When Peace and Love Need a Bodyguard: Why Antifa Matters
Community Self Defense
"The antifascists (Antifa)...[and] the anarchists...they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed and I’ll never forget that." — Dr. Cornel West, speaking on the events in Charlottesville.
One year after the events that Dr. West relates; neo-nazis tried to organize a 'Unite The Right 2' rally in Washington D.C.
It was a dud.
In the ensuing year since 2017 Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was killed and numerous other counter-protesters were injured in a neo-nazi attack by car, along with video of dozens of counter-protesters assaulted by nazis, the public decided its had enough.
Antifa is simply a facet of public resistance to neo-nazism, it's not the totality. However, Antifa sparked public consciousness. The realization that reasoning and debate is not effective with someone espousing racism and genocide, which is as irrational as someone can be. White supremacists are immune to rational discourse, they laugh it off. Showing up to confront them when they deem to organize, rally and march, in force, is all that will deter them. Not all Antifascists are street fighters, resisting fascist hate, by any means possible, makes one an Antifascist.
In this writing we'll examine for understanding what Antifa is, what motivates their activism. How they're living up to their mission of Community Self Defense.
By Any Means Necessary
Standing against hate is a complicated endeavor. There is no singularly effective method. I find that the process of treating cancer is a good analogy for responding to hate. Consider how radiation and chemotherapy are oftentimes accompanied by the direct action of surgery when necessary. Think of Antifa as performing the direct action of surgery. Oncologists don't argue about whether a particular type of therapy is more effective than another, they use all forms of therapy available to fight the disease.
To our peace-loving heroes who are bound by a commitment to non-violent counter-protesting like hand-holding, song-singing, and standing bravely, but non-aggressively, to combat neo-Nazis, I salute you. You are the pure of heart. Your work is invaluable. However, so are the people that will stand by to protect you from the irrational, violent haters. Hate groups are not bound by peace pledges, non-violence, or human decency. To all the peaceful social activists I say, you'll need a buffer or a bulwark against tribal hate and swaggering, deranged ignorance. Neo-Nazis tend to mock people who engage in peaceful resistance and then run over them.
The purpose of Antifa is to be a shield...
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