Monday, October 9, 2017

The One Thing Media Won't Tell You About Antifa

Since Richard Spencer was punched twice at the presidential inauguration, liberal commentators, egged on by their right-wing counterparts, have been pontificating about the ethicality of violence against fascists in light of their grade-school understanding of civic engagement. Confronting fascism is essential to guaranteeing a society free and safe for all of us. It makes no sense to defend the free speech of a movement that, according to a July headline on, wants to “get rid of democracy.” But while physical struggles between antifa and fascists have dominated press coverage since Charlottesville, tackling fascism requires more than confronting them in the streets.

Having been involved with antifa for six years, I have seen and participated in numerous forms of antifascist work, the vast majority of which has had nothing to do with violence. While the new attention paid to the rise of fascism in our country is good, the media spectacle of antifascist violence in the recent months has brought out thrillseekers who come out of the woodwork to show up, get in a fight, and go home. This thrillseeking demonstrates a lack of understanding of the directly democratic community building project that is the long term vision of antifa - a project that seeks to sap fascism of its appeal. Moreover, their actions put the burden of managing the risk of violence on everyone else.

The tedious, time consuming, and thankless risk management activities fall disproportionately on those who are not white, male, and able-bodied relative to those who get in physical confrontations with nazis. This work is critical to our activities but consistently overlooked to the point of near invisibility. These antifa activities, which begin well in advance of any given counter-demonstration and continue well after they are over, are crucial to a viable antifascist resistance. Here are just ten of them.

Read the rest at Jewish Currents