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Antifa: Not What the Right Wants You to Think It Is

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Antifa became a media sensation during the Charlotte, NC, protests and has become a fixture in the paranoid fantasies of the right. As we follow the media trends shaping our discourse, I’d like to reflect on the Antifa phenomenon.

Artwork by Seven Resist

The actual Antifa movement is European and reflects the European style of activism. Over

there, they have actual Nazis who come out in full Nazi regalia and sing praises of Hitler. This has awakened deep memories of the WWII fascist regime and inspired a number of counter movements collectively known as Antifa. This has nothing to do with what’s happening in America.

Antifa: Paper tiger?

Since the alt-right fringe in the US lives in an alternate reality where (they believe) sinister forces are configured against them, the idea of Antifa was a welcome addition to their paranoid landscape. What’s the point of getting all dressed up in your mail-order combat gear if there’s no one to fight? Every “hero” needs a villain, and though the alt-right had tried to turn ordinary Black Lives Matter protesters into threats throwing cans of tuna and concrete milkshakes, they couldn’t make the image stick.

Antifa was a much easier target: These folks came armed with clubs and dressed all in black, hiding their identities.

So, who are these people who resemble ninjas? At first, they were the Black Bloc, people determined to protect protestors from alt-right violence. In Charlotte, they tried to rescue a group of protestors who came under attack.

In actuality, there is no Black Bloc organization. Black Bloc participants are associated with anarchy, antifascism and anti-globalization, but they aren’t an organized group; if you want to throw down against the alt-right, you just dress in black and show up. (USA Today wrote, “Black Bloc is a tactic, not a group. Those who practice it often wear black and cover their face with masks. Typically, they leave a wake of destruction.” – ed.)

Since the alt-right boys were already looking for a fight, they weren’t in a mindset to see the Black Bloc’s posture as defensive or protective. They saw only a threat.