Antifa

The left must disavow Antifa

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The left must disavow Antifa

Every self-​respecting and freedom-​loving per­son on the polit­i­cal right should unequiv­o­cally oppose white suprema­cist groups like the KKK and NeoN­azis. We hear this a lot, par­tic­u­larly in the cur­rent atmos­phere of volatil­ity in Amer­ica. On the flip side, there should be no sup­port from the polit­i­cal left for groups such as Antifa.

Any­one read­ing this who dis­agrees will say that I am equiv­o­cat­ing by lump­ing in Nazis with Antifa. This is the straw man argu­ment that I’ve faced often in recent weeks. It comes from both sides, but mostly from those who want Antifa to some­how be akin to the actual anti-​fascist Allied sol­diers who fought the orig­i­nal Nazis in WWII. Even those who don’t make that illog­i­cal leap will say that what the KKK does is truly bad while what Antifa does is only a lit­tle bad.

Here’s the thing. Antifa has been in a con­stant state of accel­er­a­tion since they hit the media’s radar. They learned the les­son that every jour­nal­ist learns in col­lege: if it bleeds it leads. They dis­cov­ered that the more dis­rup­tive, loud, destruc­tive, and vio­lent they are with their protests and coun­ter­protests, the more atten­tion their “move­ment” will get. We wit­nessed this yes­ter­day as a sur­pris­ingly orga­nized group of “anar­chists” made short work of a mas­sive police pres­ence to wreak havoc at a pro-​Trump demon­stra­tion.

Hun­dreds of offi­cers tried to main­tain calm in and around Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Civic Cen­ter Park before the 1 p.m. “No to Marx­ism in Berke­ley” rally, putting up bar­ri­cades, search­ing bags and con­fis­cat­ing sticks, masks, pep­per spray and even water bot­tles. The goal was to head off the type of clashes that sprang from sim­i­lar ral­lies in the city ear­lier this year.

But once again, coun­ter­demon­stra­tors frus­trated efforts by police, who num­bered about 400. As the crowd swelled to sev­eral times that size, offi­cers stepped aside and allowed hun­dreds of peo­ple angered by the pres­ence of the right-​wing rally to climb over the bar­ri­ers into the park, said Offi­cer Jen­nifer Coats, a spokes­woman for Berke­ley police.

The masked coun­ter­pro­test­ers, often referred to as antifa or antifas­cists, sig­nif­i­cantly out­num­bered the peo­ple who had come for the rally, many of whom wore red cloth­ing indi­cat­ing sup­port for Pres­i­dent Trump. The anar­chists chased away the right-​wingers, and in one case four or five pum­meled a man with fists and sticks before a radio host for Reveal, Al Let­son, jumped in to shield the vic­tim. Anar­chists also attacked reporters who doc­u­mented their actions.

This is only going to get worse if it’s not bot­tled up very soon. The prob­lem isn’t just with the vio­lence. Their tar­gets should worry us all. They’ve broad­ened their label­ing of oth­ers to the point that any­one can be a fas­cist. If any­one can be a fas­cist, any­one can become their target.

Fas­cism to Antifa isn’t what most peo­ple would call fas­cism. To Antifa, any­one who is not prop­erly aligned with their ide­ol­ogy is a fas­cist. They aren’t just going after Nazis. They’re not even sim­ply tar­get­ing pro-​Trump groups or indi­vid­u­als. They’re tar­get­ing con­ser­v­a­tives in gen­eral. It doesn’t mat­ter if you hate the Nazis and oppose Pres­i­dent Trump. If you espouse con­ser­vatism, you’re a fas­cist in their eyes and must be dealt with accordingly.

They must be dis­avowed by the left. Notice that I’m not just refer­ring to Demo­c­ra­tic politi­cians or com­mu­nity lead­ers. They need to be dis­avowed by every left-​leaning cit­i­zen with the same feroc­ity that most right-​leaning cit­i­zen opposes them. They’ve crossed over from being a nui­sance yelling at peo­ple walk­ing into con­ser­v­a­tive event venues and embraced a cult-​like indoc­tri­na­tion that is approach­ing domes­tic ter­ror­ism. Some call them ter­ror­ists today and by def­i­n­i­tion, they are. How­ever, my con­cern is that they won’t be sat­is­fied with sneak­ing into events and caus­ing chaos. Some­day in the not-​too-​distant future, they will turn to actual ter­ror­ist attacks.

