With the constant conflict of ideologies swirling around today’s political climate, violence has crept into the discourse. Individuals that dub themselves “Social Justice Warriors”, have teamed up with others to create an all-out violent offensive against those that do not agree with their narrative. The collective has dubbed themselves ANTIFA, short for the “Anti-Fascist” Movement. In the past, citizens were able to vent their frustrations and ideas through civil conversation and activism. Those days seem to be fading away.
Today’s journalist attempting to cover politically charged events and happenings can no longer simply show up and document the event. Sadly, serious preparation and safety consideration is involved. In anticipation of an event I am planning to cover in mid-August, I began to build my plan for travel and technology needed to effectively document the event as a man-on-the-street. I came to realize that it is not simply enough to plan for the act of featuring the event, but that my safety could very well be in question if I am not careful.
In recent past, events where ANTIFA has a presence have ended with multiple injuries, many very serious. Andy Ngo, a conservative journalist covering ANTIFA protests in Portland Oregon, was assaulted with milkshakes filled with a yet undetermined substance that many believe was cement mix, as well as multiple blows to the head and face. This left Ngo cut and bruised about his body and in the hospital with a serious and permanent brain injury.
This made me take serious consideration for my own safety. I began to rack my brain for people in my circle that might join me in covering this event; Sort of a security detail if you will. I began to contact friends that understand politics, that might join me to be my eyes and ears while attempting to be a journalist in an environment that could possibly turn bad quickly. I then thought to myself how sad it is that I worry about my well-being while simply attempting to cover an event.
This makes me mad. This makes me very angry at groups like ANTIFA. Why should I have to worry about violence from an organization that does their deeds under the banner of Peace and Anti-Fascism? Shouldn’t that be the safest environment for me to be in? Can I even call them an “organization”? How organized are they?
I began to research the roots of the ANTIFA movement. I came across an article from www.newspunch.com from October 24,2017 written by Sean Adl-Tabatabai. In his article, he details what Shayne Hunter, the founder of ANTIFA in Australia, said about the organization and their goals.
“They believe historically their roots were fighting Nazi oppression. They run a website which is updated every couple of weeks with a hit list of right wing names. They believe if these people are allowed to speak, society will suffer. So, they must be pushed back.
There is no mission statement, rather, it’s a dangerous rhetoric. There are a lot of very damaged people who are drawn to it.”
He goes on to state, “It’s more dangerous than ISIS. Often the people who are drawn to this cult don’t have a strong identity outside it. I’m not a psychologist but, like ISIS, it gives people a sense of belonging to something and having purpose.”
He also blames George Soros for using ANTIFA to “start a civil war in every country of the world”.
The hateful, violent tactics that ANTIFA currently use in “protest” to gatherings of Prayer Warriors, praying for peace and the lives of those unable to protect themselves, veterans and others gathered to show their love of our country, is enough in my opinion to consider them more of a fascist movement than an Anti-fascist movement. Here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of fascism:
Fascism: often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
That last section of the definition sums up ANTIFA tactics, “forcible suppression of opposition.” So, instead of gathering in solidarity to voice their opinion against their opposition in a peaceful manner, they arrive to protest with their faces covered, weapons of all types in hand, with armor and shields, gloves, helmets, and random unidentified liquids and substances. They hurl these items and insults at onlookers and participants who either do not agree with their narrative or are simply documenting their actions for the world to see. They spew hate in the name of peace while simultaneously destroying the lives and property of the citizens that share their city.
To me, this seems like the opposite of what ANTIFA says they stand for. To me, this looks like fascism. If an ideology forces you to cover your face and harm your neighbor in the name of peace, there is a problem. It seems that what ANTIFA has been portrayed as in the mainstream media is not what they are at all. Liberal news outlets hail ANTIFA as social justice warriors, which they are not. They are not fighting for unity and freedom. They are fighting to suppress anyone who does not agree, even if that means eliminating the threat through violence. Another group of people in history did something similar. The Nazis.
An added disadvantage to those that do not agree is that in many of these Liberal cities where the protests occur, local government officials have issued stand -downs to the Police and First-responders. This effectively gives full permission for ANTIFA to do as they wish in destruction of their opposition and property in the area. Instead of protecting the people, they sit and watch as their cities fall into violent disarray. Communities suffer as does what we call our democracy. No longer can you voice your opinion in safety. You now must worry for your life while trying to peacefully state your piece, as should be the American way. How has it come to this? A journalist, regardless of political standpoint, cannot feature protest events without the possibility of bodily harm? A veteran in a wheelchair waving an American Flag, someone who fought and signed the dotted line with their life for this country, could be torn from his seat and beaten, in the name of freedom? This makes no sense to me.
I personally will not stand for it. I will not cower in fear. I AM NOT AFRAID. I will not let this “organization” have any sway in whether I will say what I need to say, or report on what needs reporting. These people are weak when not in numbers. These people are ineffective with their words and must resort to weapons and hate rhetoric. We must continue to stand tall in our resolve and fight for the sanctity of our Constitutional Republic. My voice may be small, but ANTIFA will not quiet me. God Bless America.