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A Closer Look at Antifa

Is this "anti-fascist" movement really a terrorist group?

By:  |  June 4, 2020  |    361 Words
Antifa burn flag (Photo by Cory ClarkNurPhoto via Getty Images)

Antifa burn flag (Photo by Cory ClarkNurPhoto via Getty Images)

During the recent riots, President Donald Trump blamed Antifa for the mayhem on America’s streets. The president announced that he would label the group a domestic terrorist organization. Let’s explore what Antifa is, how it formed, and what it has done to be accused of terrorism.

What Is Antifa?

Antifa is short for “anti-fascists.” It is a far-left militant movement made up mostly of young white males who come from middle- and high-income backgrounds, according to studies. Antifa has been criticized for its use of physical violence, property damage, and verbal harassment against anyone they think is racist or fascist.

The group opposes capitalism, and its members have various left-wing ideals:

  • Anarchism: A political ideal that believes in abolishing all forms of government.
  • Communism and socialism: Ideas that call for workers to be in charge of the country, plus the end of social classes and money. Usually, the government runs all aspects of society.
  • Marxism: A method of running society by having the proletariat (the workers) control the economy.Named after Karl Marx, the inventor of communism/socialism.

Antifa’s beliefs are a blend of far-left political and economic theories.

A History of Violence

Despite the media’s praise of Antifa as a heroic group since 2017, it has a rich history of violence. Before the riots after George Floyd’s death, Antifa’s violent actions had been well-documented. It has been caught attacking all sorts of people: seniors, children, minorities, police officers, strangers with red hats, and any person who may be right-wing. Members were also seen burning vehicles owned by innocent people, throwing rocks at the windows of small businesses, and desecrating the American flag.

In recent years, Antifa has appeared all over the country. Any person Antifa disagrees with has been met with intimidation and violence.

Domestic Terrorist Label

It has been argued that the U.S. government could not label Antifa as a terrorist organization because it is not officially an organization. However, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany recently cited a federal law that permits using the term “domestic terrorism” when there are acts to endanger human life in the hopes of influencing public policy.

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