Archive for the ‘Antifa’ Category

Antifa Carry Bats To Heyer’s Funeral | The Daily Caller

A group of antifascist protesters armed with purple shields and bats showed up to the Wednesday funeral of a woman mowed down by a white supremacist who struck her with a vehicle.

Antifa, a collection of left-wing protesters, decided to crash the funeral of Heather Heyer, a white woman who died after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters during a white nationalist riot.

The antifascist activists claimed they showed up armed because the police wont protect the people, according to a reporter on the scene.

Heyer died during a white supremacist rally over the potential removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. The rally broke out into violence between armed white nationalists and antifa protesters throwing balloons filled with ink and urine and bricks at the white nationalists gathered there.

The line to enter Heyers funeral, hosted at the Paramount theater in Charlottesville, reached two blocks.

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‘Antifa’ radicals aren’t good because they fight Nazis – San Francisco Chronicle

Fighting Nazis is a good thing, but fighting Nazis doesnt necessarily make you or your cause good. By my lights this is simply an obvious fact.

The greatest Nazi-killer of the 20th century was Josef Stalin. He also killed millions of his own people and terrorized, oppressed, enslaved or brutalized tens of millions more. The fact that he killed Nazis during World War II (out of self-preservation, not principle) doesnt dilute his evil one bit.

This should settle the issue as far as Im concerned. Nazism was evil. Soviet communism was evil. Its fine to believe that Nazism was more evil than communism. That doesnt make communism good.

Alas, it doesnt settle the issue. Confusion on this point poisoned politics in America and abroad for generations.

Part of the problem is psychological. Theres a natural tendency to think that when people, or movements, hate each other, it must be because theyre opposites. This assumption overlooks the fact that many indeed, most of the great conflicts and hatreds in human history are derived from what Sigmund Freud called the narcissism of minor differences.

Most tribal hatreds are between very similar groups. The European wars of religion were between peoples who often shared the same language and culture but differed on the correct way to practice the Christian faith. The Sunni-Shia split in the Muslim world is the source of great animosity between very similar peoples.

The young communists and fascists fighting for power in the streets of 1920s Germany had far more in common with each other than they had with decent liberals or conservatives, as we understand those terms today. Thats always true of violent radicals and would-be totalitarians.

The second part of the problem wasnt innocent confusion, but sinister propaganda. As Hitler solidified power and effectively outlawed the Communist Party of Germany, The Communist International (Comintern) abandoned its position that socialist and progressive groups that were disloyal to Moscow were fascist and instead encouraged communists everywhere to build popular fronts against the common enemy of Nazism.

These alliances of convenience with social democrats and other progressives were a great propaganda victory for communists around the world because they bolstered the myth that communists were just members of the left coalition in the fight against Hitler, bigotry, fascism, etc.

This obscured the fact that whenever the communists had a chance to seize power, they did so. And often, the first people they killed, jailed or exiled were their former allies. Thats what happened in Eastern Europe, Cuba and other places where communists succeeded in taking over the government.

If you havent figured it out yet, this seemingly ancient history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether its OK to equate antifa antifascist left-wing radicals with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Va. The president wants to claim that there were very fine people on both sides of the protest and that the antifascist radicals are equally blameworthy. He borrowed from Fox News Channels Sean Hannity the bogus term alt-left to describe the antifa radicals.

The term is bogus for the simple reason that, unlike the alt-right, nobody calls themselves the alt-left. And thats too bad. One of the only nice things about the alt-right is that its leaders are honest about the fact that they want nothing to do with traditional American conservatism. Like the original Nazis, they seek to replace the traditional right with their racial hogwash.

The antifa crowd has a very similar agenda with regard to traditional American liberalism. These goons and thugs oppose free speech, celebrate violence, despise dissent and have little use for anything else in the American political tradition. But many liberals, particularly in the media, are victims of the same kind of confusion that vexed so much of American liberalism in the 20th century. Because antifa suddenly has the (alt-)right enemies, they must be the good guys. Theyre not.

And thats why this debate is so toxically stupid. Fine, antifa isnt as bad as the KKK. Who cares? Since when is being less bad than the Klan a major moral accomplishment?

In these tribal times, the impulse to support anyone who shares your enemies is powerful. But it is a morally stunted reflex. This is America. Youre free to denounce totalitarians wherever you find them even if they might hate the right people.

