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[–]terryjuicelawson 10.4k points10.4k points  (937 children)

It isn't in itself. The main concern is that some people claiming to be anti-fascist are basically claiming anyone they disagree with to be a legitimate target. It is not like the fascists among us wear uniforms with badges on. There is no one single "antifa" movement which complicates things, as does some people labeling everyone they disagree with as antifa as a reason to dismiss their views or suggest they are automatically violent. What a mess.

[–]SixxSe7eN 3655 points3656 points  (770 children)

There is no national antifa organization. Which implies one could be pro violence, while another is peaceful.

[–]Obi420420 3007 points3008 points 2 (485 children)

Which is exactly why the president calling them terrorists, is so dangerous. Now anything against facism could technically be terrorism.

[–]rinocho93 804 points805 points  (38 children)

The same happened in Nicaragua two years ago. People protesting peacefully demanding the president to quit, and he labeled them as terrorist because they were taking the national flag or balloons to the protest.

[–]Darwins_Dog 446 points447 points  (6 children)

Sounds similar to the US in the 70's as well. Nixon was pretty convinced that the hippies and peace activists of his time were being spurred on by the communists in order to erode support for [what he believed to be] a generally popular military intervention in Vietnam.

[–]jesse9o3 530 points531 points  (2 children)

Entire reason the War on Drugs was started was so that Nixon could legally target hippies and black power groups

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

— John Ehrlichman, long time advisor to Nixon.

[–]ovrmyhed 152 points153 points  (0 children)

This was just an escalation of the racist criminalization of drugs that started around the prohibition era as a way to criminalize minorities, pacifists and socialists. See Harry Anslinger

[–]ting_bu_dong 60 points61 points  (0 children)

It's almost hard to believe that he'd admit to it.

[–]veRGe1421 51 points52 points  (1 child)

When Cointelpro came into the picture

[–]rinocho93 27 points28 points  (0 children)

And then they financed The Contras haha

[–]Obi420420 53 points54 points  (11 children)

Do you have a source for that? cause that's terrifying.

[–]rinocho93 165 points166 points  (8 children)

[–]Karthagos97 35 points36 points  (6 children)

What the fuck kind of world do we even live in...

[–]polchickenpotpie 24 points25 points  (0 children)

This isn't even anything new. The media just makes it seem like the middle east and maybe Africa are the only places dealing with this.

[–]Obi420420 22 points23 points  (0 children)


[–]whats_a_hoogie 31 points32 points  (2 children)

Yes, balloons. The symbol of terrorism. /s

[–]White_Khaki_Shorts 17 points18 points  (0 children)

There's a reason Pennnywise loves balloons. Simply put, he is a terrrorist

[–]The-Peppmeister 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Balloons are spherical, the earth is spherical, terrorism is a global problem, therefore balloons = terrorism. Get with the program, hoogie

[–]LordRatini777 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Please take me out of here. It's scary. Guy on charge is so dumb he called for a mass gathering against COVID-19. Now he's been labeling casualties as pneumonia, and they even said there'd be no quarantine. This place is a mess.

[–]strumenle 192 points193 points  (3 children)

Ted cruz bill calling antifa terrorists used the wording "left-wing activism". I wonder if he cares about antifa at all when it comes down to it

[–][deleted] 39 points40 points  (1 child)

Wonder not necessary, that's it. People are watching the takeover in slo-mo.

Soon they'll label anyone defying them terrorists. We can already indefinitely imprison terrorists, including citizens too. Fun!

[–]strumenle 24 points25 points  (0 children)

No one should be okay with how things are going as long as Guantanamo bay is a thing, and that's hardly the worst of our problems, but that alone is a sign we don't care about justice.

[–]Asdam90 1213 points1214 points  (345 children)

This is the important bit. The president has called Anti-Fascists terrorists. Let that sink in.

[–]billetea 283 points284 points  (60 children)

100%. So based on Trump's loose terninology being a veteran of the Big Red One from WW2 technically makes you a terrorist.

[–]aPocketofResistance 84 points85 points  (0 children)

A duck can call itself a chicken, but it walks and quacks like a duck, still a fucking duck. Let that sink in.

[–]CommonCut4 22 points23 points  (0 children)

To be more blunt: If a person is scared of an anti fascism movement, what does that make that person?

[–]newandtemporary 56 points57 points  (0 children)

Ted Cruz introduced a bill to officially recognize antifa as a terrorist organization, but the text of the bill used "antifa" and "left-wing activism" interchangably. So if that had passed, any "left-wing activism" could be labeled terrorism. Standing in the street with a "Healthcare is a Right" sign would make you susceptible to a charge of terrorism if authorities choose to exercise that option.

That's the goal here. To give to authorities a blank check to quash anything and everything they choose.

[–]moleratical 114 points115 points  (28 children)

Yes, you're correct.

But we also need to acknowledge that some people who have given themselves the label anti-fa do in fact encourage violence on some level. Generally not indiscriminate but they do target right wing groups and in light of recent protest some have targeted property as part of a capitalist system they see as fascism with a nice veneer.

The problem is labeling anti-fa as a terrorist organization is the same as labeling punks as a terrorist organization, or metalheads, or hippies, or hipsters. There's no gate keeping, theres no unified ideology or leadership. Like much of the left, it eschews hierarchical organization but that ambiguity allows certain factions to taint anyone giving themselves the same label and it allows conservatives to characterize anti-fa as whatever they want and it allows them to characterize whoever they want as anti-fa.

I know this is basically what you said, I was just spelling it out for those that might not be as aware.

[–]Gnolldemort 67 points68 points  (24 children)

There have been exactly 0 deaths caused by the modern antifa, meanwhile the proud boys have multiple bodies stacked up.

