aside What Is This “Antifa” Group That White Supremacists Are So Upset Over

 Image result for photos of antifa at protestsUntil this past week, I had been unaware of this “Antifa” Group which does exist and which claims to be ant-Facist organization.
It is my opinion that the White nationalists’ scheduled rally held on August 19, 2017 In Boston, MA. where a few hate group members were outnumbered by 20,000 counter protesters will be the model for cities allowing for future protests. To mitigate any harm from violence, the police had confiscated all items that could be used as weapons, even flags. No one was seriously harmed but there were 27 arrests. This made for a boring protest for the media to cover.
Image result for photos of antifa at protests
Here’s some information about this “Antifa” group provided by an August 14, 2017 Time Magazine article, “What Is Antifa? Anti-Facist Protesters Draw Attention After Charlottesville,” by Katy Steinmetz.

Excerpts:

“The violent clash on the streets of Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead drew attention to white nationalist groups that organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. But it also cast a spotlight on groups of counter-protesters who came out to oppose the rally on Aug. 12.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protests

“While many of those who opposed the white nationalists were affiliated with mainstream organizations or there on their own behalf, a small number belonged to the so-called “antifa” movement that opposes extreme conservative ideologies.

 “President Trump’s much-criticized initial statement that “hatred, bigotry and violence” in Charlottesville came from “many sides” may have been an allusion to their presence.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protestsHere’s what you need to know about the movement.

What does “antifa” mean?

“Antifa is short for anti-fascist. So what is a fascist? A textbook definition would be someone who is aggressively supportive of their nation and who may believe one race is superior to others. In the past, fascist regimes have been led by dictators with “complete power” that forced conformity to a particular viewpoint. Though the word comes from a political movement that began in Italy following the First World War, the word fascist has been used more broadly since then to describe intolerant and oppressive behavior. Anti-fascists have been around about as long as fascists have.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protests

What do antifa groups oppose these days?

“There’s not one set answer. Anti-fascist groups have long protested globalization in Europe. These days in the U.S., antifa protestors are often bound by an opposition to capitalism. Some may also describe themselves as anarchists, people who question authority on principle.”

“Here is how one self-described antifa activist explained the label to TIME: “The standard for antifa ideology is anti-capitalism, anti-fascism of course. Those are kind of the two main pillars, but within that, encompassed, it also comes with being anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-ableism, anti-transphobia, anything like that and just protecting people who are marginalized and oppressed.” Another said that antifa activists are simply “going against this idea that a certain group of elite get to have control over everybody else.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protests

Being against oppression doesn’t seem extreme. Why are these groups controversial?

“In the name of fighting for those ideals — and putting a stop to “hate speech”—some antifa protestors will employ militant tactics or violent means such as vandalism. That happened at President Trump’s inauguration, where protesters busted out limousine windows. Later in the spring, antifa protesters in Berkeley, Calif., opposed a speech by right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos by breaking windows and starting fires, causing more than $100,000 of property damage. Some antifascist activists say that the media has sensationalized them by focusing such instances. And they point out that they have been targets of violence  themselves.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protestsIs there an official antifa group?

“No, there’s no antifa headquarters. And a person could describe themselves as antifa without being a member of any particular group. The antifa movement is a loose and informal one. But the label is becoming more visible, showing up in graffiti on college campuses and forums for grassroots organizers online. Some groups that identify as anti-fascist say they’ve seen upticks in interest since the alt-right has gained momentum following the election because people feel that “you have to pick a side,” as the national chair of a group called By Any Means Necessary put it.”

What’s with the black clothing?

“Groups that identify as antifa may use a technique known as black bloc, which involves wearing black clothing and items like bandanas that shield one’s face—outfits that help people stay anonymous in a crowd. There can be philosophical reasons behind this, like a belief that hierarchies are bad and that remaining anonymous helps keep one’s ego in check. There are also practical reasons, like hiding one’s identity from protesters on the other side (who might dox people they disagree with) or from police and cameras.”

Image result for photos of antifa at protestsWhy are people talking about antifa and free speech?

‘Groups on the right have used events like the protest in Berkeley to paint antifa protestors as being out of control and acting as enemies of free speech, because they have mobilized in order to “shut down” speech that they disagree with. Politicians on the right and left have both criticized such tactics. In turn, antifa activists have argued that certain types of speech are themselves violent or bound to cause violence if they are uttered in the public sphere. They have also said that alt-right groups are using the words “free speech” as cover for spreading racist and bigoted ideologies.”

“Trump condemned such notions on Monday (8/14/17), after days of pressure to speak out more forcefully following the death in Charlottesville. “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs,” Trump said, “including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.”