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Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. Email: goldbergcolumn@gmail.com Twitter: @JonahNRO

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‘Antifa’ radicals aren’t good because they fight Nazis – San Francisco Chronicle

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Seriously? CNN Changes Headline On Story About Antifa Because They Didn’t Like Being Called Violent – Townhall

CNN, you almost did a great thing. In fact, the article you published about the violent Antifa movement was not bad. You showed how they view police as the enemy; how the groups far left views on pretty much everything is way outside the mainstream, and how theyre lawless. Even those who are studying extremist groups in the country note that the violent course Antifa takes will ultimately kill the movement. Yet, it seems the news network caved to Antifas complaining over their original headline: Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists seek peace through violence to unmasking the leftist Antifa movement. The editors note reads, This story has been updated to clarify that counterprotesters say they are not to blame for violence at the Charlottesville protest. The story’s headline has also been updated.

What happened in Charlottesville was a disgrace. Both white nationalists and Antifa showed up, melees broke out, and one woman died when a white nationalist plowed through a group of counter demonstrators. Im not saying Antifa isnt violent. They areand CNN did a good job noting this in their story. The problem is that it was a white nationalist who murdered someone. The narrative changes with this incident because, despite the clashes, one side decided to mow people downand it wasnt the far left. Then again, the CNN piece was not really focused on Charlottesville. It was about the movement in general [emphasis mine]:

Anti-fascists and the black bloc tactic originated in Nazi Germany and resurfaced in United Kingdom in the 1980s. Large numbers of Antifa activists first appeared in the United States at anti-World Trade Organization protests in 1999 in Seattle, and then more recently during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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.

Earlier this year, Antifa activists were among those who smashed windows and set fires during protests at the University of California, Berkeley, leading to the cancellation of far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and withdrawal of Ann Coulter as speakers.

[]

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.

[]

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.

CNN interviewed Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, who said such violence is going to kill Antifa.

It’s [violence] killing the cause — it’s not hurting it, it’s killing it, and it will kill it, he said, noting that such acts, like when Antifa members physically go after neo-Nazi members, gives them moral high ground. These are awful people. Then again, so are the Antifa members.

The moral of the story is that just because Antifa is fighting white nationalist and neo-Nazis, doesnt make them the good guys. Neither side deserves to be defended as a beacon of political discourse or civic engagement. Theyre both despicableand thats what CNN captured in this story thats been diluted in the name of political correctness. You cannot talk about or condemn political extremism without slamming both Antifa and white nationalists. Does a white nationalist murdering someone in Charlottesville change how we should view these two groups? No. Theyre both made up of violent thugs. But in the case of Charlottesville, only one side decided to use a car to achieve a homicidal goal. Thats whats different here, and why so many were not satisfied when Trump blamed both sides for the violence. Theres a difference between a scuffle on a march way and plowing through people with a car.

Yet, it doesnt negate the fact that Antifa are still violent criminals, who shouldnt be martyred or idolized as some anti-Nazi antidote to American political discourse.

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Seriously? CNN Changes Headline On Story About Antifa Because They Didn’t Like Being Called Violent – Townhall

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Calmer voices on the left must disavow antifa’s tactics or else they will give rhetorical ammunition to Trump – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, August 20, 2017, 4:10 AM

The disgusting resurgence of white supremacists in 2017 America, aided and abetted by a White House engaging in toxic moral equivalence, has gotten an assist from a tiny left-wing cadre.

This loosely organized band calls itself antifa (anti-fascist), and unlike the broad coalition of activists arrayed in opposition to much of the Trump agenda its members unapologetically embrace violence as the only sufficiently strong answer to those they see as enemies, even when those enemies are engaging in nonviolent protest.

Down this road, madness lies.

In a civil society fingers crossed, thats what this still is unprovoked violence is illegal and wrong no matter who is on the receiving end. The answer to speech is speech, not sticks and stones.

GOP, Dems blast Trump for encouraging hate groups

Just as important, antifa activists make a fateful strategic mistake by stealing initiative and attention from far more admirably behaved fellow travelers, which in turn gives the likes of President Trump license to blame both sides for violence that one side far more clearly provoked.

Rewind to the start of the chaos in Charlottesville to understand the pernicious dynamic. A group of alt-right protesters were gathering, ostensibly motivated by the proposed removal of a Confederate statue, but in fact to celebrate anti-black racism and anti-Semitism.

