aside Why Didn’t I Know Anything About Antifa Before August 2017? ( Charlottesville VA Events)

Image result for photos of antifa
BERKELEY PROTESTS

This “Antifa” name has recently been popping up relatively frequently in the news especially after the Charlottesville, VA right wing rally which turned violent over the weekend of August 12, 2017.  What bothers me, is that until recently, I was totally unawares of the existence of this group.

When I attended the Washington DC’s Women’s March on January 21, 2017, I met the acquaintance of someone who frequently attends protests. We were chatting about how peaceful the March was, when she mentioned that there had been violence the day before. She noted, that she and others who frequently join in these protests know each other and they were not familiar with those who acted out violently.

march-crowd-bus-20170121_104526

Here’s the rub. Before the August 2017 Charlottesville VA. events, none of my fellow Democrats or my fellow bloggers who are very up-to-date on political news, had ever heard of this “antifa” group.

Imagine my surprise when I learned from August 2017 news reports that these members of Antifa were the same ones who committed acts of violence on January 20, 2017.

But in researching this subject, I discovered some interesting data which has convinced me that the “antifa” group being currently reported on, is none other than the Disrupt J20 group which came into its own around November 2016. Back then the alt-right/ White nationalists like Breitbart referred to them also as the “Black Block.”  Now the term of art for this group is “antfa.”

Image result for cartoons on antifa

As per Wikipedia, “DisruptJ20 (also Disrupt J20), a Washington, D.C.-based political organization founded in July 2016 and publicly launched on November 11 of the same year, stated its initial aim as protesting and disrupting events of the presidential inauguration of the 45th U.S. PresidentDonald Trump, which occurred on January 20, 2017. The protests organized and encouraged by the DisruptJ20 group were a part of a wider array of protests initiated by a variety of individuals and groups, in Washington, DC and nationwide; from a more extensive initial plan, deployments by DisruptJ20 at the inauguration eventually included efforts, at least, to blockade one bridge, and to attempt to shut down security checkpoints.

“”In December 2016, the “more radical protest-organizing network DisruptJ20,  (had) more than 1,700 Facebook group members.”

But in real time, around 1/20/17, the right wing media were frequently referring to this group as Disrupt J20 or Black Bloc.  Here’s a link to the Disrupt J20 (DisruptJ20 – Protest the Inauguration of Donald Trump | #DisruptJ20) regarding their plans for the 2017 presidential inauguration. Of the 55+ groups who signed up to be a party, three had used the name Anifa which are Antifa Seven Hills, WNC Antifa and Seattle Antifa United.

Image result for cartoons on antifa

Here is an example of how the right is reporting on this group DisruptJ20.

The 11/26/16 USA Today report, “Jones’ website, Infowars, trumpeted the “investigative report” Nov. 14, under the headline “Proof — The Trump Protests Utilizing Paid Professional Protesters financed by George Soros.”

“The claim is bogus, according to the two non-profit groups whose help-wanted ads were cited by Infowars. Washington CAN! and Clean Water Action said they were looking for people to organize around issues of concern, such as clean water or racial justice.”

Investor George Soros attends a Private Sector CEO
GEORGE SOROS/ (Photo: Pool photo by Peter Foley)

It is important to note that this condoning of violence as a defense against hate/ racist type groups by Antifa is not backed up by established left-leaning groups. Their actions are considered to be counter-productive.

For example, on August 19, 2017, the Dallas-based In Solidarity Movement held a demonstration called ‘Dallas Against White-Supremacy’on the grounds of city hall in downtown Dallas. After what occurred in Charlottesville the leadership for the In Solidarity Movement wanted to bring people together to denounce “white supremacy, neo-nazism, neo-confederates, the alt-right, etc., but the “antifa faction” was specifically excluded. 

Related image

Question: Why would a left leaning group doctor a photo of an Antifa protester  beating up a police officer? The answer is they wouldn’t.