[–]elmekia_lance 35 points36 points  (3 children)

I find it disingenuous for people to complain about antifa promoting violence when right-wingers have preaching lurid violence for years. Why is antifa violence so repugnant to "middle of the road" Americans but the boogaloos are ignored? It's like a Cold War Latin American dictatorship.

[–]twodeepfouryou 18 points19 points  (4 children)

I really, really doubt that no one has ever been killed in the name of anti-fascism.

Edit: for the record, I think it's undeniable that murders of anti-fascists by fascist groups colossally outweighs any murders in the opposite direction.

[–]velawesomeraptors 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Ok, who?

[–]Gremloch 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Lots and lots of Germans, Italians, and Japanese?

[–]Mattprather2112 11 points12 points  (6 children)

Well maybe apart from the entirety of WWII

[–]Kapitaczec 4 points5 points  (0 children)

True but let's be real, are you REALLY upset about that? Spanish civil war, anarchist catalonia helped fight fascists. A few deaths from Antifa to fight nazis in germany is probably not as bad as the 12million killed by Hitler.

[–]Gnolldemort 41 points42 points  (2 children)

I'm referring to the modern American antifa the right is trying to demonize. Killing Nazis is objectively always correct.

[–]molotovzav 15 points16 points  (1 child)

While Killing Nazis is objectively always correct, trumpers don't believe that at all and actively fly confederate flags alongside swatizkas, letting us know that they not only "love nazis", but also that the confederate flag isn't about "their culture." This country is being ran by a man who thinks Nazis are good people and his base eats it up because they can't stand the fact that minorities in the U.S. can now be smarter than them. People need to let that sink in. The only reason why ANTIFA is being labeled a terrorist organization is because a bunch of white people's feelings were hurt so badly by an eloquent black man being president, they elected the dumbest white man they could find, who just happened to be buddy buddy with actual fascists like Putin.

[–]supraliminal13 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yes, but the violence encouraged is specifically against fascists, even more so narrowly broken down to being a response to active fascists. This would happen with or without anyone calling themselves Antifa I should point out. The only actual difference is that while the majority of people would probably physically defend anyone being victimized by fascists or protest fascist ideas, Antifa just calls themselves Antifa and makes it a thing to actively LOOK for opportunities to do so. Really, a huge majority of people ARE anti fascists, that is why it is outrageous to call this terrorist. Calling people who actively look and travel to areas to defend/counter-protest is a huuuuuuuge stretch to put it mildly.

[–]68024 57 points58 points  (5 children)

Exactly... how easily is the definition of "Antifa" changed to include anyone on the leftside of the spectrum? What is Trump & Barr's definition of "extreme" left?

[–]Gnolldemort 64 points65 points  (1 child)

They think a centrist lib like Pelosi is an extremist so any real leftist is fucked

[–]twodeepfouryou 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Trump himself called Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey a "radical leftist" in one tweet, which just could not be further from anything resembling the truth.

[–]pfhk19 71 points72 points  (0 children)

It's the same as Fox News' definition. Anyone who thinks systemic racism exists, doesn't think Christian law should be the law of the land, anyone who eats avocados.

All extreme left. All antifa.

That's the point

[–]EvadesBans 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Extremely easily. Ted Cruz uses the terms "antifa" and "left-wing activism" interchangeably, and Republicans (and their mouthpieces like Limbaugh) openly call mainstream Democrats radical leftists. It is clear that Republicans believe that radical leftism is that is anything at all to their left on the political spectrum.

This isn't new. People constantly called Obama a radical leftist, too. Even before he was voted in (which is... less unfair, let's say, because he was pretending to be progressive while campaigning).

[–]ting_bu_dong 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What is Trump & Barr's definition of "extreme" left?

People who oppose them.

[–]EvidenceBasedSwamp 46 points47 points  (2 children)

Antifa = AntiTrump. He's giving himself permission to go after his opponents. Like tear gassing protesters at the white house holding up BUNKER BITCH signs.

[–]F3rrr3t 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Precisely. "Antifa" is the new label for 2020's McCarthyism.

It was the Red Scare, now it's the Black Scare.

[–]-Esper- 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah, this is the real problem, trump is facist, he doesnt like anybody saying bad things about him, so the antifa is now the enemy, but for us normal people, being against facism is a good thing, crazy times...

[–]JackDragon88 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The whole country... he's labeled the majority of Americans, who are seeing through his BS, and deciding he needs to go, as terrorists. More than half the country is a against him and he's trying use tanks on us. At least the Pentagon in antifa too.

[–]IronDominion 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yep. There’s even subs for it on reddit. Those guys support peace, and I support them. Does that mean I’m a terrorist? Them? That’s the stuff that bothers me

[–]lmqr 34 points35 points  (13 children)

No wait. Pro violence is different from being violently active. Antifa is generally pro violence against fascists. That doesn't mean everyone is on the frontlines, or that running a soup kitchen, providing legal aid, etc isn't considered just as valid in the fight against fascism. And it definitely doesn't mean anyone who thinks fascists should eat the dust, is personally violent or even capable of violence. It means a lot of normally peaceful people will make some sacrifice to battle fascism, and that is also what's needed.

When we talk about WWII everyone is in favor of violence against fascists, when it comes to situations that look like the start of WWII... it's remarkably taboo.

[–]thatguy3O5 59 points60 points  (218 children)

So why not just use a different name? Why don't the peaceful one just be PAF - people against fascism, or something.

That name has been coopted by people starting fights on college campuses.

It's such a weird take, that's like a group of national socialist calling themselves nazis and arguing that the nazis they're thinking of ended in ww2 and weren't even real national socialists.

[–]simcity4000 275 points276 points  (51 children)

Antifa is a philosophy not an organization. Its the belief that direct action is the only plausible response to fascism.

The antifa stance is essentially: fascists operate through shows of force and power and ideally through gaining footholds in the state to execute it. Asking them nicely to let go of power doesn't work and just emboldens them, direct action is the only thing that works.

