Patterico's Pontifications


Antifa: “Domestic Terrorists” Or “Support Network”?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last month, journalist Andy Ngo was physically attacked by Antifa members at a Portland rally. Along with bruises and abrasions, he was hospitalized with a concussion and says that he will continue to have neurological challenges in the upcoming months. Last week he gave an interview with the Daily Signal, and talked about the experience, and confirmed that he was absolutely in fear for his life. It’s an informative interview worth reading in full.

Here is how Ngo described what happened at the fateful Portland rally last month:

On June 29, while listening to these demonstrators chant, “No hate, no fear,” I was bashed in the back of the head very hard, knocked me forward. And when it happened, it took me a few seconds to realize what had happened.

I’ve never been in a fight, don’t know how to fight, never been hit in the face or head. I thought maybe somebody had tripped and just fell into me really hard.

Before I could gather my balance, the punches kept coming from every direction, the front, the back, and they were going for my head and my eyes and my face.

Trinko: Were you on the ground at this point?

Ngo: No, I was still standing, but I was kicked as well in the groin and I was knocked down to one knee.

I was determined to like, I didn’t know which direction was out, but … it’s not a good idea to end up on the ground. Because at that point it was obvious this was a mob beating. And when I thought that they were done, they weren’t.

I had my hands up to show this crowd that I was surrendering, essentially. They beat me so hard. I lost control of my hands and they robbed me on my GoPro, which I was really trying to hold onto because it was my evidence of this attack. But that was taken.

Then the mob started throwing milkshakes, other liquids, eggs, and other hard objects at my face [and] my head. That literally blinded me for the moment.

This is my issue with those who work in mainstream media who think milkshaking is a cute form of political descend. It’s not, it literally marks you out for a mob to target at you, as what happened to me.

So the video that’s gone viral, that’s the second half of the attack, there were more punches. Even though we were steps away from the central police precinct and the sheriff’s office, at no point did I ever receive help from police.

I think by this fifth and sixth hit to my head and face, I was in fear of my life because I was kept thinking, “OK, the last punch was the last one,” but it kept coming and the people who beat me were not just punching me with their hands. I have to make sure your listeners know that they were wearing tactical gloves that have hardened fiberglass materials on the knuckles. So it’s almost like getting hit with bricks.

Last week, Sens. Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy introduced a resolution to designate Antifa as a “domestic terrorist organization”:

“Antifa is a group of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their unhinged agenda through aggressive violence,” said Cruz, who filed the measure alongside Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Lousiana. “Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their only purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views.”

“The hate and violence they spread must be stopped, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Cassidy to properly identify what Antifa are: domestic terrorists,” he added.

Yesterday, Campus Reform released a video in which college students agreed that Antifa should be designated as a domestic terrorist group:

All but one student with whom Campus Reform spoke agreed that Antifa should be labeled a “domestic terror organization.” After the lone student who initially disagreed with using that label heard the definition of terrorism — “using violence or intimidation in the pursuit of political objectives” — his response changed.

“If they’re going there with the intention of starting violence I think that’s definitely a terrorist organization,” one student said, while another added, “any violence for political reasons is by definition terrorism, so yeah.”

“If they are going and attacking people would that be considered a terrorist group? I guess, yeah…”

Queue Tae Phoenix, who uses music as a community organizing tool, writing in Newsweek that she’s met golden retrievers who scared her more than Antifa. Her op-ed was written in response to Cruz and Cassidy’s resolution. Here she describes her introduction to Antifa:

In the summer of 2017, I sang at a rally that was heavily counter-protested by a crowd of white men in Make America Great Again hats.

After my performance, I approached a few of these counter-protesters and asked why they had come. In response, one of them began ranting about Antifa, gesticulating at a group of black-clad youth leaning against a low retaining wall on the other side of the police barricade.

“They’re terrorists,” he said. “They look just like ISIS. Just look at them.”

These kids, most of whom were clearly overheating behind the black bandanas impractically tied across their faces, seemed enigmatic and slightly silly to me; but nothing about their posture or behavior struck me as remotely menacing. I’ve met golden retrievers who scared me more.

