i can't really summarize years' worth of research & experience on here but a few quick notes about "ANTIFA":
1. it stands for antifascist
2. it traces its origins to street-fighting armies who confronted the fascist forces of mussolini, the nazi party, & fascists across europe
3. post WWII, proto-antifascists like the 43 group, street fighting jews who beat up British fascists who supported Oswald Moseley, continued that legacy
4. in the '60s and '70s multiracial radicals banded together to fight fascist parties like the National Front in Britain
5. in the '80s, racist skinhead punks began to hurt minorities & antiracist punks like the Red Warriors in France fought back
6. the "black bloc" technique- dressing all in black with masks-- emerged from German leftists called Autonomen who fought postwar Nazism
7. in the U.S. antifa originated in the late 80s as racist skinhead punks joined Nazi bands & beat minorities. S.H.A.R.P. (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) and Anti Racist Action (A.R.A.) formed decentralized movements to drive white power skinheads out of the punk scene
8. in 2007 Rose City Antifa was founded in portland to shut down a skinhead festival. they were likely the first group to adopt the European moniker "antifa" (short for Antifaschistische Aktion, a German radical left anti-Nazi group in '32-'33 that has inspired countless ppl)
9. since interwar Europe, antifascist groups have singularly existed to oppose fascism. some left critics oppose antifa tactics precisely for this purpose: when fascist groups recede, so do they. antifa exists to quash fascism. full stop.
10. just as fascist groups received a massive shot in the arm from the 2016 election, so did antifascist groups. antifa activity in the US consists of both black bloc protest activity, framed as community defense, and, more often, research: identifying neonazis & fellow travelers
11. antifa research is online via infiltrating fascist chats and orgs to identify malefactors, & in person infiltration. several massive leaks of nazi chats have been pulled off by antifa in recent years, incl. planning chats for the fatal Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville
12. antifascists tend to be anarchists and skeptical of police & feds - bc police express overt hostility & brutality to leftist protest; bc police in the US are demonstrably racist & infiltrated by movement white supremacists; & bc of a philosophy of nonstate organizing
13. antifa ideology is disparate as it is a decentralized movement but a useful concept is "the 3 way fight": antifa, the state, and fascist nonstate actors like the KKK, atomwaffen, League of the South each form points on this triangle
14. antifa are also mistrustful of press-- which goes both ways; press cvg of antifa has been near-uniformly hostile. most salient bias from press here is not just anti-leftism but institutionalism: tendency to trust institutions as info sources rather than decentralized actors
15. there are also journalists who draw on antifascist research as sources for cvg of the far right, while independently verifying. but press cvg of antifa as a phenomenon is nearly always critical, drawing from the viewpoint of a hostile police & law enforcement apparatus
16. neoliberal/liberal skeptics may endorse antifascist goals -- ie, say they oppose nazis/skinheads -- while still demanding that nazis get their say, ACLU-style. to quote rose city antifa's FAQ, though:
17. if you're curious about my own stance, im an antifascist. i've infiltrated nazi groups & identified nazis. there is no acceptable amount of nazis in our discourse just as there is no acceptable amount of zyklon-b in your bedroom. no pasarán.
OH AND ONE MORE POINT. theres a persistent, right wing originated but popular idea that antifa is all white and mostly male. this is simply untrue.there are definitely nonwhite antifascists and most antifa group leaders are women. from street medics to brawlers to researchers.
AND A LAST POINT. The Trump DOJ is about as trustworthy on antifa as a fox is about hens. They're lying as an excuse to engage in militarized action against protest.
So far there's been some - a bit of - evidence in re: white supremacist infiltration of protests to incite race war. But we don't know. Big, conclusive statements about ongoing, complex events are rarely to be trusted. Use caution.
also, I don't give a fuck about trolls. I just know what antifascism is and isn't.
You can follow @chick_in_kiev.
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