Direct action does not necessarily mean violence (MLKs methods were non-violent direct action) but for many participants it does.

They don't rebrand because

1) there isn't a central organization to control branding

2) they generally see themselves as a necessary evil and don't care if they situationally look like the bad guys. Groups generally try to rebrand when they want mainstream acceptance to run for office or something, but antifa is literally just a label that means 'Someone who is A-ok with physically fighting nazis' (I'm trying to give an unbiased definition that doesn't get into the ethics of that stance). Basically anyone who is willing to throw hands with fascists is antifa.

[–]ted5011c 95 points96 points  (25 children)

Please send this to Hannity, Carlson, Shapiro etc...

They act like antifa has a headquarters in an office building somewhere with a sign out front. Or like people are carrying membership cards and paying dues lol .

They want SO BAD to convince conservatives that antifa is a real terrorist organization to be scared of like the IRA or Hezbollah or The Michigan Militia...

[–]isabella_in_converse 118 points119 points  (0 children)

they wouldn't listen if you tried. they know exactly what they're doing.

[–]0xD153A53 87 points88 points  (1 child)

They want SO BAD to convince conservatives that antifa is a real terrorist organization

No they don't. They understand what the tactic is. If there's no organization, no roll call indicating which protesters are or are not "members" of Antifa, then they can slap the label on every single protester they arrest. Dubbing them domestic terrorists serves an agenda: when the military rolls in, they're not going to think twice about killing "domestic terrorists"; their intelligence is going to be stovepiped, and no one's going to question it.

It's the exact same reason why a right-wing militia with enough force to pose a legitimate threat to any administration will get crushed long before they can make good on their own agenda. The state dubs them domestic terrorists and their rural compound gets hit in strike from 30,000 feet before they even know the authorities are on to them.

It's an effort to strip people, peaceful or otherwise, of due process.

[–]therealjaster 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Scary times, labeling opposition as terrorists so you can kill them all while continuing your veiled fascism behaviors?


[–]moleratical 12 points13 points  (0 children)

they know, they don't care. Being nuanced and accurate doesn't serve their agenda.

[–]xraystan 6 points7 points  (0 children)

What's that film where it says America needs a bogeyman to fight or something like that?

Anyway you're right, they as in Trump and his cronies need to go to war with an entity. He can't got to war with an idea or a philosophy, so he makes one up.

It's easy to trope Antifa is the bad guy, as you can headline that.

[–]0xD153A53 51 points52 points  (14 children)

Its the belief that direct action is the only plausible response to fascism.

We already lived a period of time 80+ years ago where people took a "wait-and-see" approach to fascism. Also, in the same time period, millions of people came together to show in no uncertain terms that fascism wasn't wanted. Millions of fascists died to make the point. So, we went from a "wait-and-see" attitude about fascism, to living the perils of that attitude, to resolving the problem. Jumping to crushing fascism before it takes root saves a LOT of innocent lives, if the last time we danced with fascism is any indication.

Isn't the point to learn from history instead of reliving it?

[–]invdur 283 points284 points  (85 children)

Well, I haven't seen any rioter or looter from the protests claim to be antifa. I don't know where this is coming from.

Also @OP, since a few 'leaders' are now talking about antifa as if they were one group, people start believing dumb shit like that

[–]TobyTheTuna 43 points44 points  (1 child)

It's coming from republican US representative, Florida first congressional districts Matt Gaetz, among others, desperate to provide any sort of counterpoint to conservatives' white supremacist problem. Hunt them down like other terrorist orginizations he says. It's a propoganda tactic known as false equivolence. Incredibly ironic, considering 99% of Americans identify as anti-fascist. It's also been heavily implied, repeatedly, on Fox news, and Everytime they make sure to have extremely rowdy clips playing in the background

[–]HeyCharrrrlie 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This. This all day.

[–]NABDad 257 points258 points  (30 children)

Well, I haven't seen any rioter or looter from the protests claim to be antifa. I don't know where this is coming from.

I think it's mostly coming from fascists who want everyone to believe that anyone who opposes them is a violent thug.

[–]God_Is_Pizza 117 points118 points  (18 children)

It all comes down to the fact that conservatives fascists, are major snowflakes and need a constant belief that their the ultimate victims of a massive system of oppression or their heads will explode. When that massive system of oppression doesn't exist, they need to create a proxy.

[–]KingEscherich 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I found myself unfortunately on a thread in r/science with many conservatives believing that antifa was some kind of clearly defined organization, and saying that liberals need to address antifa violence before decrying white nationalist groups.

Many things wrong with this statement, but literally, I've seen no evidence linking any formal antifa groups to the protest. On the other hand, there is emerging evidence of white nationalists at play.

Anywho, it's annoying to debate this point. It's impossible to show negative evidence, especially when the group lodging the accusations won't provide any.

[–]goldbricker83 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It also comes down to classic demagoguery tactics, and a lot of politicians use boogeymen (they themselves sometimes manufacture or use hyperbole to build up these boogeymen) all to scare regular sheltered paranoid folk into voting for them. It's been going on for years. Communists, socialists, black panthers, Muslims, illegal immigrants, and now Antifa...all boogeymen used by demagogue politicians for political gains. The right wing desperately wants to capitalize on fears about Antifa for their cause right now...look how quick they were to point the finger and issue orders against this elusive not even an organization with a leader called Antifa even though the local leaders were saying they found very different people inciting much of the violence.

[–]Joeness84 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Lol, reminds me of when "the hacker 4chan" was doing stuff in the news

[–][deleted] 91 points92 points  (33 children)

It’s coming from propaganda from the president himself. In his fucked up Rose Garden speech, he singled out antifa, and has been labeling them a terrorist organization. Please, please, please stop believing this shit America. It’s not a real organization, and there’s nothing wrong with being anti fascist in the first place. Anyone who thinks there is is probably a fucking fascist...

