifa, ya cuck. Will you also condemn Antifa, BLM, and radical Muslims? Im disappointed in you. Its in reading these desperate social-media messages about violent left-wing protesters that I realized the true purpose of the tiki-torch ectomorph rally in Charlottesville. The Unite the Right rally had little to do with defending Confederate memorials, or any particular reading of southern history, however misguided. The designated speakers werent exactly kids who grew up learning how to give a rebel yell from Paw-Paw. Two of the billed speakers were anti-Semitic podcasters from New York; another fancies himself an American version of Frances NouvelleDroite. The Robert E. Lee statue was a MacGuffin or, rather, he was Antifa bait, and the college town that it happened to be in was just a place where Antifa could be expected to swim. The organizers dont want heritage, they wanted footage. Really, what they wanted to do was to set a trap for conservatives. The explosive growth of Antifa during the 2016 campaign and since the election of Donald Trump has become a fixture in conservative media. Conservatives had warned that mainstream-media figures were summoning an awful thing into being by cheering on masked left-wingers who punched Nazis. Soon, anyone you wanted to punch would start looking like a Nazi. Sure enough. Aggressive left-wing direct action started falling on conservative speakers on campus. And Antifa played the main role in shutting down speeches by Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter. Even if conservatives, of the type that wears loafers and bowties, had become used to holding Yiannopoulos and Coulter at arms length, the sight of left-wingers using violence and the threat of worse riots to shut them down caused some rallying effect. The organizers of Unite the Right wanted to achieve the same thing for themselves. A spectacle would attract Antifa, who would predictably use violence. Some mainstream-media figures would endorse that violence, and some conservatives, they believed, would feel obliged to defend the ActualFascists because, hey, these left-wing mobs are attacking Americas legal and social norms of free speech. In other words, even if the assorted Jew-haters and fashy dorks cant persuade conservatives to adopt a no enemies to the right posture, perhaps Antifa would. And then one of these MAGA-fascists rammed his Dodge muscle car into peaceful protesters, killing a woman. That fact scuttled the rally organizers talking point that it was Antifa or poor policing that initiated and caused all the violence. And it prevented conservatives from venturing the both sides argument that so swiftly blew up in President Trumps face. The murder of Heather Heyer was a revelation, and so too was the way that rally co-organizer Christopher Cantwell, met news of her death by sneering, The fact that nobody on our side died, Id go ahead and call that points for us. At the exact moment Richard Spencer and his friends successfully recaptured the alt-right label from the so-called alt-light Gamergaters and other populists, it became stained in blood. Still, the problem Charlottesville presents for the larger alt-light is serious. There seemed to be a real upside to cultivating a reputation as the edgiest and most transgressive political movement going. Youre free of the pieties that come from longer-lived movements. You look authentic, even fresh. And your stock goes up. But theres an iron law at work here: As soon as anyone identifiably on the right gets the reward of attention for being transgressive, the Neo-Nazis swiftly show up, and the value of transgressive right-wing politics returns to its true value in America, near zero. It was amusing to see Gavin McInnes disavow the fiasco in Charlottesville. McInnes has cultivated a gang-like aura among his all-male fraternal organization, the Proud Boys. He and his group had dropped out of the rally once he got the vibe that it was going to turn into a white power thing. I remember hearing William F. Buckley had to drum out the Nazis from National Review, and it didnt sound like a big deal, McInnes said in his recent video, But when you do it, you realize how tedious it is. No kidding. Most of the debate about Confederate monuments after Charlottesville has been a distraction. The rally organizers came prepared for violence, and they wanted it. They wanted footage of themselves getting punched and maced so that they could use conservative antipathy to Antifa to erode conservative antipathy to ActualFascists. Dont fall for it. READ MORE: What Identity Politics Hath Wrought The Alt-Right Is Bad And So Is Antifa Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee? Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior writer at National Review.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

‘Antifa’ Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right – New York Times

