Antifa presence helped defend communities

CITY AFFAIRS: National media coverage has inaccurately portrayed the violence as pro-Trump against anti-Trump.

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Willow Yang/Senior Staff

This week, a portion of the Editorial Board dissented with the majority opinion. Read the dissenting editorial here.

Black and white. Good and evil. These dichotomies make it easier for an audience to pick a side to root for. But with the recent protests in Berkeley, the national media has taken to sensationalizing and oversimplifying the event to a debate over free speech and Trump.

The event, as it is being covered, was a battle that pitted pro-Trump against anti-Trump, free-speech advocates against masked assailants. This narrative is especially appealing, considering it happened in the city of Berkeley — a sizzling cauldron for protests — and centered on a contentious president. This characterization, however, waters down the circumstances of this event in an attempt to fit it into a national argument.

The national media oversimplification largely skims over the fact that neo-Nazis and white nationalists were involved in the Free Speech Rally. People carried signs with anti-Semitic messages and performed Nazi salutes. Members of the alt-right, white-nationalist groups Identity Evropa and Proud Boys were arrested amid the violence.

Antifa did not come solely to protest Trump supporters. Similar to its presence during the Milo Yiannopoulos protests on campus in February, Antifa came as a reaction to white supremacism. It has just so happened that at both events, hate-groups and Trump supporters overlapped.

Whether its tactics were morally right or wrong, and whether it instigated the resulting violence or not, Antifa should not be equated to the groups it came to protest. The net consequences of its actions were that neo-Nazis and white-supremacist groups with violent rhetoric were denied a platform to speak in the city of Berkeley. Had it not taken action, neo-Nazis would be free to roam the streets of Berkeley and be considered a legitimate voice that can force communities to live in fear.

Antifa was the most visible opponent at the rally to defend communities under attack. The type of violence that hate groups represent is a constant presence in the lives of people of color, transgender people and so many other marginalized communities. Allowing them to come to our city only propagates that brand of violence further and puts already marginalized communities in further danger. But by challenging their ability to deliberately spread hate, Antifa was able to protect people, albeit by using violence itself.

Passive protests, legislation, votes and think pieces have not deterred nationalists from organizing and have failed to remedy the seemingly impenetrable ideological disconnect in this country. For that, at the very least, the Antifa group should be commended.

If this event had to be oversimplified in any way, it should be viewed as the conflict between violence as a means to protect versus violence as a means to further attack and harass certain communities. It is the outcome of a system that has regularly failed to protect the communities most in need, that has elected Trump into office and that has allowed white nationalists and neo-Nazis to propagate hate.

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  • karlmarxsux

    Just look at the photos of of these self professed oppressed brainwashed minorities who write for this creepy Marxist online Magazine.None of them could understand freedom if it crawled up their shorts and and bit them on the ass.The walking braindead…the future of AmericaKA.

  • karlmarxsux

    You are so high you’re on satellites .All you loser misfits who moved to my state like insects to warm weather have completely destroyed it.Just be glad you are not blocking my car on the 405.You are not from California so go back.

  • Craig_Hubley

    A legal view:

    1. US constitution is unique in enabling “well ordered militia” under its Second Amendment (2A) with a “right to bear arms”. Clearly, it intended communities to be able to self-defend.

    2. US constitution is also unique in guaranteeing rights to the people themselves that have not been taken up or assigned to the state. If #hatespeech is permitted by the state, that does not necessarily mean that all persons must tolerate it going on until it leads to a fatal #genocide or mass murder. Germany 1920s, Rwanda 1990s, and prior incidents known to the Founding Fathers (like #EdwardCornwallis’ genocidal slaughter of Scots in the 1740s), all suggested that people might have to respond to genocidal or religious “cleansing” violently in advance of being put in a weak tactical position, i.e. before their enemies were fully organized.

    3. Other countries define #hatespeech more broadly than the US definition in which it is explicitly permitted without limit until it rises to immediate threat of intentional specific acts of violence. There are many problems with this including inciting large numbers of people in what is sometimes called “stochastic terrorism” knowing that one or more will take some lethal actions – exactly as #JamesFieldsJr did in #Charlottesville to #HeatherHeyer. Those who inspired or incited Fields get off scot-free in US law but would not in other legal regimes.

    Even the ACLU has had to reconsider whether it can support hatespeech as free speech.