[–]oooooooopieceofcandy 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Bet most Americans don't even know what fascism is.

[–]Mr_Quackums 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Sure we do. It is someone we dont like.

[–]Horsefarts_inmouth 3 points4 points  (0 children)

isnt that communism or socialism or antifa? or anything else conservatives hate that week?

[–]ghost_faerie 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Exactly, it’s a movement, not an org

[–]Mclalaname 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Anti fascism is just the name of the ideology. It’s akin to people trying to do the same with feminists. The national socialist party was an actual organization, it’s not a similar comparison

[–]thatguy3O5 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Fair point, it's the first thing that came to mind. Clearly feminism is a better comparison, thank you for that.

[–]NotDeliberatelyVague 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Could this be rephrase a little to turn 'feminism' into anti-chauvinism ('antichau') as a way of drawing a parallel with this? It's not about campaigning for equal rights for women, legally they are equal and socially it should be a given. Instead it is about standing up against people who challenge this situation.

[–]thatguy3O5 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think that's a perfect parallel

[–]ccbeastman 11 points12 points  (0 children)

So why not just use a different name?

because there's a decided history of that cause, going back almost a hundred years. folks don't often seem aware of this. the movement began in Italy.


[–]TheKingOfToast 17 points18 points  (13 children)

So if a terrorist organization started calling themselves republicans then republicans should change their name? Seems like an easy way to delegitimize a movement and keep it from growing. Just keep corrupting it by using it's name nefariously and it can never establish.

[–]jiggly_bitz 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Brand power is potent

[–][deleted] 65 points66 points  (8 children)

Isn't that basically what the original antifaschistische aktion did?


The movement nowadays isn't a group, but when it sorta was they seemed to do this on an organized scale, although to be fair they were kinda running against actual hardcore fascists

[–]Pick_Up_Autist 8 points9 points  (2 children)

They spent a lot more of their time going up against another socialist party if I recall correctly, they actually weren't too concerned with the Nazi party.

[–]mogsoggindog 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Its all propaganda message. It's the myth of "Antifa", a loose label that a few punks have used in a few of the more aggressive protests, that has been mythologized into a fictional large, organized network of radical leftist terrorists. It's used for straw man arguments of false equivalence where people say "yeah, well Antifa is more violent than us!" Yes, a few punks sporting "Antifa" patches threw a few punches and rocks, but it has really been blown way out of proportion, like by 1000%. Being against fascism is obviously and objectively a good thing to anyone who values democracy and civil liberties.

[–]Philitian 132 points133 points  (30 children)

It is not like the fascists among us wear uniforms with badges on.

You have to be joking, right?

[–]3piece_and_a_biscuit 42 points43 points  (0 children)

“It’s not like the fascists among us wear badges and uniforms...”

Holy shit, you’re so close

[–]Beeristheanswer 42 points43 points  (0 children)

This is a far-right talking point that has been taken into use by liberals. AntiFa is present when fascists decide to march. Another form of action is keeping tabs of actives in neo-nazi/far-right movements. It's not about "anyone they disagree with".

It is not like the fascists among us wear uniforms with badges on

It is literally that though. There has been efforts of white supremacist groups to infiltrate the police force for decades, which is evident in everything happening right now.

[–]derstherower 84 points85 points  (66 children)

Yeah. Being anti-fascism is good. But when “fascism” is defined as “anyone right of Bernie Sanders”, there’s a problem.

[–]HannasAnarion 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Antifa isn't using black-bloc tactics at the the DNC and against Amy Kobluchar or whatever.

Antifascists are an emergent force in street politics because fascists are. Antifa was totally unheard of in America until 2014, because it was in around 2014 that fascists like Richard Spencer and the Proud Boys and openly white-supremacist politicians like Steven Miller and Steve King started openly recruiting and evangelizing.

[–][deleted] 100 points101 points  (3 children)

With all due respect anytime Antifa is discussed you can easily figure out the people who never really paid any attention and just see a headline or hear a sound bite about them.

What actually happens with antifa is a bunch of different protesters belonging to different groups will show up to a counter protest, against literal Neo Nazis like Richard Spencer or the Proud Boys or the waffen what ever the fuck they call themselves. Some of the people at these protests will be from a local group self labeling as antifa.

The protesters and counter-protesters will be standing very close to one another but spread over a large area, a local park, several streets, etc. Throughout the demonstration, some protesters will attack counter-protesters and get involved in fights, or some counter-protesters will attack protesters and get involved in fights. Some of these people are antifa. Others aren't.

People hear antifa and because of the conservative narrative dominating the news they imagine like 50 black clad warriors wielding guns and sledgehammers are lining up in front of a "conservative grandmothers against abortion" rally and charging them down.

[–]perceptionactionprof 146 points147 points  (40 children)

And thats a strawman. Theres probably about 8 people who believe that.

[–]Lucavious 39 points40 points  (11 children)

I hear this a lot but it’s hard to take it seriously when we have literal Nazis back in vogue. Now days it’s common for fascists to play the victim by saying “you people think everything is racist” and then their post history is coontown.

[–]SaggitariutJeferspin 1397 points1398 points  (62 children)

I am also anti-fascist. Most people are anti-fascist. Being anti-fascist is a good thing.

However, there is a group of people who call themselves "antifa."

Antifa is literally just short for anti-fascist, and there is no formal organization. It's again just people who identify as anti-fascist. A few somewhat formalized antifa groups have cropped up on college campuses or in cities, but because there is no formal organization, each group can be very different from the next in their actions and their rhetoric. Most of them are just peaceful interest groups who want to advocate against fascism etc, but some of them have done some pretty shady shit like arming themselves with improvised weapons and deliberately trying to incite violence at otherwise peaceful gatherings.

