As racist, white-supremacist protestors have quietly gained a foothold in the United States, so too have the forces fighting against their message, they’re known as the “Antifa.”
But what is Antifa? The word is a literal abbreviation of “anti-fascism,” also known as “Antifa.” People who align themselves with the Antifa lean radically left. They are socialists, communists and anarchists who reject the message of white supremacy coming out of the White House.
Protesting against neo-Nazi groups and the Ku Klux Klan, Antifa protesters aren’t afraid to punch Nazis and generally protest in all black.
Following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, President Donald Trump condemned the so-called violent “alt-left.”
What is Antifa?
Antifa is not an organized political group; it emerged more as a reaction to a rise in white nationalism. Literally an abbreviation for “anti-fascist,” Antifa supporters oppose white supremacy organizations like the KKK and the neo-Nazis.
People associated with the movement are considered autonomous, anti-racist groups that monitor, track and actively oppose the movements of local fascist groups. They work to expose participants in pro-fascist rallies to their neighbors, friends, employers and to the general public.
Antifa protesters and violence
The violence comes into play with Antifa supporters even as the vast majority of Antifa rallies are nonviolent. Antifa demonstrators are defined by their willingness to defend themselves and others from white-supremacist violence and move against fascist organizations.
The visibility of Antifa has exploded in the Trump era. Antifa protesters aren’t afraid to fight back and young people in the loosely defined movement are largely motivated by Trump and his failure to condemn alt-right fascist groups.
How long have the Antifa been around?
Antifascists have been around for decades, disrupting protests in Europe says the days after World War II. Their philosophy is that fascism on the scale of Mussolini and Hitler is better nipped in the bud than allowed to propagate. Antifascists argue that after the horrors of slavery and the Holocaust, it is both ethically justifiable and effective to take up physical violence against white supremacists.