Aug 30, 2017
Yesterday, the Washington Post surprised readers by turning against black-clad “Antifa” protesters who violently assaulted no fewer than five conservative demonstrators at a rally in Berkeley, Calif. on Sunday. Previously, the US capital’s paper of record and its mainstream media cohorts had focused their scorn on violence committed by conservative protesters, particularly in the aftermath of the tragic car-attack in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.
But as it turns out, WaPo was ahead of the curve. Because today, both the Los Angeles Times AND The Atlantic published similarly scathing attacks on the black-clad demonstrators, portraying members of Antifa as brutal thugs who routinely gang up on overmatched supporters of President Donald Trump at events like Sunday’s anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley. Violent confrontations instigated by AntiFa have also occurred at rallies and events stretching from Portland, Ore. to Washington D.C. However, before this week, accounts like these were mostly confined to “conservative” media like the Daily Caller and Washington Times.
The LATimes’ report focuses on how Antifa has alienated other leftist groups, who object to its violent tactics. One of the individuals quoted in the story, Todd Gitlin, founder of Students for a Democratic Society, one of the original anti-Vietnam War groups, blamed Antifa for sullying the left’s reputation and accused them of being “food for the adversary.”
…first, the headline…
…now, the story…
“But as the protest got underway, some of those in masks would resort to mob violence, attacking a small showing of supporters of President Trump and others they accused, sometimes inaccurately, of being white supremacists or Nazis.
The graphic videos of those attacks have spurred soul-searching within the leftist activist movement in the Bay Area and beyond. Emotions remain raw in the wake of this month’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which left one woman dead and dozens injured.”
‘This is food for the adversary,’ said sociologist Todd Gitlin, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, which organized the first national protests against the Vietnam War. He pointed out that violent acts committed by a few will almost always hijack the narrative of the entire protest, and that it is happening now should be no surprise.”
The Atlantic continued with a more comprehensive accounting of Antifa’s sins, beginning with the protester who famously punched Richard Spencer in the face on inauguration day…
“In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart.com editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.”
…responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.
Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.
Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.
Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.
Antifa has until now effectively enjoyed immunity from criticism in the mainstream press.
But the first inklings of a sea-change in public opinion emerged over the weekend, when one local reporter shared his story about being harassed and attacked by members of Antifa at Sunday’s rally. His remarks appear to have struck a chord…
KTVU anchor Frank Somerville, a well-known Bay Area TV personality, took to Facebook this weekend to share what happened to him when he took a day trip to Berkeley on Sunday. Somerville – hardly a conservative – explained how the Antifa protesters threatened to destroy his phone and needlessly demeaned and attacked him for the simple act of trying to document a rally taking place on public property.
In response, Somerville declared that he “experienced hate first hand today… It came from these people dressed in all black at a protest in Berkeley.”
“Ironically they were all chanting about NO hate.
Some had shields and gloves. Some had helmets. Some had gas masks.”
Anyone who’s been paying attention has been presented with many examples of Antifa’s violent thuggery. Now, it’s almost encouraging to hear that the MSM at least has enough sense not to fall on its sword protecting a bunch of violent, embittered hoodlums.
Like they say, three’s a trend…
This article was posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 6:11 am