By contrast, I later learned that the man who’d invoked the ISIS comparison was well-known throughout the Pacific Northwest for showing up at mosques to harass worshippers and that his affiliations included multiple groups recognized as far-right hate, reactionary, and antigovernment groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Phoenix then points to right-wing extremists as being the real problem here, while justifying Antifa:

We should therefore all be asking why Republicans are so eager to slap the “terrorist organization” label on a decentralized, left-wing, grassroots network that has never claimed responsibility for any such attack, and which is responsible for zero deaths ever.

I won’t deny that Antifa employs physical violence and destroys property for political aims. But they typically confine their actions to throwing punches when they see the need to de-platform someone inciting violence against vulnerable populations, as one Antifa activist famously did during a TV interview with white supremacist pundit Richard Spencer in early 2017. They also step in when they see right-wing groups menacing vulnerable people as they did in Charlottesville during the Unite the Right events there in 2017.

Finally, Phoenix says that after being harassed by right-wing extremists, it was Antifa who came to her aid:

Not only did [Antifa] provide me background information about my stalkers’ known extremist group affiliations, they were there for me with the kind of emotional support you’d expect from a faith community; sending me texts to brighten my day and reminding me regularly that I could call them if I needed anything at all. I’d never even met most of these people in “real life,” but their commitment to ensuring my safety and psychological well-being during a difficult time was touching.

…what I’ve come to understand is that Antifa isn’t really a group so much as a far-reaching, multidisciplinary mutual aid and support network.

Full-circle back to Andy Ngo’s cautionary tale:

…I’ve been forcing myself to continue to do all of these media engagements because I want the public to see the brutality of this movement and to recognize that they’ve been buying into a false narrative of this being a noble anti-fascist group of people.

It’s not, they can be very indiscriminate in their violence, they believe they’re part of a vanguard that will overthrow the government. This is a very extreme ideology and I’m not sure if people like Chris Cuomo or Don Lemon at CNN know this when they basically act as apologists for Antifa.

Paging Tae Phoenix.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


36 Responses to “Antifa: “Domestic Terrorists” Or “Support Network”?”

  1. Newsweek meets expectations: gives cover to Antifa.

    Dana (bb0678)

  2. Tae Phoenix is a perfect example of how one “drinks the kool-aid”. (This might be the first time I’ve ever used the expression…)

    Dana (bb0678)

  3. Andy Ngo should go back to Vietnam where they have no First Amendment at all and fix the problems in that hellhole country and then come back and tell us what’s wrong with America.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. They are the modern day KKK for the Democrats complete with head coverings to hide their identities.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  5. Under US Code Title 18, Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization, as defined:

    (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
    (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
    (B) appear to be intended—
    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
    (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States;

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  6. “modern day KKK for the Democrats”

    The modern day KKK are Republicans. You could see them marching in Charlottesville.

    Antifa are anarchists and punks looking for a fight

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  7. Also, lol if you think that antifa is organized.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  8. Antifa are anarchists and punks looking for a fight

    More for an opportunity to loot from what I’ve seen, but maybe the Chicago strain is different from the Portland strain.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. There are plenty of folks in America who, by demographic, have more reason to fear a lab than a Klansman. Antifa clearly has its friends and foes.

    Dave, I actually think likening Antifa to the modern day Klan makes sense. They are tacitly supported by many leaders in the democratic party. They are basically a rougher arm of the party.

    It’s good to agree with Ted Cruz on this, and it’s also great that he’s forcing a lot of people to expose the partisan nature of support for Antifa. Everything about Antifa is underhanded and dishonest, including their name (fighting to chill speech they disagree with while naming themselves as opposed to fascism, for example)

    it’s true that many, many racists are attracted to Trump, but I don’t think that’s what the original comparison was meant to capture.

    Dustin (e01605)

  10. “They are basically a rougher arm of the party.”