My Thoughts: 

Revulsion, fear, and rage against hate groups like White supremacists, White nationalists, and neo-Nazis are understandable. But one thing is TRUE. Any left leaning group preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of any city may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right but in truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

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14 comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ANTIFA = ANTIFACISM … for every action there’s a reaction! For every wrong, there’s a right. Yin-yang concept!
    Guess this is the ALT-LEFT? ✊🏽 … be on the right side of history!

    • Dear Horty,

      For the record, I don’t condone violence from the left or the right. Antifa did not have as significant role in Charlottesville, VA. as they did at the president’s inauguration and a Berkeley rally with regards to violence. They were present and according to an activist Cornell West, Antifa saved counter-protesters from harm’s way when police where doing nothing to protect them. They were not the ones who caused the death of a beautiful young woman, Heather Heyer.

      Antifa does take on the haters online and this is where their real war is taking place. In my opinion, Antifa can play a constructive role as long as they avoid unprovoked/ gratuitous violence.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I think what happened in Charlotetesville was a complete set up. The person who arranged the “white supremist” protest voted for Obama and helped organize Occupy Wallstreet. Then we find out that just before the protest Crowd on Demand advertised on Craigslist to recruit actors at $25/hr, for a peaceful protest in Charlottesville. And funny how the main stream media was immediately ready with all their talking points…truly disgusting!

        • Dear Jen Fedup,

          WELCOME!

          The information you shared is partially true.

          According to the Southern Poverty Center, “Arrest records indicate that Jason Kessler was convicted in 2005 for shoplifting, obstructing justice and for a string of failures to appear and register, in addition to numerous traffic violations and citations.

          Kessler started his blog “Jason Kessler, American Author,” toward the end of 2015 and spent the majority of the next year dispensing mindset and lifestyle advice and promoting two books authored during a period of “worldwide travel.” The first is a book of poetry titled Midnight Road, and a second novel called Badland Blues about a “drunken dwarf,” who is “unlucky in love, looks or money.”

          Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.

          At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself, as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

          Kessler himself has placed his “red-pilling” around December of 2013 when a PR executive was publicly excoriated for a tasteless Twitter joke about AIDS in Africa.

          Regarding the incident, Kessler stated “… so it was just a little race joke, nothing that big of a deal, she didn’t have that many followers, she probably didn’t think anybody was gonna see it,”

          Regardless of Kessler’s past politics, the rightward shift in his views was first put on display in November, 2016 when his tirade against Wes Bellamy began.

          The above history does not mean that the Charlottesville rally was a complete set-up.

          It is true that Crowd on Demand advertised on Craigslist to recruit actors at $25/hr, for a peaceful protest in Charlottesville but the AD was referring to Charlottesville, NC and NOT Charlottesville, VA..

          As per Snopes.com, On 14 August 2017, a Craigslist job advertisement began to spread on social media and chat forums like Reddit and 4Chan. The ad, which had appeared a week earlier, appeared to offer up to $25 an hour to applicants willing to form part of a crowd for events in Charlotte, North Carolina:

          Crowds on Demand, “a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes.

          But even any involvement by “Crowds on Demand” with the event for Charlottesville, NC has not been proven.

          Thanks for stopping by, Gronda

    • Agreed, I wouldn’t trust the alt-left any more than the right. Also widely documented that a George Soros Funded Group “Refuse Fascism” Gave $50K to Antifa.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/20/george-soros-democracy-alliance-anti-trump-activists-meeting/99417808/#

      If only ppl can sit down peacefully and dialogue about their perceived differences/ grievances without these instigators from the far left & right flaming riots and violence. 😦

  2. Gronda, when protestors emulate the characteristics of the hate mongers, it lessens their argument. These white supremacists need to told their hate and bigotry is not right. But, we must do this with civil and massive protest. Violence is not the answer. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      I couldn’t agree more. Gratuitous violence is never acceptable. In Charlottesville, an activist Cornell West claims that this group helped save many counter-protesters from serious bodily injury at a time when the police were doing virtually nothing to protect them.However they have been guilty of unprovoked violence elsewhere. This is counterproductive. The White supremacists would like nothing better than to be portrayed as innocent victims just trying to exercise their right to free speech.

      I admired how Boston officials handled its far right rally by not allowing the protesters to participate while holding an item that could be used in an act of violence.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the only one who had not heard of ‘Antifa’ before the events in Charlottesville.

    My thoughts are that when we who promote equality for all, lower ourselves to the standards of the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, et al, then we lose credibility and become just another part of the whole problem. In the words of Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high”. I think that if we are to put down the haters, we must hold ourselves above their behaviour and eschew violence as a form of communication. In the words of my late mother: “Two wrongs do not make a right”.

    Thanks for this informative post, my friend! Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      I’m in complete agreement with your thinking.

      Recently, I participated in a well attended democratic meeting in Tampa, FL. and it was obvious that this party opposes any acts of violence at protests/ marches.. Even when its protesters have been mistreated or threatened, there has been no intent/ desire to respond accordingly.

      Hugs, Gronda

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