What is Antifa?
Antifa is an organization that is composed of autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist groups in the United States of America. The association monitors the movement of the neo- Nazis and responds to their actions through the use of direct action by harassing the extremists online and in real life. It is believed that the activists are anti-capitalists and predominantly far-left and militant-left. The organization is mainly composed of anarchist, communist and socialists.
Antifa isn’t like other organizations. It is more like an ideology such as socialism that aims to prevent the whites from gaining power and controlling the administration of the country which is why they support the refugees and the Immigrants. They track the activities of neo-Nazis and expose to their colleagues and neighbors and also work to cancel the white power events by pressuring and harassing the venues.
It is not a proper organization which is why the identity of its members is hidden. It is an autonomous body that operates separately in groups. The protesters usually cover their faces so people can’t identify them. It is called the black doc and allows these activists to move together.
How Long Has Antifa Been Around?
The term Antifa was first used by Benito Mussolini who was the ruler of Italy’s fascist’s regime, for his opposition group which was mainly composed of the labor and hardworking citizens. The term later gained popularity in Europe during the Nazi Germany regime. The East German Socialist Unity Party officially named the Berlin Wall as Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart. Later when Germany unified in 1990s, the Antifa activists persisted against the far-rights extremists. The anti-fascist movements grew in the United States in the 1980s under the umbrella of the group called Anti-Racist Action. After that till the 2000s the movement was very much dormant until the point when Donald Trump was elected as president and the alt-right.
Pronunciation of Antifa
Due to the fact that the Antifa movement has being practiced in various areas of the world, it is pronounced differently by inhabitants of different countries. According to Mark Bray, author of Antifa: “The Anti-Fascist Handbook, there are several different pronunciations of the word Antifa.”
In the United States, most people say an-tee-fa whereas in Europe it’s sometimes referred to as anti-far, which according to Bray has been influenced by ‘antifascismo ‘, the Italian word. He pronounces it as an-tee-fa.
Symbol of Antifa Website
The Antifa movement is represented by a symbol which is mainly a red circle with three arrows. The symbol is printed on various objects such as Antifa flags, banners, and shield. The symbol is known as the anti-fascist circle. The symbol was designed by Sergei Tschachotin for the German anti-fascist paramilitary organization known as the Iron Front. The symbol was shaped into a circle so that it could be easily drawn on the Nazi swastikas but the meaning of the three arrows is still unknown. Many believe that the arrows represent the three primary enemies of the Iron Front while others believe that they represent the German Originations that supported the Anti-Fascist movement.
Over the years the symbol gained popularity and was used by the Young People’s Socialist League to represent the direct ways to improve the society that was; direct action, education, and elections. It is believed that the symbol represents a far-left organization that is anti-establishment.
The Antifa flags are often of red and black color where the black color represents the anarchy and the res color portrays communism and socialism.
How do they operate?
The Antifa organization is an autonomous body that operates mainly through educational campaigns. Due to the advancement in technology and the vast use of social media, the Antifa Groups has grown by influencing people on the social media. These groups build community coalitions, monitor fascists, pressure venues to cancel their events and physically confront the far right when necessary. In order to defend themselves these activist organize self-defense pieces of training as well.
The gather the member through emails and social media and confront the neo-Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists at public demonstrations. They disrupt the speakers by shouting and chanting and forming human chains to block off right-wing demonstrators. The activists also organize rallies and protest marches to convey their beliefs and ideologies to the public.
Does the Antifa stand for violence?
The Antifa violence has been seen in the recent protests at University of California Berkley, New York University, and numerous town hall meetings. The groups use militant protest tactics and damage property such as buildings and cars along with some physical damages such as assault victims. They believe in fighting the white supremacist and far-right directly instead of indulging in politics.
Some of the activists admit that their goal is to stop anyone, which includes fascists, homophobes, and Islamaphobes, from speaking against them and operating without their confrontation while many of the Antifa activists proclaim that they aren’t violent but they would go to any lengths to protect themselves and the people from the ideologies of white supremacy and racism.
An article published by POLITICO in 2017 stated that “Federal authorities have been warning state. And local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremist known as “Antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”
How joins Antifa?
Everyone who believes in their tactics and ideologies joins the group. As there is no entry requirement thus anyone can join. Mostly manpower is seen on the street when it comes to Antifa activists. But recently significant numbers of women have also joined the movement and were arrested at the alt-right in California. Mostly these are junkies and criminals who live in their parent’s basements.