    4. Trials of #Antifa supporters – if there are any (which there may not be for reasons noted separately) – will no doubt bring up these legal issues and how communities are expected to defend themselves pre-emptively from hate organizing, deliberate invocation of terror by code phrase (“blood and soil”) or specific racial blaming (“Jews will not replace us!”) which invites scapegoating. Those trials may well begin to shift the balance against hatespeech.

    5. Some US states seem inclined to pass more stringent rulers against hatespeech or give police more discretion or obligation to break up events where it becomes the primary focus.

    If prevented by the Supreme Court, these states may consider secession if violence rises. It is certainly an issue that #Calexit supporters have raised, and it will be raised elsewhere.

    • FreedomFan

      A legal view? Where did you get your law degree? Mail Order U?

      You don’t get to perpetrate violence unless you are being directly, physically threatened. It is a crime to batter someone because you disagree with his speech, even if you first smear it as “hate speech”. Is this really hard for Democrats?

      Every day I am grateful for the wisdom of the founding fathers in handing down the 1st and 2nd amendments.

  • Craig_Hubley

    I agree completely. Some facts people should know:

    1. #Provocop tactics are common for decades in North America & Europe. That is, police wear masks & pretend to be part of an anarchist or “left” group, and initiate attacks or damage. Many times they have been exposed or even named, and the response is always brutal. There are never any consequences for police engaged in frameup activities.

    2. The #FBI has repeatedly, for over a decade, warned of KKK infiltration into US police forces. #KKKop influence is hard to assess, but police forces have been accused of standing back and doing nothing as forces clash – or perhaps as provocateur cops (provocop) do their dirty work.

    3. #Nazis prior to recent events in their #NaziChats arranged explicitly to have some #Nazis pose as #Antifa and throw punches or use weapons against other #Nazis dressed in #MAGA hats. The intent was to get media to show “violent Antifa” attacking “peaceful Trump voters” when in fact both were Nazis. You can see quite a bit of their tactics exposed at #NaziProTip.

    Morally there is also a rather large difference between opposing an ideology vs opposing a race of people. Antifa, Communists, Anarchists, Muslims, whatever, ACCEPT CONVERTS from whatever race. That is not true of Nazis or KKK. You can’t pretend to convert from say Jew or black to Nazi, not even temporarily to get away. And that is very important.

  • Jay Singh

    A classic rationalization for the many violent actions carried out by Antifa.

  • MamaRea

    Soooo,,,, AntiFa ‘protestors’ can incite and use morally questionable violence but it shouldn’t be equated with other groups using violence. If it uses violence like hate groups and wants to shut down free speech and the right to assemble like a hate group…

    It’s a hate group. Any group that uses violence to shut down others’ civil rights is a hate group, no better than Bull Conner with hoses and dogs.

  • Rastafarian

    The acronym name “ANTIFA” supposedly means “Anti-Fascist”. But their actions, adopting violent Fascist thug tactics to suppress free speech, show that instead it means “ANarchists Turned Into FAscists”.

  • t2vodka

    This was an incredibly stupid article. Ok, so lets say you are 100% correct, that it was antifa vs racist nationalist white supremist blah blah blah; how on earth does stopping them from speaking and resorting to violence do anything? You know what works way better, is if a hate group shows up, let them speak, then you use logic and reason to show how stupid their ideas are to everyone standing around listening. That is the whole point and the true power of freedom of speech. Now, because they can’t talk in the open, they will talk in private, and you won’t be their to counter what they are saying, and so they will get more people on their side. On top of that, antifa instigated the violence, so now who looks like the violent ones? Now who looks like the dangerous ones who you shouldn’t listen to, you just made a hate group look peaceful. Antifa is nothing but a garbage group, just as worthless as any other hate group.

  • Honkey

    I have never ducked a bottle thrown at me and thought to myself that I better change my opinion. Antifa is the wrong answer to neo Nazis. It will only escalate from here.

  • Nockian Remnant

    Is this article suppose to garner support for ANTIFA? For anyone who has never heard of them, after reading this they would think these ppl are nothing but degenerates, the lowest common denominator. Legitimizing violence in pursuit of “equality”. News flash, there is no utopian state and equality, For the most part, cannot be quantified.

    The questions I’d ask is, when will they know they’ve achieved their goal? What is the end game with all this? Redistribution of wealth? These ppl sound like petulant children with no grasp of reality? I hate racism and bigotry but I’m old enough to know that there’s been no fairer time than now for persons of all backgrounds.