Question: Who really benefits by the existence of this group? The answer is that right-wing hate groups benefit more by its existence than left leaning groups.Related image

Here is the headline for an August 24, 2017 Salon Magazine article by Alessandra Maldonado :

“Antifa “#PunchWhiteWomen” campaign revealed as 4Chan hoax”

Image result for images signs of antifa

As per a 8/13/17 Washington Post report by David Weigel. this is how the right had being portraying “Antifa:” 

“The “antifa” concept has existed for almost as long as fascism itself, but in the wake of Trump’s victory, organizers claimed to be seeing an influx of new energy and new recruits. In the lead-up to Inauguration Day, conservative undercover sting artist James O’Keefe released video of D.C. (Disrupt J20) antifascist organizers plotting Jan. 20 disruptions. Even as they faced questions from law enforcement, (Disrupt J20) antifa allies used “black bloc” tactics to rage across the area just outside of the inaugural parade, donning masks, smashing windows and burning cars.”

Image result for photo of richard spencer

“The Inauguration Day actions included an assault on white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, footage of which went viral. But video of the property damage took on greater import, as some conservatives began using it to portray an out-of-control left.”

“Weeks after the inauguration, antifa activists committed $100,000 in property damage and several assaults in protests that shut down a University of California at Berkeley speech by then-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. In a Feb. 24 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the National Rifle Assocation’s Wayne LaPierre linked those events with incidents of people being attacked if they supported the president.”

“On March 31, the footage of the inaugural rioting appeared for the first time in a political TV ad. In “Extremists,” a commercial produced by the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC to defeat Georgia congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, footage of peaceful Women’s March events — one of which Ossoff attended — was blended with footage of anarchists smashing windows and starting fires.”

The doctored photograph, the AP and Snopes.com found, turned out to be a Getty Image shot in 2009 during clashes between police officers and protesters in Athens, Greece. An “Antifa,” or “antifacist,” logo was digitally superimposed onto the jacket of a protester, who is seen attacking an officer with a blunt object.

MEDIATE published a report on 2/1/17 by Lindsey Ellefson, an expose on how James O’Keefe conducts business but had the tables turned on him. Here’s the link: The Young Turks Flip the Script on James O’Keefe, Obtain Undercover Video ..

HERE IS THE REST OF THE STORY…

On August 28, 2017, Todd Gitlin of the NY Times penned the following op-ed piece, “Who’s Afraid of Antifa?”

“During his speech in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Donald Trump spat out the nickname “antifa,” short for “anti-fascist” but also a reference to a particular strand of aggressive left-wing activism. In Mr. Trump’s telling, the presence of antifa activists during the violence in Charlottesville, Va., this month was evidence that the far left is just as violent as the far right.“

Image result for CARTOONS OF ANTIFASurrogates have aped Mr. Trump’s “blame both sides” rhetoric; overnight, antifa — and its assumed synonym, “alt-left” — have become right-wing shibboleths, right there with “social justice warrior” and “liberal snowflake.” In truth, there is no symmetry between either “alt-right” and either “antifa” or “alt-left.” Antifa is the backlash to the backlash, a defensive response to the growing presence of right-wing extremism.”

“So far, there is a fearful asymmetry between the far right and antifa: Over the decade ending in 2016, estimates of the percentage of politically motivated killings committed by right-wing extremists range from 73 to 92 percent, according to the conservative Daily Caller. Despite the spurious rhetoric of equivalency, supporters of antifa have, to date, killed no one.”Image result for CARTOONS OF ANTIFA

“What Americans call “Antifa” — anti-fascists — the French call La Résistance.”

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15 comments

  1. Antifa is a small group that sides with the left’s causes but they don’t like capitalism or government in general what is upsetting is that not many on the left are condemning their actions because of the Aug 20th event and many on the left give the group a pass because of that. ANTIFA is a violence group and so are the Alt-Right I agree with Trump when he called them the Alt-Left because their actions make the left look bad just as the Alt-Right makes the right look bad.

    • Dear Snova332,

      Welcome,

      This is how the vast majority on the left are portraying antifa type factions. “No less a left-wing eminence than Noam Chomsky calls the antifa “a minuscule fringe of the left” and “a major gift to the right.” Mr. Chomsky considers them (A DISTRACTION), unprincipled, outnumbered and outgunned.”

