A petition to label the radical left-wing organization “ANTIFA” as a terrorist organization has reached nearly 1.5 times the number of signatures required in order to get a response from the White House.
Borne from paramilitary cells of the 1930s-era German Communist Party (KPD) during the time of the Weimar Republic, ANTIFA (short for Antifaschistische Aktion, or “Anti-Fascist Action”), ANTIFA has been around nearly as long -if not longer- than fascism itself.
Known for anti-capitalist leanings and advocacy towards violence against fascists and right-leaning ideologies (and at times, anyone who disagrees or goes against their ideologies), ANTIFA was well established in Europe before becoming a household name in the USA. In fact, Swedish Security Service SAPO considers ANTIFA the biggest domestic threat to democracy in their country.
Not unlike Aryan hate groups, militias and Anonymous, ANTIFA is -by design- comprised of independent groups under a flat organization structure, which makes monitoring by police difficult. In line with their ideology, the group has no central command or authority.
The American flavor of ANTIFA is loosely referenced in terms of anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-capitalist anarcho-communist groups, seeking to take “direct action” against what they perceive as fascism.
Highly critical of Donald Trump, ANTIFA has become particularly active, showing up in “Black-Bloc” fashion at places such as inauguration celebrations, the 2017 Bekeley protests (complete with “Molotov cocktails) and the now-infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they used bludgeons and dye packs against white supremacists. Recently, a man was stabbed by an ANTIFA member for having a haircut that resembled a style popular with neo-Nazis.
Generally ignored or even quietly supported by left-wing organizations, think groups and even celebrities, ANTIFA has been gaining traction, particularly on social media, where memes claiming that the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944 were “anti-fascist” (taking the organizational misnomer literally) have been widely circulated.
According to the authors of the petition, ANTIFA is no different than any other terror organization- be they left or right-wing.
“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims,’” the petition reads. “This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations.”
“AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States,” the author continued. “It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
At the time of this article’s publication, over 179,978 people had signed the petition, which ends on September 16 of this year.
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