How many are the members of AntiFa?
It is impossible to know how many people consider themselves members of the movement. It is leaderless and organized in autonomous local cells. Born in opposition to far-right movements, writes the New York Times, ago camends against actions that they consider authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic. Although the antifa is not affiliated with other movements on the left – and is sometimes seen as bothered by other organizations – their members sometimes work with local activists such as the Occupy movement or Black Lives Matter.
What are their goals?
Advocates generally try to prevent those they see as fascist, racist and far-right groups from having a platform to promote their views, arguing that public demonstrations of these ideas target minorities racials, women and members of the LGBTQ community.
“The argument is that militant anti-fascism is inherently self-defense because of the historically documented violence that fascists pose, particularly against marginalized people,” says Mark Bray, a history professor at Dartmouth College and author of “Antifa: The Handbook of ‘anti-fascist “.
Many antifa organizations also participate in more peaceful forms of protest, but they believe that the use of violence is justified because, they argue, giving racist or fascist groups the opportunity to organize freely “will inevitably result in violence against marginalized communities,” says Bray, whose defense of the anti-fascist movement has been the subject of controversy in Dartmouth.
When did the movement start?
Although the Merriam-Webster dictionary says that the word “antifa” was first used in 1946 and was borrowed from a German phrase indicating opposition to Nazism, development in the U.S. began after President Trump’s election in 2016, to counter the threat they believed was represented by the so-called alt-right, the alternative right.
One of the first groups in the United States to use the name was ‘Rose City Antifa’, founded in 2007 in Portland. He has a large following on social media, where he shares news articles and sometimes tries to reveal the identities and personal information of figures of the American right.
What distinguishes the antifa from other protest groups?
According to Bray, AntiFa groups often use tactics similar to anarchist groups, such as dressing in black and wearing masks. The groups also have overlapping ideologies, since both they criticize capitalism and try to dismantle the structures of authority, including the police force.
How did politics react?
The movement has been widely criticized by the traditional left and right. After protests in Berkeley, California, in August 2017, Nancy Pelosi denounced “the violent actions of people who call themselves antifa” and said they should be arrested.
Conservative publications and politicians regularly fight against antifa supporters, who according to them are trying to suppress the peaceful expression of conservative opinions.