      I can tell you that I recently attended a meeting with fellow democrats. Before this month, none were aware of the name “antifa” but en masse, there was absolutely no support for these activists.

      The truth is that those who claim to be a part of this antifa are minuscule in numbers when compared to KKK, White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis. Statistically the number of acts of violence, including killings dwarfs anything done by this group. While this group appears to have become active after the November 2016 elections, the numerous hate groups have been acting out for decades.

      Finally the vast majority of Americans will not let those off the hook for supporting/ condoning the hateful actions by racist type organizations because of the idiots on the left which can’t begin to compete. This is like comparing the power of an elephant with a mouse. While those on the right want to scream and yell about the actions of the mouse, they are the same ones who have been turning a blind eye to the elephant in their midst, which is absolutely destroying the house. Most peoples get this.

      Thanks for stopping by, Gronda

      • It’s true that ANTIFA may be small but if they’re ignored then they’ll grow while I may be for Free Speech and the 1st Amendment I don’t want violence on either the left or the right. Also the KKK and Neo-Nazis are easy to ignore in the 90’s they held rallies and people let them have them and barely anyone showed up it was small and then they ended it and went home

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    Very good article! You did however beat me to the punch as this was the very topic that I have been looking at pretty strongly for the last month or so. One small point that I feel compelled to bring to your attention, is that this is not a new group that has suddenly appeared, it has come about over the last decade or so of political dirty tricks committed by the GOPTP (also known as the Alt Right). While the numbers would be impossible to compute, I will suggest that the actual numbers of people who currently could be included in what you and others now are calling the “Antifa”, are much larger than anyone could have anticipated. The reason that the establishment is so fearful of this group of people is because there is no known leader, or established leadership. In other words no head of the snake to crush, and it is impossible to fight a ghost…

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      “Antifa” type groups have existed since the days of fascist governments.

      I have been focusing on the emergence into prominence of this group “antifa” after the November 2016 elections. The group that is prominent at the start is called Disrupt J20. If you Google this name, you can see that this name is tied to the violence committed in Washington DC on 1/20/17 inauguration day. Then there have been the Berkeley incidents from Feb 2017-April 2017 where the name DisruptJ20 pops up frequently. To me subsequent to November 2016, it looks like the name of DisruptJ20 has morphed into being referred to as “antifa” or the alt-left.

      I came to this conclusion after reading below references.

      See:

      Protesters using hashtag #DisruptJ20 says their work is done and …
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/protesters-using-hashtag-disruptj20-says-their-work-is-don...
      Jan 20, 2017 –

      Dear friends, | #DisruptJ20

      Fuck Trump. #UCWalkout #DisruptJ20 #J20 #Berkeley #Oakland https …
      https://archive.org/details/archiveteam_videobot_twitter_com_822562227920269314
      Feb 2, 2017 –

      Judge approves limited search warrant for data on anti-Trump …
      http://www.latimes.com/…/la-na-pol-justice-department-dreamhost-20170824-story.html

      Department of Justice demands 1.3 million IP addresses of visitors to …
      http://www.slate.com/…/department_of_justice_demands_1_3_million_ip_addresses_of_vis...
      Aug 15, 2017

      DisruptJ20 – Wikipedia

      DisruptJ20 – Protest the Inauguration of Donald Trump | #DisruptJ20
      http://www.disruptj20.org/event/disruptj20-protest-the-inauguration-of-donald-trump/

      FACT CHECK: Did the Department of Justice Request Detailed …
      http://www.snopes.com/department-of-justice-request-disruptj20/
      (answer was true)

      Feds drop demand for 1.3 million IP addresses that visited anti-Trump …
      https://arstechnica.com/…/feds-drop-demand-for-1-3-million-ip-addresses-that-visited…
      August 22, 2017 –

