Following weeks of street protests by the left, Americans are holding rallies to support the new commander in chief, but leftist agitators are vowing to disrupt the patriotic events.
The “Spirit of America Rallies,” which have been taking place around the country since February, will culminate this weekend, with most scheduled for Saturday, March 4, including one in Washington, D.C., at LayFayette Square, beginning at 1 p.m.
But they won’t be the only ones on the streets, as self-styled “antifa” have vowed to disrupt some of the protests, sparking fears of conflict.
One group of such leftists has already announced its own gathering at the same location. The group “Smash Racism DC” bragged about its street protests during the inauguration and against President Trump’s travel ban. It suggested this latest effort would fit the same pattern.
Pro-Trump organizers of the Washington, D.C., event blamed “complaints from leftists” for some Facebook pages designed to promote the rally being taken down.
“Antifa,” short for “anti-fascists,” have become a prominent part of the left-wing street protests that have swept the country since President Trump’s inauguration. The loosely organized network organizes protests and occasional physical attacks against those it considers “racist” or “fascist.” During the riots that accompanied President Trump’s inauguration, Richard Spencer, a figurehead of the so-called “alt-right” movement, was sucker-punched by a masked protester in an attack widely celebrated by the mainstream media.
Such “antifa” groups tend to have an expansive definition of who they consider “racist” or “fascist.” “Antifa” attacked attendees of the “Deploraball” inaugural celebration for Trump supporters, several of whom were assaulted outside the event by masked attackers and called “Nazi scum.”
“Antifa” also led violent protests against former Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos after he was scheduled to speak at the University of California Berkeley. “Antifa” are promising to shut down another demonstration in Berkeley scheduled for March 4.
Socialist groups on college campuses are also organizing “fight clubs” to learn how to “bash the fash,” prompting talk among some conservatives about forming self-defense groups.
Reports of “antifa” groups organizing on campus using veiled threats of violence has some students worried for their own safety. A group organizing at Clemson University has already announced its intention to oppose a pro-Trump rally in Greer, South Carolina, with the goal of refusing “to give this scum a platform.”
Matthew Vadum, an expert on left-wing organizing, senior vice president at the Capital Research Center and author of “Subversion, Inc.,” finds it remarkable how many journalists worry about the supposed “extremism” of Trump supporters but largely approve of violence in the name of “anti-fascism.”
“They are regarded by much of the media as well-intentioned if overzealous social justice warriors whose actions are noble and whose motives are pure,” he told WND. “That’s why you never see many investigations of them. Why investigate the good guys? A lot of old-time liberals are appalled by their violence, but what they do is fine by most of their progressive cousins. The Nation and Mother Jones blow kisses at them all the time.”
In January, author Natasha Lennard wrote a puff piece for the Nation praising “antifa” and describing President Trump’s inauguration as “a ceremony affirming and buoying fascism.”
Wes Enzinna penned a similar article for Mother Jones the same month, chronicling the group’s violent history but ending with criticism of President Trump, whose “presidency is already promising to turn back the clock on American progress in multiple ways, with women’s rights, racial justice and environmental protects under siege.”
Vadum said “antifa” should only be called anti-fascists in an ironic sense, given their proclivity to street violence.
“Most of them are communists or radical anarchists, which in American politics is virtually the same thing,” he said. “They are nihilistic thugs who want to destroy everything that is good in America. They’re a leftist counterpart to skinheads and neo-Nazis. They call themselves anti-fascists but they use fascistic tactics against their targets. Just as Hitler’s Sturmabteilung, or SA, beat up and terrorized political opponents, ‘antifa’ assaulted Trump supporters and Republicans when they shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent speech at UC Berkeley. These people are crazed fanatics and they will never stop.”
He jokingly cited UrbanDictonary’s definition of “antifa,” which mocks the group’s pretense to be “rebelling against the establishment, whilst upholding all of its ultra-politically correct views” and its “opposition to racism by whites” but unwillingness to stand up against anti-white racism.
Vadum warned that fringe groups such as “antifa” define “fascism” and “racism” so broadly as to include just about “everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders as fascists,” making conflict with conservatives practically inevitable.
“As things escalate in the future, the street gangs now springing up could very well morph into militias or perhaps even death squads,” he warned. “Who knows how far things could go?”
Vadum called for the Department of Justice to crack down on the group to protect all Americans’ right to free speech, especially if there is violence this weekend.
“These ‘antifa’ cannot be reasoned with,” he said. “These people should be prosecuted under racketeering statutes. They are a cancer. They need to be wiped off the map. Until they are, conservatives and other patriotic Americans who may be targeted need to be prepared to defend themselves physically because the left, in its determination to drive President Trump from office, is going to make things even crazier than they are right now in the country.
“They are domestic terrorists. They are not legitimate actors in the democratic process. They have no right to exist.”
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