Antifa (from Anti-fascists) is the name of dozens of loosely bound and informally organized direct action protest groups that claim to be opposed to fascism. However, they largely exist to engage in violent anti-free speech demonstrations targeting right-wing opponents. They have been involved in many street battles that have led to some injuries, including several "Battles of Berkeley". Some Antifa groups appear to be financed by George Soros.
Proponents of Antifa trace their roots back to the emergence of fascism in Italy and elsewhere in Europe in the 1920s, and claim their movement began as a reaction to those events. They further claim to be "fundamentally against the right of fascists to speak and be heard." They use revolutionary socialist and communist rhetoric, and are influenced by militant anarchism, but form a separate movement.
Antifa demonstrators were very active during the 2017 Unite the Right rally, engaging in many acts of violence against the previously authorized right-wing and far-right demonstrators, who sometimes fought back. One protester associated with the Antifa movement was killed when a vehicle driven by a far-right activist plowed into the crowd, and many were injured. There were claims that the driver was trying to escape left-wing activists attacking his vehicle, while others said it was a deliberate terrorist attack. The victim became a martyr to some members of the Antifa movement.
Controversies surrounding Berkeley rallies
On April 15, 2017, supporters of President Trump and Antifa clashed on the streets of Berkeley. However, there are claims that members of the Berkeley Police Department used stun grenades and smoke bombs on the crowd in an attempt to incite violence.These claims arose after Thomas Wictor analysed many of the videos uploaded to Youtube. Berkeley's mayor allegedly endorsed the local Trotskyist-sympathizing Antifa group BAMN.
At another Berkeley confrontation between left-wing and right-wing demonstrators on August 27, 2017, Antifa protesters called for open borders and an end to any plans to build president Trump's proposed border wall, among many other left-wing demands. Some were heard chanting "No USA at all".
- Antifa movements, post-World War II movements opposing fascism
- Antifa (United States), an American political movement
- Anti-Fascist Action, a British group
- Antifaschistische Aktion, a German group whose name means "Anti-Fascist Action"
- Antifascistisk Aktion, an affiliated group in Sweden
- see list in sidebar (retrieved Apr 22, 2017) https://antifascistnetwork.org/get-involved/
- Team Crowder (April 17, 2017). "Antifa and Conservatives Throw Down At ‘Battle Of Berkeley’…". Louder with Crowder. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- Jason Kessler (March 13, 2017). "ANTIFA: Who Are They? An Explainer". Got News. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- "For Antifa, No Platform for Fascism". Abolition Journal. February 14, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Keith Preston https://ntna.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/antifa-vs-anarchism/
- left-wing site analysis of the killing ; http://www.factcheck.org/2017/08/driver-acting-self-defense/
- Rob Shimshock (April 15, 2017). "Antifa And Trump Supporters Battle At Berkeley". The Daily Caller. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- Sundance (April 20, 2017). "Stunning Research Videos – Was Berkeley Police Department Supporting Antifa Violence?". The Conservative Tree House. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- Joe Simonson; Heat Street (Apr 21, 2017) https://heatst.com/politics/berkeley-mayor-is-member-of-militant-leftist-organizations-facebook-group/
- Youtube video by "/ FTL / Freedom, Truth, & Liberty" ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ech9BYFE4k4
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