What is Antifa?
Antifa – short for anti-fascist action – is a protest movement that strongly opposes neo-Nazis, fascism, white supremacists and racism. It is considered to be a loosely organised group of activists with no leaders.
Most members oppose all forms of racism and sexism, and strongly oppose what they see as the nationalist, anti-immigration and anti-Muslim policies that Mr Trump has enacted.
Antifa: Trump says group will be designated ‘terrorist organisation’
31 May 2020
The US will designate the anti-fascist group Antifa a terrorist organisation, President Donald Trump says.
The president accused Antifa of starting riots at street protests over George Floyd’s death.
On Twitter Mr Trump blamed “Antifa-led anarchists” and “Radical Left Anarchists” for the unrest, again without providing more specifics.
The president did not specify how or when he intends to designate Antifa as a terrorist organisation.
There are ways the Trump administration can designate individuals or groups as foreign terrorists, including legislation and an executive order.
But legal experts have questioned whether Mr Trump has the authority to label Antifa a “domestic terrorist organisation”.
Mary McCord, a former senior Justice Department official, said “no current legal authority exists for designating domestic organisations as terrorist organisations”.
“Any attempt at such a designation would raise significant First Amendment concerns,” Ms McCord added, referring to the constitutional right to freedom of speech, religion and assembly.
Who has been blamed for the riots?
At first, the protests were peaceful as people, outraged by Mr Floyd’s death and other recent examples of police brutality against African-Americans, took to the streets.
As anger grew, it is not clear what caused those protests to spiral into riots. Yet in recent days, federal and state officials have made firm allegations, without providing any evidence.
“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday.
The antifa or ANTIFA (/ænˈtiːfə, ˈæntiˌfɑː/) movement in the United States is a far-left, anti-fascist, militant political activist movement that comprises autonomous activist groups that aim to achieve their political objectives through the use of direct action rather than through policy reform. Activists engage in varied protest tactics, including digital activism, property damage and physical violence, and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right.
Individuals involved in the movement tend to hold anti-capitalist views and subscribe to a range of ideologies such as anarchism (particularly anarcho-communism), communism and Marxism, socialism, and social democracy.
The New York Times
What Is Antifa, the Movement Trump Wants to Declare a Terror Group?
President Trump’s announcement on Twitter brought renewed attention to the anti-fascist protesters he has blamed for inciting violence at protests.
Seeking to assign blame for the protests that have convulsed cities across the country this week, President Trump said on Sunday that the United States would designate antifa, the loosely affiliated group of far-left anti-fascism activists, a terrorist organization.
The president’s critics noted, however, that the United States does not have a domestic terrorism law and that antifa, a contraction of the phrase “anti-fascist,” is not an organization with a leader, a defined structure or membership roles.
Rather, antifa is more of a movement of activists whose followers share a philosophy and tactics. They have made their presence known at protests around the country in recent years, including the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.TRUMP AND ANTIFAThe president said he would declare antifa a terrorist organization.
Who are the members of antifa?
It is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members. Its followers acknowledge that the movement is secretive, has no official leaders and is organized into autonomous local cells. It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past few years to oppose the far right.
Antifa members campaign against actions they view as authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic. Although antifa is not affiliated with other movements on the left — and is sometimes viewed as a distraction by other organizers — its members sometimes work with other local activist networks that are rallying around the same issues, such as the Occupy movement or Black Lives Matter.
What are its goals?
Supporters generally seek to stop what they see as fascist, racist and far-right groups from having a platform to promote their views, arguing that public demonstration of those ideas leads to the targeting of marginalized people, including racial minorities, women and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
When did the movement begin?
Although the Merriam-Webster dictionary says the word “antifa” was first used in 1946 and was borrowed from a German phrase signaling an opposition to Nazism, more people began joining the movement in the United States after the 2016 election of Mr. Trump, to counter the threat they believed was posed by the so-called alt-right, Mr. Bray said.
What distinguishes antifa from other protest groups?
Mr. Bray said antifa groups often use tactics similar to anarchist groups, such as dressing in all black and wearing masks. The groups also have overlapping ideologies, as both often criticize capitalism and seek to dismantle structures of authority, including police forces.