And because a lot of media outlets and those who consume them are unable to see nuance, the word "antifa" has been widely misinterpreted as some huge formalized organization whose goal is to incite violence against conservatives.

[–]SaffellBot 945 points946 points  (22 children)

I would not call antifa peaceful. It is one of the very few ideologies in the public space that condones violence that isn't executed by (or towards) the state. Specifically antifa tactics allow for violence against facists on the individual level without involving the state.

While I don't think most people can articulate it, they find it unacceptable. Which isn't really surprising for a Liberal society.

The example of course, is punching Nazis. Antifa tactics would support punching people openly displaying Nazi imagery. Liberals would not. So there is an ideological conflict. And most people aren't willing to discuss the role of violence in society, and the decision to let the state have a monopoly on violence.

[–]Dejavu3 169 points170 points  (0 children)

let the state have a monopoly on violence.

I've never thought about it that way before.. interesting.

[–]LDG92 199 points200 points  (4 children)

I think the combination of your comment and the one you replied to sums up this whole issue really well.

[–]Ilantzvi 37 points38 points  (3 children)

For real. I think we're hard pressed to find an objective, almost encyclopedic definition of active political movements these days. This is pretty darn close.

[–]SaffellBot 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Thanks. I read the Wikipedia article a few weeks ago and gave it a lot of thought.

[–]notmyrevolution 125 points126 points  (2 children)

as someone who identifies with antifa, this is very well said. also important to note that a decent amount of us believe violence is a last resort, but an option nonetheless.

[–]SaffellBot 140 points141 points  (1 child)

If the state has a monopoly on violence there is no way to hold the state accountable.

[–]Truan 66 points67 points  (0 children)

Right? It's like, we sit here "bringing democracy" to other countries--bombing them, killing civilians--but for some reason those "lost storefronts and people's livelihoods" aren't as important, apparently.

yet we sit here saying that we need to remain peaceful while committing these actions, all while sending young men out to a war that allegedly protects our freedoms, despite our freedoms being more threatened by our own government than by foreign nations.

it's maddening

[–]sneakyuntiedsneakers 54 points55 points  (0 children)

"Specifically antifa tactics allow for violence against facists"

It is important to note that killing is NOT on the list of acceptable tactics for antifa. Presently, in the 21st century, antifa tactics have included the following:

Tactics have commonly included: protesting, marching, using bullhorns, and physically blocking entryways and thoroughfares.

Tactics have uncommonly included: Dousing with dyed liquid or milk products, (very rarely) using clubs to beat or threaten to beat others, (rarely) physically defacing or otherwise destroying public and private property.

Tactics have never included: murder, bombing, hijacking, or threatening to do so. To my knowledge, antifa activists have never killed anyone else.

[–]Gonzalopabloandres 55 points56 points  (0 children)

I mean, if you're fightong against facism there is no way you can do it pacefuly due the nature of the facism itself.

Like you say there is a contradiction beetwen anti-facism and liberals because one of them accepts the liberty of think whatever you want. But that is no right if you are tolerant towards intolerant ideologies like nazism or facism behaviour, that for me breaks the limits on free-thinking. Just see backward and look what happened in the past when you let those kind of ideologies develop or letting someone who use fscist actions to impose their point of view. Not good.

What is weird to me is the narrative of "antifa are terrorist", basically everyone who questions your actions (facist ones) become a terrorist? That is by far the more facist thing you can do, moreover if you enforce it with the police without real or clear boundaries.

As you said, you can be someone who do not support violence, but deny that violenca has a huge role in the society is just don't want so see it.

[–]Jodah 27 points28 points  (1 child)

"Antifa" is like Anonymous, they don't exist as an entity, they are just a bunch of random people. Individuals identifying as Antifa punch Nazis. Individuals identifying as Antifa march peacefully.

[–]OfficialDudeGuy 180 points181 points  (31 children)

It’s also been used by right wingers to manufacture a boogeyman.

[–]Kryxan 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My grandfather was also anti fascist! My grandparents on the other side or my family fled to America, running from fascist! I'm anti-fascist in memory of them!

[–]CapitalistKarlMarx 726 points727 points  (64 children)

First off to clear somethings up to make it easier: Antifa (the anti fascist movement) is not even a group. You can’t sign up for it, you can’t really go the meetings, you just say it (authentically ofc) and it is. Now every so called attack from antifa, is not ordered to people, but done on their own free will. But a lot of conservative leaders usually label them as domestic terrorists, simply because most right wing authoritarians are literally fascists. (Especially when you consider people want to label them domestic terrorists and not the Proud Boys or the KKK).

But there’s a method to their madness, if they’re labeled domestic terrorists, almost all of their peaceful demonstrations will be outlawed (you have to get permits for protests). But because antifa isn’t a group. Basically anyone can be labeled a terrorist. That will literally end your career right there, because you wanted to protest fascism. But it’s rather ironic too, “I’m not a fascist, but let me take away for your first amendment freedoms and prevent you from ever getting a job again lol”.

I hope this was helpful :)

[–]foolintherain87 209 points210 points  (24 children)

The fact that you need a permit to protest is by itself fascist. Who thought of this idea?

[–]Dsnake1 149 points150 points  (0 children)

The non-cynical take is that it allows cities to better prepare for peaceful protests. Essentially, you get with the city government, plot out the path for your protest, and then the police can block it off ahead of time and keep negative interactions between protestors and non-protestors to a minimum.

It makes sense for certain solidarity marches. Like, if you want to have a Women's March and advertise it out for six months and basically have the news show thousands of people walking a mile or two in support of feminism, keeping cars out of the path and the like is probably worthwhile.

It doesn't make any sense for spontaneous protests or protests directed against the government.

I like the idea of cities being open to working with protest or march leaders, but I don't like the idea of cities mandating permits.

