Opinion | Antifa: Peacekeepers or Mobsters?

MAYGIN CHESSON
Opinion Columnist

As the battle between the left and right of the political spectrum continues, someone must step back and think, “what in the world is going on here?”

Antifa, or anti-fascists, date back to the days of Mussolini and Hitler. They have great anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic principles but while standing up for their beliefs, are they working for the greater good or just causing more hurt and violence?

At a planned, and later officially canceled, “No to Marxism in America” rally in Berkeley, California, on Aug. 27, a crowd of thousands was met with the violence of a swarm of Antifa members.

Those originally at the rally were there to “peacefully oppose [the] bigotry, hatred, and racism that we saw on display in Charlottesville,” Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said in a statement from The Washington Post.

The black-clad Antifa members brought homemade shields, pepper spray, water bottles and sticks to defend themselves, despite the fact that police sent out a list of numerous items banned from such gatherings. Why would they need objects for self-defense at a peaceful rally?

Mark Bray, the author of the book “Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook,” states that the groups “…organize self-defense trainings and physically confront the far right when necessary.” So was it necessary at a peaceful rally that resulted in, as Berkeley Police Lieutenant Joe Okies told The Washington Post, “13 arrests on a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations”?

The answer is no.

Despite what the other crowd politically believed in, they were rallying for a common principle: anti-hate. Why has our nation has become so divided that we aren’t capable of realizing when we’re on the same side?

Antifa groups were created to support those being patronized, and yet terrorize those who they feel oppose them. What a contradiction, right? These anti-hate groups attack people and set vehicles on fire because, to them, the stereotype of the “far right” means that all Republicans are neo-Nazis and white supremacists. But isn’t that hateful?

While some Republicans are on the far right of the political spectrum, not each one you come across is a neo-Nazi or white supremacist.

It is not okay for groups to claim they are anti-hate, anti-racist, anti-anything that wrongly comes against someone else and then beat people in the streets because they don’t have the exact same belief system of said groups.

Antifa groups believe in great causes but poorly rally for them.

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