Their promotional materials used Nazi and Confederate imagery. Their chants insisted Jews will not replace us. Their leaders openly embraced the vile notion that the United States is for white Christians and no one else. Though some carried no arms, many flaunted assault rifles, clearly to intimidate anyone who dare confront them.

These were and remain the bad guys.

Trump shows sympathy to hate groups in bizarre tirade

Hundreds if not thousands of counterprotesters gathered to oppose them, nonviolently. They chanted, shouted, sang songs, in the best tradition of American activism. Contrary to Trumps assertion, they had full legal permission to protest.

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That was the asymmetric reality: immoral and sometimes violent intimidators and their enablers, met primarily by righteous, peaceful protesters .

Then antifa activists, sometimes masked, sometimes wielding pepper spray, bricks and other weapons, entered the equation. Intent on viewing virulent expressions of racism as violence, they were bent on initiating conflict.

Among their victims were journalists. Taylor Lorenz of The Hill was punched in the face by an antifa for recording a fight between the two groups; she tweeted that her assaulter told her not to snitch, media bitch. A videographer from Richmonds WTVR covering a counter-protest got a concussion from head blows with a stick.

LUPICA: It’s good versus evil and Trump won’t take sides

Of course, the single most violent act in Charlottesville was committed a the radical right-wing terrorist who drove his vehicle into a crowd. But antifa activists helped accelerate the anarchy.

This is what they do. In Berkeley, Calif., earlier this year, antifa vandalism and assaults on conservative attendees forced cancellation of speeches by Milo Yiannopolous and Ann Coulter.

In April, antifa groups warned off Trump supporters from marching in the 110-year-old Portland, Ore., Rose Festival: We will have 200 or more people rush into the parade . . . and drag and push those people out. Fearing that the police couldnt contain violence, festival organizers cancelled the event.

A violent movement that seeks to strike fear into the hearts of not just hate groups, but legitimate right-of-center individuals and organizations, has no place in a democratic society.

Jon Stewart says Nazis ‘seem to like’ Trump

Calmer, smarter voices on the left must vocally disavow antifas tactics. Or else they will give rhetorical ammunition to President Trump, himself no stranger to inciting violence, as he dishonestly conflates his ideological enemies and deviously blurs bright moral lines.

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Calmer voices on the left must disavow antifa’s tactics or else they will give rhetorical ammunition to Trump – New York Daily News

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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.

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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

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‘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.

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

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

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Antifa Carry Bats To Heyer’s Funeral | The Daily Caller

A group of antifascist protesters armed with purple shields and bats showed up to the Wednesday funeral of a woman mowed down by a white supremacist who struck her with a vehicle. Antifa, a collection of left-wing protesters, decided to crash the funeral of Heather Heyer, a white woman who died after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters during a white nationalist riot. The antifascist activists claimed they showed up armed because the police wont protect the people, according to a reporter on the scene. Heyer died during a white supremacist rally over the potential removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. The rally broke out into violence between armed white nationalists and antifa protesters throwing balloons filled with ink and urine and bricks at the white nationalists gathered there. The line to enter Heyers funeral, hosted at the Paramount theater in Charlottesville, reached two blocks. Follow Amber on Twitter Send tips to [emailprotected]. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [emailprotected].

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‘Antifa’ radicals aren’t good because they fight Nazis – San Francisco Chronicle

