19 August 2017     home | more politics

Counter-demonstrations and Antifa Violence

In the news on the 18th are comments on the anti-fascist (Antifa) counter-demonstrators. About Charlottesville an Antifa from California is quoted by the New York Times) as saying of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis:

As soon as they got close they started swinging clubs, fists, shields. I’m not embarrassed to say that we were not shy in defending ourselves.

Defending oneself is one thing. Aggression, of course, something else. Someone supported Antifa violence, saying:

It's not about "the high moral ground" it is about confrontation until they [the white supremacists] give up.

Another focused on violence that was defensive. He wrote:

In the 1930's my grandmother who was a union organizer when going to a rally would carry her placard on a heavy wood pole. "to drop on the heads of the fascist goons sent to break us up." is what she told us.

Comment on the "Antifa" article often described the issue as simple violence versus nonviolence. Some against Antifa violence were inclined to write about the success of non-violence with the Civil Rights Movement. But back in those days was the success by at least one Black community in Mississippi that scared away a KKK invasion by making it know that it had armed itself (ready to resort to violence. (See http://atlantablackstar.com/tag/griffin-mclaurin.) This was a defensive strategy that didn't really contradict Gandhi or harm King's strategy. It's not that simple. Gandhi has been described as having advocated the right to bear arms, to employ violence to defend innocents against bullying and oppression.

Whether to employ violence comes down to the question whether that violence is defensive. (By the way, in August 1914 the defense was stronger militarily than the offense. Germany would have fared better if it had fought the French and the Russians without launching offenses. How different the history of the 20th Century would have been had they done so.)

Someone writes that "to meet Nazi violence with violence is to play right into their hands. He was for the "moral high road, and this whole fight is about morality."

Someone else:

Let's get the nuts on the left to fight the nuts on the right. Maybe we could call it a political cage match and sell the pay-per-view rights.

Another:

If you lump all the nazi\kkk\white supremacists together, there'd be fewer than 200k. The antifa is a fascist group that is much scarier and more dangerous.

One more:

Antifa is making Trump look right, and that is how his base has perceived the situation. In this country, if you want to be violent, join the military, play football, enter the boxing ring or the mixed martial arts cage. In our country, violence is supposed to be under the jurisdiction of the state.

There were comments that put all the fault on Antifa:

So basically Trump was right. We may not have had the violence at this and many other events if it weren't for these Antifa people showing up just so they can start violence.

Just like old times — last century: Lenin's Children — i.e., masked Berkeley "free speech" street-thugs, on the march against the "Alt-Right".

Cultural Marxists managing the "news" out of New York City's mass-media central will be promoting and protecting Lenin's Children for sure.

So this group [Antifa] wants to deny 1st amendment rights to those they disagree with and do so with violence. As a country we need to condemn any group that wants to deny constitutional rights. Saying we disagree with a group is fine but beating them and throwing bricks at them needs to be condemned.

Antifa are authoritarians. Beating non-violent demonstrators because you disagree with them politically, as happened in Berkeley and at many other Antifa riots, is about as authoritarian as it gets.

First they go after the neo-Nazis and KKK. Then they go after conservative authors and commentators. Then they go after the mainstream Trump supporters. Then they go after the police. Then they go after capitalists. Then they go after moderate Democrats.

And fault on both sides:

Antifa is exactly the WRONG approach. It only gives traction to the false equivalency employed by Trump and the alt right.

... Both sides need to be condemned equally and NEITHER need a platform to make their tactics legitimate.

It seems both sides are spurred on by msm [the mainstream media]. I would like to think that the majority of citizens are not supporters of either group. And I'm a trump voter also.

... there are good and bad on both sides. I would like to think the best is in the middle. Right wing thugs have terrorized Americans since they lost their right to keep their fellow man in bondage ending with the US civil war. That’s when the KKK began.... Thugs from the right have terrorized society for decades and nobody cared, now people complain about lefty’s wearing masks and finally having the courage to fight back? You can’t be on the fence with this one.

One describes himself as a Jew and says:

I firmly believe that violence against these groups perpetrated by Antifa is stupid and counterproductive. It is only SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE - it will do nothing but energize their enemies whose fundamental nature is violent. Do they really think punching a neo nazi is going to dissuade other neo nazi's from demonstrating? Get real people. Symbolic violence is counterproductive.


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