There’s a fake Winston Churchill quote that goes,
“The Fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists.”
Whether or not Churchill said it, the adage has proven to be true.
Whenever a conservative speaks at a public venue, the group “Antifa” (abbreviated from Antifascist Action) ironically shows up with the singular focus of shutting them down with violence. And their violent tactics are escalating.
At a recent pro-free speech rally in Berkeley, Antifa radicals drew first blood with large rocks, metal pipes, knives, incendiary devices (that deployed smoke and shrapnel), and allegedly a carburetor. Remember, these are the anti-fascists.
Antifa has no organizational structure or charter, so there’s no centralized leadership or detailed history. The group supposedly formed in the 1930s, then went in and out of dormancy for decades.
In its current form, Antifa agitators almost uniformly employ black-bloc methods (dressing in all black and obscuring the face with bandanas, masks, and helmets) to make identification and prosecution much more difficult.
From a Los Angeles Times report:
Black bloc tactics also dogged Trump’s inaugural ceremonies in Washington, leaving broken windows, vandalized banks and a torched limo.
And early this month on the UC Berkeley campus, black bloc militants tore down police barricades, broke windows, started a fire and assaulted Trump supporters.
Conservative author Ann Coulter is the new target of their wrath. Coulter had planned to give a speech on Berkeley’s campus, but the event was canceled due to rising security concerns.
Bernie Sanders, whose ideology probably aligns well with the majority of the Antifa, decried the group’s despicable actions.
I don’t like this. I don’t like it…People have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation. To me, it’s a sign of intellectual weakness. If you can’t ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments, if all you can do is boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming, what does that tell the world? What are you afraid of? Her ideas? Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”
Subsequently the speech has been re-scheduled, then re-re-scheduled, so it’s unclear if and when it will happen, if at all.
What is clear is that Antifa will make an unfortunate appearance. Perhaps the most disturbing trend in these acts of violence is the inaction of law enforcement.
Much to their exasperation, police officers at these demonstrations have been ordered to stand down, likely because their superiors are terrified of political blowback. However, indulging this type of behavior is injurious to society.
A quick search of the NYC Antifa website–the group has a footprint across Europe as well as the United States–reveals a list of “comrades” (yes, they use the word comrade) in prison across the globe for crimes ranging from hooliganism to murder.
This is not the type of group that should be handled with kid-gloves. If Antifa insists on using violence as a first-strike tactic, then they should be labeled as domestic terrorists–and treated as such.