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Dear Mz. Gronda,

        While I do agree strongly with your opinion as to the visible signs of the group that has grown to be known as Antifa, my position is similar, but has expanded to those people who, while not all firmly positioned left of center, are positioned as true patriots and are willing to defend this nation physically if necessary. While those on the right have been stock piling large caliber weapons, those individuals that could be called Antifa have been quietly purchasing small caliber weapons and ammunition, which many have determined would be more suitable for expanded urban conflict. Even our local W/M is unable to keep up with the sales of .22 cal. weapons and ammunition. Does anyone actually think the number of squirrel hunters in the cities has grown that much? While I am yet to be convinced that there is no peaceful way to resolve the problems that have been boiling over in our nation recently, there are many that seem to feel that armed conflict is coming and they have determined to be prepared if it does come to pass. What the Alt Right fails to realize, that while they as a group are very vocal and pushy with their opinions, those that stand on the other side of the line tend to be much quieter and much more reserved in comparison. In essence this will be the true silent majority that people like tRump should fear because when they are pushed too far they will stand their ground and fight back.

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Because I make a real concerted effort to keep up with current news, it was just driving me nuts that I had not heard of :Antifa” until this month.

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

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Gronda, Antifa needs to cool its jets. They are harming the overall message and are feeding right into the hands of right wing media big on false equivalences. I read today a report the Russian bot feeds increased just before and after Charlottesville. Infowars, Breitbart and Fox lap this stuff up.

    It is critical for Dem leaders to condemn the Antifa crowd. They are worsening the problem making real hate groups more sympathetic especially in the hands of the right wing media and a compromised President. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      I am not exaggerating when I say, the democrats did not even know about this group “antfa,” prior to August 2017.

      There were MANY WHO WERE arrested for violent acts committed on January 20, 2017 in Washington DC But they were thought of as thugs referring to themselves Disrupt J20. The same was true of the Berkeley incidents.

      The democrats are learning about this group just as many of us are. And I can tell you these thugs are not welcome in the party. But for the record this group called Disrupt J20 are the same minuscule wannabes as they were back in Jan. 2017.
      The name “antifa” does not make them into a fearsome group. They are a group of thugs who need to face jail time just like the big boy racist hate group members.

      This Disrupt J20 group has no cover in the Democratic Party. There needs to be 0 tolerance for any/ all acts of violence during protests.

      As per your own words, ” I read today a report the Russian bot feeds increased just before and after Charlottesville. Infowars, Breitbart and Fox lap this stuff up. Remember this is how the Russians and right wing media sites are coordinating/ conspiring to bring us fake news. This is a case in point.

      No one was looking at the DisruptJ20 as anything other than thugs who should face criminal charges for the vandalism of property and/ or for any attacks of other protesters. But now they are being referred to as the right wing bogeyman, “antifa.”

      This looks like a marketing campaign to me for the far-right to give more cover to all their hate/ racist groups that exist within the republican party. But the false equivalency arguments don’t hold up. This is like comparing Disrupt J20/ Antifa, a mouse in the house with the elephant in the form of white racist hate groups. Just because right wing groups want the public to believe the mouse is really an elephant, does not make it true. Both need to be moved out for the safety of the house, but other than that, there is no fair comparison.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, I agree with tout supposition. That is precisely how Russian bots fed the anti- HRC frenzy. She had enough true and embellished faux pas, the stories were there for exaggeration and creation. Antifa has teed it up for the right wing marketing engine. Keith

  4. Dear !EarthUnited,

    I had used this 8/13/17 Washington Post article by David Weigel as a resource when I was going research. This article is lacking in context. For example, the following comment tells me nothing, The “antifa” concept has existed for almost as long as fascism itself, but in the wake of Trump’s victory, organizers claimed to be seeing an influx of new energy and new recruits.”

    This antifa group does not date back to WWII. But my research does show that this Disrupt J20 group is what is now being referred to as “antifa” or the alt-left. BOTH are better titles for marketing purposes but the titles are misleading. It doesn’t alter the facts that these Disrupt J20 members cannot begin to compete with the big boy hate/ racist groups at any level. Like all thugs who commit violence at a peaceful rally/ event, they should face criminal charges just as I expect this standard for the hate group members.

    Hugs, Gronda

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