[–]SellaraAB 114 points115 points  (14 children)

It has always seemed ridiculous to me, that you must first ask permission from the government to be allowed to gather and express your anger at the government.

[–]LitchiBorrower 40 points41 points  (7 children)

I think it's for the best for small, general unhappiness at the government. It makes sure they know what the message is and allows them to prepare to make sure everything is going to go alright, possibly blocking some roads in advance so people don't get run over for exemple. The USA's now showing everyone how to prepare for a protest and act during it in the most batshit insane stupid way imaginable, so yeah, not so good that you need to ask for permission for serious issues.

[–]foolintherain87 33 points34 points  (6 children)

The government telling me when and where I can exercise my right to free speech is by definition a violation of my right to free speech. It might be good for the government, but not the people! We need sweeping change in America at all levels of government. I hope this isn't lost on the protesters and they keep protesting until things do change.

[–]LitchiBorrower 17 points18 points  (1 child)

As I said, ideally, having the police aware of your gathering would make it safer, as they could block the roads you plan to manifest on and make sure anti-protesters can't harm you. America... being America, they seem to do this a lot better for some groups than for others...

I too hope the protesters keep protesting and change the USA for the better.

[–]Top_Gun_2021 4 points5 points  (2 children)

There are protections for those being protested against too.

You can't just form up directly in front of a building or block a driveway for instance.

[–]foolintherain87 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I'm talking about peacefully protesting on public land. The government doesn't need to be protected from us. If they do they've already failed as a government.

[–]812many 9 points10 points  (0 children)

You don't need a permit to protest, grab a sign and go protest anywhere you want in public.

If you are going to disrupt something, like traffic or regular business or people traveling, then you have to take into account whether what you're doing is legal even without the protest part. Declaring yourself a protester doesn't grant extra rights. You can hold a sign in front of a McDonalds that says the food sucks, but the moment you start barring someone entry then you you start down the road to something that is illegal, and holding the protest sign doesn't protect you from that.

Getting a permit to protest allows for a process of notification of large groups that may disrupt regular business and life, and allows the city to compensate and plan for that event. It's not necessarily required, but it'll help things.

[–]golgol12 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Can it be abused by fascists to assert their power? Yes.

Is it a good idea to have this permit? Yes. Absolutely.
People will still protest without it. The permit allows some degree of government input into the protest - particularly on logistics for it.

Basically, permits enable people to peacefully protest with less problems.

It gives time to allow preparation for the event, like making porta potties available. Water bottles. Extra Trash receptacles. It also reserves spaces to be used for the event. Neither side wants the million man march without toilets, water and a space large enough to gather.

Also it allows cities to provide separation and protection of groups that are protesting against each other. Like separating KKK marches from the much larger protests against the KKK so it doesn't turn into a riot.

It allows agencies like the Fire Department, Hospitals, etc, to be ready with more staff on duty.

If a city denies a permit, it's pretty much against the first amendment. The courts don't like that one bit. The city is likely to be sued for a lot of money, and probably lose, if they don't issue a reasonable permit for groups wanting to protest. And cities want to issue the permit because unscheduled protests have the potential to be a lot more damaging to people and property.

Edits: Grammar, spelling, and wording.

[–]foolintherain87 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Nah man. The government has no right to tell me when and where to protest. It's written into the bill of rights. The law is designed so that when spontaneous protests like the ones going on now happen the government can say it's illegal and shut it down. Fuck that.

[–]ykhdy226 20 points21 points  (13 children)

There's no national organization, but there are certainly coordinated groups on local and regional levels. You have groups of different people showing up to the same place, at the same time, wearing the same outfits and with the same logo, but I'm sure that's just how the stars aligned.

[–]HannasAnarion 30 points31 points  (7 children)

The logo is nearly 100 years old, and black bloc tactics are not much newer. It's not like there are local antifa clubs electing presidents and treasurers and hiring graphic design firms to make them logos. Antifascist activists are participating in a decades old tradition of anti-authoritarian activism.

[–]ochristo87 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It's not.

"antifa" has the same problem anonymous does: anyone can claim to be them. Because of this you get people who are peaceful and intent on systemic change lumped in with people lighting dumpsters on fire.

[–]crackills 946 points947 points 2& 3 more (185 children)

Trump supporters and hard line conservatives need a boogie man to point to... a liberal analog to the white supremacy groups that they can say are the violent left, a central enemy they can rally to fight against. But there’s no anifia group, no secret meeting or plans. Its just energetic anti bigotry protesters, some wear black, some cause trouble, some outright assaults nazis. Individuals do things that conservatives lump together like some coordinated liberal threat.

[–]mousicle 463 points464 points  (38 children)

There is a good reason they only ever say Antifa and never say Anti-Fascist. Most people yelling about antifa have no idea what it actually is.

[–]HannasAnarion 68 points69 points  (1 child)

Many conservatives (and many bots) on twitter are claiming that "antifa" means "anti-first-amendment".

[–]flextapejosefi 154 points155 points  (34 children)

Prior to the pandemic the average ANTIFA rally had fewer arrests and incidents of violence than the average NFL game, so I look forward to classifying the Oakland Raiders fan base as terrorists

[–]obamaliterallyhitler 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Still not as violent as a Dodgers game tho.

[–]pharmish 59 points60 points  (4 children)

Don’t spell Antifa in all caps, that’s a method being used right now by propagandists to trick people into thinking it’s some kind of acronymed organization, when in reality it is the concept of being against fascism.

[–]McFly_505 70 points71 points  (4 children)

Fun fact: The last time a major figure declared Antifa a terroristic organization was 1933. Hitler needed a boogie man then too.

[–]fyrecrotch 55 points56 points  (0 children)

Breaking news. Fascist man hates anti-fascist group

[–]Triscott64 30 points31 points  (3 children)

Some outright assault non-nazis, too.

