Hello dear reader(s)!
I would like to state that I am not now, nor have I even been a member of one of the many Antifa Chapters throughout the world. It isn’t for me. I am fine responding to violence (or imminent threats of violence with possible preemptive violence), but usually think violence just to make a point is not how I personally would like to do things.
I am also not an anarchist nor a communist. My perfect system would be a sort of Democratic Socialism Plus. Socialism where taxes cover everybody’s basics. Food, clean water, shelter, clothing, and healthcare. Plus, where anything else you want needs to be worked and paid for. I believe with all the data and technology available to us, this would be easy to implement, making sure people’s needs (and only their needs) are met by society.
However, just because we have different views, does not mean I consider them to be wrong or somehow bad for the world. Antifa doesn’t call for genocide. Antifa doesn’t hurt people based on skin color or sexuality. Antifa doesn’t wish death to all conservatives like the white supremacists wish death to liberals.
Antifa and similar groups are the only ones out there preventing a Nazi takeover of wherever the Nazi scum like to show up.
We saw it in the lack of police response to the Unite The Nazis…er…Right planned riot in Charlottesville. The authorities are in league with these groups. Whereas water hoses and tear gas are used against peaceful water protectors in Standing Rock, or any Black Lives Matter protest in a city where a cop shot an unarmed black person and is about to get away with it, police protect the rights of armed Nazi armies to infiltrate and intimidate a liberal town (Charlottesville went 86% for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election) and incite violence.
On Friday night, during the Tiki Putsch, the Nazi mob encircled a small group of Black Lives Matter activists and prevented them from leaving. (That is called false imprisonment where I come from.) They chanted, “Blood and soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!” None were arrested for this violent intimidation, and one is still working and attending a public university in my home town. False imprisonment is a crime, and this was clearly fueled by hate.
The next day, these Nazi thugs went back on a plan made with police to keep them separate from the activists who had showed up at Emancipation Park in downtown Charlottesville to ensure the Nazis did not have free rein, and that the white supremacist message wasn’t delivered without response. At about 11 am, a group of Nazis charged the activists swinging clubs. The activists (made up of Antifa and other groups) fought back. Police DID NOT MOVE to break up the violence. They claimed it was because their officers were in regular uniforms and would be in danger without their riot gear.
At 11:22, the police finally declared the rally an unlawful assembly and gave a dispersal order. The Nazis then marched to McIntire Park a mile from downtown. On the way, they shouted things like, “Dylan Roof is a hero!” One lit a flare and threw it at a Washington Post videographer.
When the Nazis arrived, they were met with the news that a state of emergency had been declared, there would be no rally, and they began to get picked up by their rides or dive off. The majority of anti-fascist activists, having successfully driven the Nazis from downtown Charlottesville, did not pursue the Nazis to McIntire Park. Not far from Emancipation Park, was a group of antifascist activists, including Heather Heyer. A little after 1 pm, a car, driven by a Nazi slammed into the back of the crowd, killing her, and injuring 19 others.
In every instance, witnesses say that the Nazis struck first, and the police stood down. The only groups keeping the rampage of the Nazis from being much worse were the anti-fascists including groups like Antifa (which literally means anti-fascist). Everyone should be anti-fascit, whether you are in Antifa or not.
Quoting Cornel West, who was with a group of Clergy in Charlottesville, “Absolutely. You had a number of the courageous students, of all colors, at the University of Virginia who were protesting against the neofascists themselves. The neofascists had their own ammunition. And this is very important to keep in mind, because the police, for the most part, pulled back. The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists who approached, over 300, 350 anti-fascists. We just had 20.”
He went on to say, “The anti-fascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and I’ll never forget that. Meaning what? Meaning that you had the police holding back, on the one hand, so we couldn’t even get arrested. We were there to get arrested. We couldn’t get arrested, because the police had pulled back, and just allowing fellow citizens to go at each other, you see, and with all of the consequences that would follow therefrom.”
You don’t have to want to be a part of them. You don’t have to join them. You may not have the same ideas as them for how the world should be.
But they are out there, in the streets, protecting the innocent from the fascists our government clearly supports. They saved people in Charlottesville, and they show Nazis that a price must be paid if they wish to intimidate and be violent against anyone they deem to not be their idea of what people should be.
They are trying to make Nazis afraid again. What are you doing?
Logo by Inmanitas, Creative Commons license.