The term Antifa came into the limelight back in January 2017 as Antifa activists vandalized shops during Donald Trump’s inauguration; later instances of the clash in Charlottesville and Berkeley with far-right demonstrates in their rallies were seen, a result of deep polarization in the united states under the presidency of Donald Trump. The moment took a massive growth after the killing of George flyod by a white police officer and saw massive protests with tens of thousands of angry people coming on the streets even in times of the pandemic. President Trump even went on to term this organization as a terrorist organization.
So what is Antifa?
Antifa stands for “Anti-fascist.” a more of an ideology than an organization as it doesn’t have a solid structure for an organization. Also, one of the reasons why President Trump failed to take action and terming it as a domestic terrorist organization.
History of Antifa.
The history of the term dates back to the 1930s, which saw a rise in fascist ideologies under dictators like Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. It also saw a surge of the anti-fascist organizations, which opposed the dogma of the fascist groups. After then, time and again, we have seen the rise of Antifa whenever there was a rise in fascist ideology anywhere in Europe or the US.
Ideologies of Antifa.
It covers a spectrum of social issues such as racism, fascism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, etc. In simple words, a far-left group. The reason it stands out from other left groups is its openness to violent means to achieve its goal.
How does Antifa work?
The far-left group has sorted to both Non-violent as well as violent protests in the recent past. They have directly confronted the white supremacist and the neo-nazis rallies or events, leading to violence between the two. And this direct confrontation differentiates them from other leftist groups. Though much of Antifa activism is non-violent, involving peaceful protests, awareness rallies.
They are often seen wearing black during demonstrations and covering their faces with black masks even before the virus was known.
The movement has no official leader or any known structure which organizes events or protests; instead, it consists of pocket groups spread all over the united states with the same ideology, expressing their views through the Internet and coming together to make massive demonstrations such as black lives matter.
Why is Antifa controversial?
Other than the constant efforts from the members of the Republican party and right-wing groups of labeling them as a domestic terrorist organization and putting them in the bad light, Antifa itself has opted to violent means at many instances while making their stand known, damaging public property, getting into violent clashes with the police and those with opposite views to the one of theirs. Other than that, they are also believed to be involved in digital activism, doxing, hacktivism, etc. They are known to research people or organizations that are pro-fascist, white supremacists, neo-nazis, and other far-right activists or like-minded people and target them by various means, including violence.
Joe Biden’s take on Antifa:
Although the Democrat’s views resemble those of the Antifa, yet time and again, democrat leaders have condemned violence and damage to public properties. Joe Biden, in his blog, stated that ” protesting brutality is right and necessary, but needless destruction and violence that puts lives in danger is not.”
So now the question that arises is after Joe Biden, who has similar views other than the openness to violence, is now elected as the president of the United States, will the Antifa activism suppress, will the violence stop, and if not, how will Joe Biden handle Antifa?
Joe Biden’s take:
Joe Biden has very clearly stated that rioting, looting, setting fires, and other violent means cannot be considered protesting, unlawful, and those who do it should be prosecuted; he condemned the violence of any kind by anyone weather on the left or right.
Hence now, on the onset of another democrat rule and the rise of Antifa in the United States, it would be interesting to see how things turn out. Will the violence by Antifa suppress? And if not, how will Joe Biden put an end to the violence and show the people of the United States of America the right ways to protest.