Antifa, short for “anti-fascists,” is a radical political movement that aligns with neither political party. Antifa positions can be hard to define, but the goal seems to be to fight far-right ideology (with violence whereever possible).
“Members support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites,” reports CNN. “Some employ radical or militant tactics to get their message across.”
The group is famous for causing violence, and its actions were categorized as “domestic terrorist violence” by the DHS in 2016.
That same year, the DHS and FBI warned that Antifa would become even more violent if “fascist, nationalist, racist, or anti-immigrant parties obtain greater prominence or local political power in the US, leading to anti-racist violent backlash from anarchist extremists” (Politico).
Multiple media outlets are citing “confidential report” from DHS describing Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization, accusing them of orchestrating attacks on police, govenrment and political institutions, and warning that violence is likely to get worse.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the election of Donald Trump.
Antifa members were present at Donald Trump’s inauguration in January and at the Charlottesville protests last month. On August 27th, they stormed the free-speech demonstration “Rally Against Hate,” where they threatened journalists, destroyed public and private property, and attacked police officers.
In the wake of this violence comes a petition asking the White House to declare Antifa a “domestic terrorist organization.” Over 300,000 Americans have signed.
“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.’ This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups,” reads the petition.
“Antifa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the Pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Antifa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
Brian Levin, a former NYC police officer and the current director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, has spent years studying groups like Antifa.
“Both the racists and a segment of violent Antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” explains Levin. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”
“What they’re trying to do now is not only become prominent through violence at these high-profile rallies, but also to reach out through small meetings and through social networking to cultivate disenfranchised progressives who heretofore were peaceful.”
Antifa has no official leader, but the group’s actions reveal a network similar to that of a terrorist cell. In 2016, the FBI and DHS claimed that Antifa members spent weeks planning for violence at upcoming events.
Former Antifa organizer Scott Crow says the group’s philosophy is based on the idea of direct action:
“The idea…is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that…And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”
Editor’s note: DHS needs to investigate these organizations and “follow the money.” Someone is behind them with a sinister agenda, and it is likely not what the left is expecting.