You need violence in order to protect nonviolence, Ms. Nauert added. Thats whats very obviously necessary right now. Its full-on war, basically. Others on the left disagree, saying antifas methods harm the fight against right-wing extremism and have allowed Mr. Trump to argue that the two sides are equivalent. These critics point to the power of peaceful disobedience during the civil rights era, when mass marches and lunch-counter protests in the South slowly eroded the legal enshrinement of discrimination. Were against violence, just straight up, said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups. If you want to protest racists and anti-Semites, it needs to be peacefully and hopefully somewhere away from where those guys are rallying. Antifa adherents some armed with sticks and masked in bandannas played a visible role in the running street battles in Charlottesville, but it is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members of the movement. Its followers acknowledge it is secretive, without official leaders and organized into autonomous local cells. It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past several months to the fight the far right. Driven by a range of political passions including anticapitalism, environmentalism, and gay and indigenous rights the diverse collection of anarchists, communists and socialists has found common cause in opposing right-wing extremists and white supremacists. In the fight against the far right, antifa has allied itself at times with local clergy, members of the Black Lives Matter movement and grass-roots social-justice activists. It has also supported niche groups like Black Bloc fighters, who scrapped with right-wing forces in Berkeley this year, and By Any Means Necessary, a coalition formed more than two decades ago to protest Californias ban on affirmative action for universities. George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia who counts himself as both an antifa follower and a scholar of the movement, said it did not have a single origin story. The group has antecedents in Europe, especially Germany and Italy, where its early followers traded shots with Nazis in the 1930s and fought against Benito Mussolinis Blackshirts. Its more recent history has roots in the straight-edge punk rock music scene, the anti-globalization protests of the 1990s and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The closest thing antifa may have to a guiding principle is that ideologies it identifies as fascistic or based on a belief in genetic inferiority cannot be reasoned with and must be physically resisted. Its adherents express disdain for mainstream liberal politics, seeing it as inadequately muscular, and tend to fight the right though what they call direct actions rather than relying on government authorities. When you look at this grave and dangerous threat and the violence it has already caused is it more dangerous to do nothing and tolerate it, or should we confront it? Frank Sabat said. Their existence itself is violent and dangerous, so I dont think using force or violence to oppose them is unethical. Another antifa activist, Asha, 28, from Philadelphia, who also declined to give her full name, said that when people advocate for genocide and white supremacy, that is violence. She added, If we just stand back, we are allowing them to build a movement whose end goal is genocide. In the days after the violent events in Charlottesville, some antifa members responded with an angry call to arms, saying they could not back down from what they described as the aggressors on the right, even if it meant an escalation into gunfights. I hope we never get there, said a 29-year-old antifa anarchist from California who goes by the pseudonym Tony Hooligan. But we are willing to get there. Not all antifa followers are as belligerent, nor are their tactics exclusively violent. When not attending what he called big mobilizations like the one in Charlottesville, Frank Sabat has done ordinary community organizing, advocating prison reform and distributing anarchist literature at punk rock shows. Others say they do the same in antifa strongholds like Philadelphia, the Bay Area of California and the Pacific Northwest. The Berkeley campus has been a particular hotbed of antifa activity, and university officials have criticized the group. In February, black-clad protesters, some of whom identified themselves as antifa, smashed windows, threw gasoline bombs and broke into a campus building, causing $100,000 in damage. The very notion of contesting ideas and perspectives with violence is antithetical to everything a university stands for, said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman. One of antifas chief functions, members said, is to monitor right-wing and white supremacist websites like The Daily Stormer and to expose the extremist groups in dispatches on their own websites like ItsGoingDown.org. According to James Anderson, who helps run ItsGoingDown, interest in the site has spiked since the events in Charlottesville, with more than 4,000 followers added for a total of over 23,000. But antifa is not some new sexy thing, Mr. Anderson added. He noted that some of those who had scuffled with those on the right at Mr. Trumps inauguration or at more recent events in New Orleans and Portland, Ore., were veterans of actions at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008, where hundreds of people were arrested, and at Occupy encampments in cities across the country. Nonetheless, Mr. Anderson said, the far rights resurgence under Mr. Trump has created a fresh sense of urgency. Suddenly, he said, people are coming into your town with hate. It has to be confronted. One of the most vivid examples of antifa violence occurred in January at Mr. Trumps inauguration, where a masked member of the movement punched the prominent white supremacist Richard B. Spencer (who was pepper-sprayed by an antifa activist in Charlottesville). That single blow started a national debate over whether it was morally justifiable to punch a Nazi. Mr. Spencer, an avid opponent of the left, still drew distinctions among factions within the left-wing community. Its important to differentiate antifa from liberals, he said. I dont think its an overstatement to say that antifa believes in whatever means necessary. They have a sadistic streak. Other right-wing figures, like Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a so-called conservative fraternity of Western chauvinists, have said antifa has done itself no favors by assuming that its enemies all share the same views. Mr. McInnes was invited to Charlottesville but declined to go, he said, because of the presence of explicit white supremacists like Mr. Spencer. In the past, antifa activists have engaged with people who were clearly something less than outright neo-Nazis, raising questions about who, if anyone, deserves to be punched and whether there is such a thing as legitimate political violence. Like many of their opponents, some antifa members insist that they are merely reacting to pre-existing aggression. The essence of their message is violence, Jed, an antifa organizer in New York who asked that his name not be used, said of his right-wing foes. The other side his side is just responding. But Ms. Nauert said she believed that, now more than ever, physical confrontation would be needed. In the end, she said, thats what its going to take because Nazis and white supremacists are not around to talk. Thomas Fuller reported from Oakland, and Alan Feuer and Serge F. Kovaleski from New York. Caitlin Dickerson contributed reporting from New York, and Sonner Kehrt from Berkeley, Calif. Alain Delaqurire contributed research. A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Left-Wing Faction Ready to Swing Its Fists at the Far Right.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed


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