Antifa (United States)

Antifa is a radical political movement of autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist groups, including in the United StatesThey have been described as being left wing to far-left. The salient feature of self-described antifa groups is to oppose fascism by direct action, including violence if need be. Antifa groups tend to be anti-government and anti-capitalist;its adherents are mostly socialistsanarchists, and communists who, according to Mark Bray, a historian at Dartmouth College and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, “reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville.”

According to The Economist, the “word Antifa has its roots in Anti-Fascist Action, a name taken up by European political movements in the 1930s” which was revived in the 1990s, particularly in Germany. Peter Beinart writes that “in the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism.” Antifa groups are known for militant protest tactics, including property damage and physical violence. Antifa focuses more on fighting far-right ideology directly than on encouraging pro-left policy.

History

The American Antifa traces its ideological lineage to both Germany and the British Battle of Cable Street

The first group described as Antifa was the Antifaschistische Aktion which formed on July 10, 1932 by the Communist Party of Germany. Anti-fascists were involved in battles against Benito Mussolini’s BlackshirtsAdolf Hitler’s BrownshirtsFrancisco Franco‘s nationalist army, and Oswald Mosley‘s British Union of Fascists. Outside of Europe, anti-fascist tactics were used as a model for anti-Japanese resistance in occupied-China during World War II.

Anti-Racist Action (ARA), which came from the punk and skinhead scene of the late ’80s, is the main precursor of many if not most contemporary US antifa groups. Other antifa groups in the US have other genealogies. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group called the Baldies formed in 1987 with the intent to fight neo-Nazi groups directly.

More at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

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