Fighting Nazis is a good thing, but fighting Nazis doesnt necessarily make you or your cause good. By my lights this is simply an obvious fact. The greatest Nazi-killer of the 20th century was Josef Stalin. He also killed millions of his own people and terrorized, oppressed, enslaved or brutalized tens of millions more. The fact that he killed Nazis during World War II (out of self-preservation, not principle) doesnt dilute his evil one bit. This should settle the issue as far as Im concerned. Nazism was evil. Soviet communism was evil. Its fine to believe that Nazism was more evil than communism. That doesnt make communism good. Alas, it doesnt settle the issue. Confusion on this point poisoned politics in America and abroad for generations. Part of the problem is psychological. Theres a natural tendency to think that when people, or movements, hate each other, it must be because theyre opposites. This assumption overlooks the fact that many indeed, most of the great conflicts and hatreds in human history are derived from what Sigmund Freud called the narcissism of minor differences. Most tribal hatreds are between very similar groups. The European wars of religion were between peoples who often shared the same language and culture but differed on the correct way to practice the Christian faith. The Sunni-Shia split in the Muslim world is the source of great animosity between very similar peoples. The young communists and fascists fighting for power in the streets of 1920s Germany had far more in common with each other than they had with decent liberals or conservatives, as we understand those terms today. Thats always true of violent radicals and would-be totalitarians. The second part of the problem wasnt innocent confusion, but sinister propaganda. As Hitler solidified power and effectively outlawed the Communist Party of Germany, The Communist International (Comintern) abandoned its position that socialist and progressive groups that were disloyal to Moscow were fascist and instead encouraged communists everywhere to build popular fronts against the common enemy of Nazism. These alliances of convenience with social democrats and other progressives were a great propaganda victory for communists around the world because they bolstered the myth that communists were just members of the left coalition in the fight against Hitler, bigotry, fascism, etc. This obscured the fact that whenever the communists had a chance to seize power, they did so. And often, the first people they killed, jailed or exiled were their former allies. Thats what happened in Eastern Europe, Cuba and other places where communists succeeded in taking over the government. If you havent figured it out yet, this seemingly ancient history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether its OK to equate antifa antifascist left-wing radicals with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Va. The president wants to claim that there were very fine people on both sides of the protest and that the antifascist radicals are equally blameworthy. He borrowed from Fox News Channels Sean Hannity the bogus term alt-left to describe the antifa radicals. The term is bogus for the simple reason that, unlike the alt-right, nobody calls themselves the alt-left. And thats too bad. One of the only nice things about the alt-right is that its leaders are honest about the fact that they want nothing to do with traditional American conservatism. Like the original Nazis, they seek to replace the traditional right with their racial hogwash. The antifa crowd has a very similar agenda with regard to traditional American liberalism. These goons and thugs oppose free speech, celebrate violence, despise dissent and have little use for anything else in the American political tradition. But many liberals, particularly in the media, are victims of the same kind of confusion that vexed so much of American liberalism in the 20th century. Because antifa suddenly has the (alt-)right enemies, they must be the good guys. Theyre not. And thats why this debate is so toxically stupid. Fine, antifa isnt as bad as the KKK. Who cares? Since when is being less bad than the Klan a major moral accomplishment? In these tribal times, the impulse to support anyone who shares your enemies is powerful. But it is a morally stunted reflex. This is America. Youre free to denounce totalitarians wherever you find them even if they might hate the right people. 2017 Tribune Content Agency LLC Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. Email: goldbergcolumn@gmail.com Twitter: @JonahNRO

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Seriously? CNN Changes Headline On Story About Antifa Because They Didn’t Like Being Called Violent – Townhall

CNN, you almost did a great thing. In fact, the article you published about the violent Antifa movement was not bad. You showed how they view police as the enemy; how the groups far left views on pretty much everything is way outside the mainstream, and how theyre lawless. Even those who are studying extremist groups in the country note that the violent course Antifa takes will ultimately kill the movement. Yet, it seems the news network caved to Antifas complaining over their original headline: Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists seek peace through violence to unmasking the leftist Antifa movement. The editors note reads, This story has been updated to clarify that counterprotesters say they are not to blame for violence at the Charlottesville protest. The story’s headline has also been updated. What happened in Charlottesville was a disgrace. Both white nationalists and Antifa showed up, melees broke out, and one woman died when a white nationalist plowed through a group of counter demonstrators. Im not saying Antifa isnt violent. They areand CNN did a good job noting this in their story. The problem is that it was a white nationalist who murdered someone. The narrative changes with this incident because, despite the clashes, one side decided to mow people downand it wasnt the far left. Then again, the CNN piece was not really focused on Charlottesville. It was about the movement in general [emphasis mine]: Anti-fascists and the black bloc tactic originated in Nazi Germany and resurfaced in United Kingdom in the 1980s. Large numbers of Antifa activists first appeared in the United States at anti-World Trade Organization protests in 1999 in Seattle, and then more recently during the Occupy Wall Street movement. 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. Earlier this year, Antifa activists were among those who smashed windows and set fires during protests at the University of California, Berkeley, leading to the cancellation of far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and withdrawal of Ann Coulter as speakers. [] 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. [] 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. CNN interviewed Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, who said such violence is going to kill Antifa. It’s [violence] killing the cause — it’s not hurting it, it’s killing it, and it will kill it, he said, noting that such acts, like when Antifa members physically go after neo-Nazi members, gives them moral high ground. These are awful people. Then again, so are the Antifa members. The moral of the story is that just because Antifa is fighting white nationalist and neo-Nazis, doesnt make them the good guys. Neither side deserves to be defended as a beacon of political discourse or civic engagement. Theyre both despicableand thats what CNN captured in this story thats been diluted in the name of political correctness. You cannot talk about or condemn political extremism without slamming both Antifa and white nationalists. Does a white nationalist murdering someone in Charlottesville change how we should view these two groups? No. Theyre both made up of violent thugs. But in the case of Charlottesville, only one side decided to use a car to achieve a homicidal goal. Thats whats different here, and why so many were not satisfied when Trump blamed both sides for the violence. Theres a difference between a scuffle on a march way and plowing through people with a car. Yet, it doesnt negate the fact that Antifa are still violent criminals, who shouldnt be martyred or idolized as some anti-Nazi antidote to American political discourse.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