    Antifa are not democrats. They are leftist, but they’re the same Black Bloc jerks that would get otherwise peaceful protests shut down by breaking windows and setting things on fire.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  11. They are absolutely democrats who want to distance criminal conduct from political consequences.

    Dustin (e01605)

  12. And that is exactly how to fight Antifa. Everything they do, point to it and say “DEMOCRATS”.

    I betcha they aren’t voting for Ted Cruz.

    Dustin (e01605)

  13. “I betcha they aren’t voting for Ted Cruz.”

    I betcha they don’t vote at all.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  14. they still haven’t blown up anyone, like the dutch folksinger, but not for lack of trying, this black bloc, wants to get to the progressive agenda in a hurry, like the group resurrection, in Charles cummings recent work, it’s a red (Marxist)/green (islamist) alliance of convenience,

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. I’d pick Vietnam over Somalia, Palestine, all day. Better food too.

    steveg (354706)

  16. Tell the parents of the kent state students about protests. The real domestic terrorist have been killing at planed parenthood clinics. Shootings at black churches and jewish temples continues. The squad are always getting death threats. Their is a wonderful picture of antifa showing american soldiers hitting the beach on d-day Caption: anti-facists attacking a large group of nazis! They should go after fascists any place they can.

    lany (f2f668)

  17. lany,

    The men who died on the beaches of Normandy were not in the group calling itself antifa in a proactive defense to antifa’s fascism. Stealing their valor only cements my view. Everyone should have the right to speak in safety. But I agree, we should go after fascists, and in particular facists who like masks and to distance themselves from their political party, and when I say that I mean with words, linking them publicly to their political party.

    That’s the best way to ensure safety.

    Dustin (e01605)

  18. 13… they’re the Left’s shock troops. They vote with bricks, bike locks, noxious liquids…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. Dustin (e01605) — 7/27/2019 @ 12:46 pm

    Well said, Dustin.

    felipe (023cc9)

  20. I’m sure Trump gets death threats too.
    It comes with the territory.
    I’m not sure if Steve Scalise and the other Republicans got threats from their shooter, but I’ll take threats over no warning and a bullet.
    ALL threats to ALL of our leaders should be taken seriously.

    People like Dylan Roof are despicable and in my opinion, should be executed.

    Anitfa is different.
    They are denying the right of peaceful assembly by inserting violence, claiming the violence is justified because “other” is determined by them to be “Fascist”.

    If made to choose, I’ll take peaceful fascists over violent anarchists any time.

    steveg (354706)

  21. “they’re the Left’s shock troops. They vote with bricks, bike locks, noxious liquids…”

    Maybe they should take a lesson from the Right’s shock troops.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  22. “peaceful fascists”

    ain’t no such thing

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  23. Yes hes a punk tweaker that should have been in jail, but he instead was free,

    Narciso (f848af)

  24. The shooter who sought to slaughter the freedom caucus had first met with Durbin and Duckworth, the attacker on the Portland bus was a Bernie bro, there are other examples that come to mind.

    Narciso (f848af)

  25. “The modern day KKK are Republicans. You could see them marching in Charlottesville.

    Antifa are anarchists and punks looking for a fight”

    “peaceful fascists”-ain’t no such thing”

    “I betcha they don’t vote at all.”

    Judging by his constant propaganda calling Republicans ‘KKKers’ and Antifa “Completely Unaligned Violence Vectors Who No Prominent Leftist Can Be Held Responsible For”, I think we’ve pretty much identified the shameless Antifa apologist in the thread.

    Now for the whole truth:

    All sorts of things that both the propagandists and the victims said about antifa are actually true, though: they’re brutally violent, they’re very much aligned with Democrat and generally leftist causes like the Southern Poverty Law Center, they rely on sympathetic propagandists, judges, and lawyers to get away with their brutal violence…

    …and they generally look extremely stupid and pathetic doing it while never actually killing people (despite close calls) because most of them are skinny white rich kids of privilege (like Hunter Biden and Eric Clanton) and getting people off for assault is a heck of a lot easier than getting them off for murder.