Antifa may be the great­est domes­tic threat to free­dom the nation has ever seen. I’m not being overly dra­matic when I make this warn­ing. Their anger is clear. Their meth­ods are becom­ing more sophis­ti­cated. Their will­ing­ness to destroy prop­erty and harm peo­ple is expand­ing. Those on the left must first stop drink­ing the Kool-​Aid and then pre­vent oth­ers from doing the same. Oth­er­wise, they’re going to own this when Antifa ramps up the vio­lence a notch or two. Or ten.

Every self-respecting and freedom-loving person on the political right should unequivocally oppose white supremacist groups like the KKK and NeoNazis. We hear this a lot, particularly in the current atmosphere of volatility in America. On the flip side, there should be no support from the political left for groups such as Antifa.

Anyone reading this who disagrees will say that I am equivocating by lumping in Nazis with Antifa. This is the straw man argument that I’ve faced often in recent weeks. It comes from both sides, but mostly from those who want Antifa to somehow be akin to the actual anti-fascist Allied soldiers who fought the original Nazis in WWII. Even those who don’t make that illogical leap will say that what the KKK does is truly bad while what Antifa does is only a little bad.

Here’s the thing. Antifa has been in a constant state of acceleration since they hit the media’s radar. They learned the lesson that every journalist learns in college: if it bleeds it leads. They discovered that the more disruptive, loud, destructive, and violent they are with their protests and counterprotests, the more attention their “movement” will get. We witnessed this yesterday as a surprisingly organized group of “anarchists” made short work of a massive police presence to wreak havoc at a pro-Trump demonstration.

Hundreds of officers tried to maintain calm in and around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park before the 1 p.m. “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally, putting up barricades, searching bags and confiscating sticks, masks, pepper spray and even water bottles. The goal was to head off the type of clashes that sprang from similar rallies in the city earlier this year.

But once again, counterdemonstrators frustrated efforts by police, who numbered about 400. As the crowd swelled to several times that size, officers stepped aside and allowed hundreds of people angered by the presence of the right-wing rally to climb over the barriers into the park, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a spokeswoman for Berkeley police.

The masked counterprotesters, often referred to as antifa or antifascists, significantly outnumbered the people who had come for the rally, many of whom wore red clothing indicating support for President Trump. The anarchists chased away the right-wingers, and in one case four or five pummeled a man with fists and sticks before a radio host for Reveal, Al Letson, jumped in to shield the victim. Anarchists also attacked reporters who documented their actions.

This is only going to get worse if it’s not bottled up very soon. The problem isn’t just with the violence. Their targets should worry us all. They’ve broadened their labeling of others to the point that anyone can be a fascist. If anyone can be a fascist, anyone can become their target.

Fascism to Antifa isn’t what most people would call fascism. To Antifa, anyone who is not properly aligned with their ideology is a fascist. They aren’t just going after Nazis. They’re not even simply targeting pro-Trump groups or individuals. They’re targeting conservatives in general. It doesn’t matter if you hate the Nazis and oppose President Trump. If you espouse conservatism, you’re a fascist in their eyes and must be dealt with accordingly.

They must be disavowed by the left. Notice that I’m not just referring to Democratic politicians or community leaders. They need to be disavowed by every left-leaning citizen with the same ferocity that most right-leaning citizen opposes them. They’ve crossed over from being a nuisance yelling at people walking into conservative event venues and embraced a cult-like indoctrination that is approaching domestic terrorism. Some call them terrorists today and by definition, they are. However, my concern is that they won’t be satisfied with sneaking into events and causing chaos. Someday in the not-too-distant future, they will turn to actual terrorist attacks.

Antifa may be the greatest domestic threat to freedom the nation has ever seen. I’m not being overly dramatic when I make this warning. Their anger is clear. Their methods are becoming more sophisticated. Their willingness to destroy property and harm people is expanding. Those on the left must first stop drinking the Kool-Aid and then prevent others from doing the same. Otherwise, they’re going to own this when Antifa ramps up the violence a notch or two. Or ten.