  • Kent j

    If you put on a mask you have no moral grounds for saying you are doing good. You are Facists in my book. Antifa is evil. I want to also say that I should not have to put freaking caveats on every statement but yes I hate the white supremicsits (?) and the facists Too. geez. Frankly I now fear antifa far more.. and why? Becuase of the number of you lefties that like them…. you are the bigger threat than 400-500 idiots nationwide… you are in the multiple millions nodding assent to destroying property. Black lives matter can eff off too. FACISTS all.

  • charlene

    More communist bullshit.

  • Tevin Pierce

    This is utter bullshit, Antifa calls anyone right of the spectrum a neo-Nazi which is a blanket term for whomever disagrees with them, I’ve seen a lot of footage from the free speech rally and not one person made a Nazi salute, there were many different people there of many different races who wanted to protect their right to free speech, Antifa started the violence, they even threw rocks and M-80’s at the crowd all while the police stood by and did nothing, Antifa is a violent group being protected by the media and it needs to end, they’re just as bad as the neo-Nazis, considering that Nazi even stands for National socialist German workers party and Antifa is a big supporter of socialism it would seem that Antifa is not only one in the same they’re ironically fascist themselves.

  • Steven Dorst

    Propaganda Busters is all over this! This is more BS — people need to start calling this stuff for what it is and stop giving it credibility and spreading it on social media as if it were legitimate with facts and real sourcing. Time for people to become a little more savvy in how they consume info… be aware of the propaganda. .

  • (((marco01)))

    Where the communities under physical threat? I don’t think so, had Antifa not shown up, the nazis would have marched around throwing up nazi salutes and then gone home deflated at being ignored.

    Instead Antifa hands them a PR coup by making them the victim.

  • Caligula

    Some people in California have lost the ability of observation, reason, and critical thinking. Antifa is composed of mostly violent, Left-Wing Marxist cowards and social retards who don’t have the courage of conviction to take off their masks and let the public and law enforcement know their identities.

  • vladislav

    if you look up fascist in the dictionary you find the photo of an antifa member and a full description of antifa propaganda and tactics ! they are not the least bit different from their liberal democrat backed KKK enemies ! a fascist is a fascist regardless of what he or she is called . nothing more nor less than nazis ! anyone who is a member or supports them should be treated as an enemy of the people !

    • (((marco01)))

      You have no idea what a fascist is, fascism is a RW phenomenon.

      Key Features of Fascism

      Intense nationalism
      Reactionary traditionalism
      Glorification of strength
      Disregard of normal conventions of reason and knowledge
      Scapegoating of others
      Bullying of the opposition
      Conceit that only they are right

      Oh, and the KKK votes GOP today. Are you saying the KKK supports the Dem platform of diversity and multiculturalism? LOL

  • jeanette

    Antifa is a hate group period. They are ruining lives everywhere, in Europe and now the US. They get their funding from the billionaire old man Soros who sits around in his geriatric chair and pays stupid people to cause anarchy and claims that it’s for a good cause. He and all his goons need to be locked up.

  • Crotalus

    If Antifa aren’t the bad guys why the cowardly masks? Propagandists….

  • FREEDOM4

    It’s funny how conservatives have to be careful how we act and what we say so as not to make liberals feel “unsafe”. Anything we do can be considered a “microaggression”. Yet liberals can make “jokes” about beheading the president and hold up his severed head dripping in blood; or reconfigure Shakespeare to depict the assassination of a character that looks just like the president- but it’s just a joke! No intention to threaten! It’s just comedy! What a bunch of deranged people these angry, hate-filled liberals are. We don’t have all the facts yet, but someone has now shot a Republican United States Representative who was playing baseball for charity. And they’re afraid of us? It’s all to take Trump down, and they will use any means necessary, including violence, to achieve this goal. The nation needs to be saved from liberals, not Trump. And they’ve created a new generation of snowflakes that can’t tolerate a differing opinion or even real life- that anything they don’t agree with must be totally annihilated. So unless something changes we can expect more of this in the future.

  • sundaze

    Winston Churchill: “the fascists of the future will be those claiming to be anti-fascists.”
    These people are useful idiots who are (often paid) tools of soviet-style globalists such as Soros. The idea is to agitate, create disruption, violence and division among people…ending in say, martial law.
    These foul-mouthed, masked wanna-be “revolutionaries” are often ignorant of what they are really helping bring about–deluded.
    Think Pol-pot in Cambodia, Stalin, Mao…millions murdered by indoctrinated minions willing to follow the leader to the death.

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