[–]FateEx1994 11 points12 points  (2 children)

According to Tucker Carlson the left is all the same and promoting their "radical Socialist agenda".

It's funny and sad at the same time. People end up believing that shit...

[–]thatguy3O5 256 points257 points  (51 children)

I'm going to get downvoted but it's worth saying imo.

Most (or at least many) people who take issues with people claiming to represent "Antifa" are against the violence that people claiming to represent "Antifa" have brought at public gathering in the past.

They aren't against being against fascism.

There is a group of people who use the name and commit violence, everyone knows those are the people being discussed, not anyone who is against fascism.

The question is disingenuous and has been a common reddit campaign since trump name dropped Antifa.

[–]euyyn 72 points73 points  (20 children)

I think anyone that's lived at least through the 90's knows well that the name antifa got "sequestered" by violent anti-system groups. It's not people that march around protesting for the Franco or Mussolini regimes to finally end. It's not people searching for escaped Nazis in Brazil and Argentina.

They might be able to genuinely convince some young folks with word games. "You aren't in favor of fascism, are you? Well, you're one of us then, that's all there is to it". But no, that's not all there is to it when what you're actually against is capitalism (not fascism) and you're violent about it.

That said, declaring them a terrorist group doesn't make the least amount of sense. It isn't more than Trump's usual performances for his audience.

(EDIT: typo)

[–]C21H27Cl3N2O3 20 points21 points  (3 children)

It wasn’t “sequestered,” it’s always been that. Antifashiste Aktion was the militant arm of the KDP. They attacked Social Democrats as well, not just Nazis. One of the reasons the Nazis were able to rise to power in the first place was because people were terrified of Antifa and the KDP and Hitler showed up with his Brown Shirts promising young fight them.

[–]DonQuixoteReference 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Why do you believe that people claiming to be antifa are against capitalism?

[–]thatguy3O5 35 points36 points  (8 children)

I agree, I don't expect that to be a popular take here though.

It's clearly just a circle jerk about word games with no intention of actually discussing it.

[–]JohnTheDropper 15 points16 points  (4 children)

I applaud you. You hit it right on the head too. This sub is rapidly becoming a circle jerk for people to have their opinions validated.

[–]thatguy3O5 14 points15 points  (2 children)

It's seriously funny at this point.

I won't bother linking it but if you look through my comments you can find it, but a series of events:

OP asks why people are against being against fascism.

I point out its against particular people claiming to represent "Antifa"

Someone replies asking where is proof of antifa during the protests.

I say... That's not what's being discussed, I didn't even claim that happened (downvoted to hell)

It's a dumpster fire but is amusing

[–]SKOZIMOTO 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Just further proof that anything will get upvoted on reddit. Antifa was violent when it was created. It wasn’t “sequestered”.

[–]flipz88 38 points39 points  (9 children)

I'm upvoting you. I understand what you're saying. I provoked a nasty FB fight yesterday with two people who could not separate anarchy from anti-fascism. They don't understand that they aren't against being against fascism. (Did I say that right?)

[–]emopest 52 points53 points  (8 children)

The term Antifa*, and the people who have worked under it, have been associated with anarchism for decades though (at least where I'm from, Sweden). The AFA flags are red and black for a reason.

I'm not saying that they aren't different, but there might be reasons that they have a hard time separating the two. Or did you mean "anarchy" as in chaos and burning cars rather than a political movement/system? If so, this comment is null and can be ignored.

*I kind of feel like the term has been watered down for the last year or so though, kind of like how social justice and outrage culture have become synonymous. Antifa didn't use to be liberals with masks on, it was a real and beautiful movement that accomplished some great things and literally saved lives.

[–]Awarth_ACRNM 6 points7 points  (1 child)

In my experience, most people think anarchism as a political ideology is all about chaos and burning cars, when in reality, that is far from the truth. The lack of political education in all western countries, but especially the US, is shocking.

[–]emopest 2 points3 points  (0 children)

To me it isn't surprising that a power will not educate its subjects on alternatives to that power.

[–]e-s-p 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Red for communism. The way it was supposed to work was that if your particular affinity group was anarchist you put the Black flag in the front. Communists would do red.

The black and red flag is the anarcho-communist flag.

[–]thatguy3O5 9 points10 points  (4 children)

It's probably a combination of being coopted by different groups and lack of exposure to the original meaning.

I hadn't heard of Antifa until the past four years or so and it has always been associated with masked white teenagers rioting over safe spaces on college campuses.

Since that's the only context I've ever seen it used, that's the only association I've had. I didn't even know there was a long staging European movement by the same name until earlier this week.

[–]aba84389 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Anti-fascist is just such a bad name, since pretty much no one calls themsleves fascist. It just allows the group to attack anyone, like fascist is such a subjective term, I've been called a fascist on reddit for saying that I thought Mayor Pete's healthcare plan was good.

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Antifa: the most “unorganized” organized group I’ve ever seen

[–]pangea89 77 points78 points  (55 children)

Just because you say you're anti-fascist doesn't mean your actions actually are.

For example, Fascists would be against freedom of speech- anyone can say anything so long as they're not inciting violence even if you disagree with them.

Antifa has, on numerous occasions, attempted to shut down people speaking because they disagree with them.

This action could be classed as fascist, not anti-fascist.

[–]BlueFonk 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Every “good” American is anti-fascist. “Antifa” is a collection of morons who do not accurately represent an effective response to fascism. Actual thinking citizens know they’ve only become fodder for the right, and suspiciously so.

I’ve had conservative relatives railing against Antifa for years now, and I’ve still never met one who openly identifies irl even though I interact with a bunch of activists. I cannot shake the feeling they only live in the minds of the fearful right.

[–]alexjacobii1 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It isn't. Antifa isn't a catchall for anti fascism. It was founded in Weimar Germany by the Stalinist KPD or Communist Party. It was always meant to use violence to strengthen the position of the communists. The movement was spread to a bunch of other countries during the Cold War. Today's Antifa often incites violence at protests and promote rioting and other hardline policies, though there are no formal leaders anymore.