Calmer voices on the left must disavow antifa’s tactics or else they will give rhetorical ammunition to Trump – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, August 20, 2017, 4:10 AM The disgusting resurgence of white supremacists in 2017 America, aided and abetted by a White House engaging in toxic moral equivalence, has gotten an assist from a tiny left-wing cadre. This loosely organized band calls itself antifa (anti-fascist), and unlike the broad coalition of activists arrayed in opposition to much of the Trump agenda its members unapologetically embrace violence as the only sufficiently strong answer to those they see as enemies, even when those enemies are engaging in nonviolent protest. Down this road, madness lies. In a civil society fingers crossed, thats what this still is unprovoked violence is illegal and wrong no matter who is on the receiving end. The answer to speech is speech, not sticks and stones. GOP, Dems blast Trump for encouraging hate groups Just as important, antifa activists make a fateful strategic mistake by stealing initiative and attention from far more admirably behaved fellow travelers, which in turn gives the likes of President Trump license to blame both sides for violence that one side far more clearly provoked. Rewind to the start of the chaos in Charlottesville to understand the pernicious dynamic. A group of alt-right protesters were gathering, ostensibly motivated by the proposed removal of a Confederate statue, but in fact to celebrate anti-black racism and anti-Semitism. Their promotional materials used Nazi and Confederate imagery. Their chants insisted Jews will not replace us. Their leaders openly embraced the vile notion that the United States is for white Christians and no one else. Though some carried no arms, many flaunted assault rifles, clearly to intimidate anyone who dare confront them. These were and remain the bad guys. Trump shows sympathy to hate groups in bizarre tirade Hundreds if not thousands of counterprotesters gathered to oppose them, nonviolently. They chanted, shouted, sang songs, in the best tradition of American activism. Contrary to Trumps assertion, they had full legal permission to protest. 51 photos view gallery That was the asymmetric reality: immoral and sometimes violent intimidators and their enablers, met primarily by righteous, peaceful protesters . Then antifa activists, sometimes masked, sometimes wielding pepper spray, bricks and other weapons, entered the equation. Intent on viewing virulent expressions of racism as violence, they were bent on initiating conflict. Among their victims were journalists. Taylor Lorenz of The Hill was punched in the face by an antifa for recording a fight between the two groups; she tweeted that her assaulter told her not to snitch, media bitch. A videographer from Richmonds WTVR covering a counter-protest got a concussion from head blows with a stick. LUPICA: It’s good versus evil and Trump won’t take sides Of course, the single most violent act in Charlottesville was committed a the radical right-wing terrorist who drove his vehicle into a crowd. But antifa activists helped accelerate the anarchy. This is what they do. In Berkeley, Calif., earlier this year, antifa vandalism and assaults on conservative attendees forced cancellation of speeches by Milo Yiannopolous and Ann Coulter. In April, antifa groups warned off Trump supporters from marching in the 110-year-old Portland, Ore., Rose Festival: We will have 200 or more people rush into the parade . . . and drag and push those people out. Fearing that the police couldnt contain violence, festival organizers cancelled the event. A violent movement that seeks to strike fear into the hearts of not just hate groups, but legitimate right-of-center individuals and organizations, has no place in a democratic society. Jon Stewart says Nazis ‘seem to like’ Trump Calmer, smarter voices on the left must vocally disavow antifas tactics. Or else they will give rhetorical ammunition to President Trump, himself no stranger to inciting violence, as he dishonestly conflates his ideological enemies and deviously blurs bright moral lines.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

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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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

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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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Antifa  Comments Closed

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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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


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