    Their organizers and coaches in the Yvette Felarca mold are in fact quite competent, and often quite well paid. Which is why their violence rarely spirals out of control despite their numbers, while the sporadic violence of the much smaller number of white supremacists often does result in deaths (they’re almost always much less trained and organized, due to the fact that, surprise surprise, the national Republican party isn’t actually aligned with them and isn’t willing to train them to not kill people when things go south at their protests. But even they don’t generally end up killing anybody when the police are actually doing their jobs.)

    Antifa are the more dangerous Cheka-in-Waiting who absolutely will kill and assist in the killing of far more people…once they gain power.

    Illuminatus (e7e63e)

  26. #25
    I was using this definition:
    “a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control”

    Not the other definition: “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

    Antifa does believe in the forcible suppression of the opposition.

    steveg (354706)

  27. “they’re brutally violent”
    “they generally look extremely stupid and pathetic doing it”

    I think I’ve found an apologist too.

    “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

    – Umberto Eco’s essay on fascism.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  28. ADL admits in their background notes that tying some of the acts they classify as “right wing extremism” can be reasonably argued as mischaracterized. In any case, it’s always good to see murderers and terrorists brought to justice, whatever their politics.

    ADL admits in their background notes that tying some of the acts they classify as “right wing extremism” can be reasonably argued as mischaracterized. In any case, it’s always good to see murderers and terrorists brought to justice, whatever their politics.

    It’s a new and different ADL though…

    “Looking for social justice warriors who kick Jews out of their marches? Prominent progressive activists who think you can’t be both a Zionist and a feminist? Professors who believe Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks? Don’t bother the ADL by arguing that Jew hatred is as rampant on the left as it is on the right, if not more.
    Why the double standard? Why focus on one end of the political spectrum and ignore the other? Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s Senior Director of Communications, said his organization ‘will continue to put out reports on the wide range of extremist threats, as well as those involved in anti-Israel activity.’ He also added that the organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former assistant to Barack Obama, has spoken out before about the left’s growing anti-Semitism problem. But reporting on the right, Gutnick said, ‘felt timely and necessary. These groups have been holding a number of public rallies recently and our Center on Extremism has been tracking their activities. As more of the individuals in these movements attempt to move into the mainstream, we felt it was crucial to understand their ideas and to share their statements.’
    It’s a strange argument. Is Andrew Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, more mainstream than Linda Sarsour? Are KKK rallies in Virginia better attended or more prominent than leftist anti-Jewish marches in Chicago? Of course they’re not. Why, then, the systemic focus on the alt-right? I pressed Gutnick for an answer; I never heard back.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. Masked mobs that beat passers by are not to be tolerated. Who exactly is the USA in Oregon, and what is occupying his/her time?

    Also: the left and Portland Mayor Wheeler are setting an ominous precedent. Street violence like this became so bad in the late stage Roman republic, that politicians had to take their own band of muscle with them.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  30. Trump today:

    Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others),” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Would make it easier for police to do their job!”

    Dana (bb0678)

  31. Ah! So he his staff can still remember that they “terrorized” him away from his Chicago rally during the 2016 primaries.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Like Bob Eucker used to say: “It’s easy to have a great city when it has good government. For Chicago to be a great city with the kind of clowns that have been running it, that’s really something.”

    nk (dbc370)

  33. Trump’s thugs have their legal bills comped when they “knock the crap” out of opponents at his command.

    I’ll bet Antifa would love to get that deal.

    Dave (1bb933)

  34. Interesting recipe…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. 27. People can be pathetic looking and still dangerous in the right circumstances…just look at the Taliban. Not everything is FASCISM 101, LET THAT SINK IN.

    34: Sorry Dave, but violently putting down people actively commiting violent acts is, in fact, highly justifiable and implying that you’ll pay their legal bills because courts are likely to be corrupt on the issue is perfectly normal. Even so, can you name one instance where someone actually performed the action and had to take him up on the offer?

    Sigh, I though non-tentacled Dave was being a little less morally equivalent than usual, but maybe making terrible comparisons for engagement is just a Dave-thing.

    LTC Mustard (7a4235)

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