[–]PrincessRuri 81 points82 points  (10 children)

Answer: A name does not always accurately describe the group that uses it. The "People's Republic of China" isn't really a Republic (as a side note have fun trying to classify it, Chinese government is weird). When people talk about "anti-facist" in modern times, they are referring specifically to Antifa. In the United States, Antifa is really a pro-communist/socialist/anarchist/anti-capitalism movement. If you're not one of those things, you are classified as being a fascist and deemed an enemy of the movement. They use the label of "fascist" to justify violence and destruction.

Antifa is not about being against fascism, it is about tearing down capitalist society. That is why being "anti-fascist" is now a bad thing.

[–]iamadragan[🍰] 27 points28 points  (1 child)

I think it's also important to note that people distracting from the conversation by saying that Antifa isn't a group with a hierarchical structure so it's unfair to judge it for the actions of its members are just deflecting from the violence that members of Antifa commit in the name of their movement and giving them an excuse to continue doing it.

And labelling anyone against those violent actions as pro-fascist is incredibly disingenuous. But I guess that's what politics has devolved into these days.

[–]BLlZER 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It isnt, but this site has been having problems with troll accounts and bot for a long time.

[–]apex_doodle 33 points34 points  (29 children)

Just because you call yourself anti-fascist doesn't make you anti-fascist. Antifa has a habit of dressing in all black and attacking whoever dare disagree with any of their viewpoints. Before anyone cheer these people on I suggest you investigate them. You may find that you're what they would consider a fascist.

[–]flipz88 134 points135 points  (16 children)

Trump is gaslighting his base. "Those liberals are anti-fascist, just like they're anti-gun and anti-working!" Therefore, their only logical conclusion is to be fascist. Trump is no dummy. He's dismantling democracy. PLEASE be anti-fascist. Support the American freedoms and the Constitution our forefathers fought for.

[–]av8-8 42 points43 points  (6 children)

What liberals are anti abortion? I thought pro-lifers were generally conservative.

[–]flipz88 41 points42 points  (0 children)

My goodness, this is what happens when I'm on Reddit at 6am (and no coffee yet!) Thank you for pointing out my total flub---I have to fix my mistake! I'll change it it anti-gun.
You are 100% correct, liberals are not anti-abortion. Yeesh, no more making points for me before I'm fully awake in the morning!

[–]flipz88 14 points15 points  (3 children)

I fixed my mistake---thank you, seriously, that was a major error on my part. Think I'll start the day with a triple espresso!!!!

[–]av8-8 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Hahah it’s fine man, I was more confused than anything

[–]Goodwin512 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think you are completely misrepresenting the entire issue at hand.

I would recommend looking at this source because it gives a better explanation of WHO antifa, the group, is.


There is a very specific reason that Trump doesnt say anti-fascists, only Antifa, and it is that he is referring to the loose group of groups that is Antifa. He is not referring to everyone that is anti-fascist either.

Dictionary definition: "political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology"

Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

[–]seanpeery 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The shortest answer based on the people who say that: because the "anti-fascists" are using fascist means to achieve their goals.

Typically it's a libertarian address of the Orwellian Argument that the anti-fascists of today will become the fascists of tomorrow, where they point out that to achieve their goals modern anti-fascist groups have used fear, militarization, othering and other tactics that are associated the worst aspects of fascism.

[–]attempt_number_3 54 points55 points  (22 children)

Usually when this comes up people are talking about Antifa which has as much in common with “anti- fascism” as Democratic People's Republic of Korea has with democracy.

[–]GraafBerengeur 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Antifa is heavily and purposefully misrepresented. Remember: there is no set "antifa organisation".

Being anti-fascist is, imho, a moral imperative.

If you're interested, here's a deep dive into the philosophy and morality of antifascist activism: https://youtu.be/bgwS_FMZ3nQ

[–]LivingFaithlessness 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Small amount of "extremists" but honestly I think we both know the real answer. Fascists are becoming more prevalent and are becoming less and less subtle.

edit: Extremists are real, but violence by itself isn't extremism. Property damage isn't a war crime, jesus. Actual modern "swastika grade" Nazis have killed WAY more people (by orders of magnitude) than some teenagers throwing rocks.

[–]jack_hof 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Because more recently anti-fascist colloquially refers to the "Antifa" group which is basically a terrorist organization. Just because you give yourself a good name or define your movement under good pretense, doesn't mean any actions taken thereafter are justified. I'm sure Hitler had a positive name for what he was doing too.

[–]barbarabar666 67 points68 points  (60 children)

the only correct thing to be is anti-facist because if your not then you are pro facism and then go fuck yourself

[–]cannythinkofaname 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It's just a war of labels, being an anti-fascist is of course a good thing but when you label any right winger you disagree with a fascist then it loses all meaning

Just like how some right wingers will label any left winger they disagree with a communist

It's like the boy who cried wolf, if someone gets called a communist or fascist today I assume it's a bullshit label that people are throwing around as a cheap attempt to get everyone to hate them right off the bat, instead of making a proper argument as to why they are wrong

[–]larry-cripples 7 points8 points  (0 children)

It’s not

[–]BlondFaithQuestion Stupidity 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It's not. Being against Fascism is patriotic.. Unless of course you are fascist.

The present US Conservatives are calling protsters 'AntiFa' because they didn't like being called 'Nazis'. They think it's the polar opposite and middle America eats it up.

[–]Oroomchi 4 points5 points  (2 children)

There is a major difference in my opinion (brown immigrant) between anti fascism which I support fully and ANTIFA which I hope burns to the ground.

[–]flare_the_goat 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Because the current regime has been trending towards fascism this whole time, and is has recently accelerated their descent.