In an effort to blame the protests that shocked the United States after the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump said that America will declare the international movement that aims to fight fascism – “Antifa” a terrorist organization.
The New York Times tells what the movement is and what its goals are.
Trump critics noted that there is no domestic terrorism law in the US and that Antifa is not an organization with a leader, a specific structure or membership roles.
“Antifa” is more likely a movement of activists whose followers share philosophy and tactics. They have announced their presence in protests across the country in recent years.
Who are the members of Antifa?
It is not known how many people consider themselves members. Followers of the movement recognize that Antifa is secretive and has no official leaders. It is also the only activist movement that has come together over the past few years to oppose the extreme right.
Antifa members oppose actions that they consider authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic.
What are the goals of the movement?
Proponents tend to promote their views by arguing that a public demonstration of fascist, racist and ultra-right ideas leads to the persecution of marginalized people, including racial minorities, women and members of the LGBT community.
Many members of Antifa also participate in peaceful forms of community organization, but they believe that the use of violence is justified because of their views that if racist or fascist groups are allowed to organize freely, it will inevitably lead to violence against marginalized communities .
When did the movement begin?
Although the Merriam-Webster dictionary says that the word “Antifa” was first used in 1946 and was borrowed from the German phrase for opposition to Nazism, more and more people began to join the movement in the United States after the Trump election in 2016.
One of the first groups in the United States to use this name was Rose City Antifa, which was founded in 2007 in Portland, Oregon.
The Antifa movement became more visible in 2017 after a series of events that attracted the attention of protesters.
What is the difference between Antifa and other protest groups?
Antifa groups often use tactics similar to anarchist ones, for example, to dress in all black and wear masks. Groups also have overlapping ideologies, as they often criticize capitalism and seek to influence power structures, including police forces.
How did politicians and others react?
The movement was widely criticized among the leaders of the left and right. Following the protests in Berkeley, California, in August 2017, Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the “violent actions of people calling themselves Antifa, and said they should be arrested.
In addition, conservative publications and politicians also regularly oppose Antifa supporters, who, they say, seek to stop the peaceful expression of conservative views.
Recall that earlier in Minneapolis, police detained a black man. During the arrest, one of the policemen used a choking technique, stepping with a knee on the man’s neck. At the same time, the detainee, 46-year-old George Floyd, repeatedly told the white officer that he could not breathe. Due to the brutal detention, the man died. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was strangulation.