Mark Bray, author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” discusses the resurgence of the movement to counter the rise of the far-right and responds to Chris Hedges’ critique of the violent tactics used by the activists. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the origins of Antifa.
On Contact: RT Truthdig October 5, 2017
“Antifa is not a recipe for changing all of society,” Mark Bray, author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” tells Chris Hedges in a recent episode of “On Contact.” “It’s a politics aimed at self-defense around a specific threat,” Bray says.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
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Rationalizing Antifa as “defensive” is a huge denial of reality, as the Antifa groups themselves openly declare their support for provocative violence. Bray is simply trying to sell books. Even a cursory look at some of the websites maintained by Antifa groups or their supporters (e.g., BAMN, It’s Going Down, NYC Antifa, Redneck Revolt, Refuse Fascism, Solidarity Across Borders) makes their commitment to violent tactics clear.
They have attacked journalists, photographers, individuals wearing pro-Trump hats, and conservative academics. One Berkeley Antifa member told a reporter in an interview that they were targeting not only fascists, but the police and university professors who didn’t teach the “histories of nonwhite and non cismale people.” Antifa casts a wide net and isn’t bothered discriminating between defense and offense.
The arguments that have emerged from these clashes often focus on “free speech vs. hate speech,” but that’s red herring. As B. Sidney Smith eloquently explains in an article about Antifa and the Greens:
“The question this strategy raises about free speech is not whether hate speech is Constitutionally protected. The question is not whether nazis should be allowed to promote their agenda, nor is it whether rallies in support of racism should be permitted in public. The question, rather, is who decides….Antifa deny the legitimacy of public authorities. But they arrogate to themselves the authority to define the acceptable boundaries of political expression. To claim public authority without public accountability is the very definition of authoritarianism.”