What Is Antifa? Suddenly Everyone Is Asking.

WHAT IS ANTIFA:

A HANDY GUIDE FOR THOSE

TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT FROM CONTEXT

AND FAILING MISERABLY

 

Antifa (Antifascist Action): With roots dating back to Europe in the 1930s, antifascist action groups and individuals appear as a reaction to fascism (the definition of which has varied, but can be safely said to currently include the so-called “alt-right,” white nationalists, white supremacists, etc.) and serve as a sort of social immune system. Antifa is not new. In a variety of subcultures, Antifa folks has been fending off racist skinheads and neo-nazis in the United States since at least the 1980s.

The only requirement for Antifa is to actively oppose fascism. Sometimes, this does mean masking up, arming up, and engaging in physical confrontation. Sometimes it means taking down posters, stickers, or graffiti by neo-nazis. Sometimes it means calling on venues to cancel white supremacist bands in order to refuse nazis a platform. There are many types of action.

Not everyone involved in antifascist action wears a mask, and not everyone wearing a mask is Antifa. Some small groups organize as Black Bloc, wearing all black and masks or bandanas, often to offer protection to other protesters when aggressors are likely to be present. Antifa encompasses a wide range of political beliefs, including anarchists, communists, socialists, and increasingly, people who subscribe to none of these but see the need for action. The only constants for Antifa are these: Oppose fascism, and do something about it.

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