Antifa Australia goes for the jugular

Antifa Australia goes for the jugular, by Chip Le Grand.

The first rule of antifa is you do not talk about antifa. Not to a journalist, at any rate. It is less an organisation than a broad objective across the radical left; a determination to block, frustrate and ultimately silence far-right politics. It is fundamentally illiberal and necessarily secretive. For these reasons, it is poorly understood and readily mischaracterised.

Antifa activists are not mindless thugs. They are well organised and, generally, experienced political and social activists who are prepared to resort to violence — they say reluctantly — to deny the far right any platform from which to promote its ideas. In Melbourne and Sydney this week, they mobilised more than 100 supporters within an hour to shout down a speaking event by the alt-right’s charismatic bomb thrower, Milo Yiannopoulos. …

They say the end (of shutting up their political opponents) justifies the means (street violence and intimidation). Such sentiments are so rare and original in the flow of history — not.

Seven people were arrested in Sydney when protesters tried to disrupt a Yiannopoulos speaking event in the inner-west suburb of Lilyfield. Speaking to Inquirer shortly before the protest, organiser Omar Hassan explained that although he was not looking for a fight, he was ready for one.

“Primarily, the way the far right can be beaten is not through individual acts of violence but collective empowerment and the building of mass movements,” he said. “These mass movements have to do what is required to stand their ground and challenge bigotry. Sometimes that involves a physical altercation, but that is not of our choosing, that is just something we are prepared to do.

We know from history that when the far right organises, the violence that is inflicted on communities is much more severe than anything we have seen at any of these protests.

Justifying their violence as preventing greater violence later. Oh that’s all right then. By the way, who gets to make that judgement call?

“Anti-fascists conduct research on the far right online, in person and sometimes through infiltration; they dox them, push cultural milieux to disown them, pressure bosses to fire them and demand that venues cancel their shows, conferences and meetings; they organise educational events, reading groups, trainings, athletic tournaments and fundraisers; they write articles, leaflets and newspapers, drop banners, and make videos … But it is also true that some of them punch Nazis in the face and don’t apologise for it.”

Who’s going to be the next victim of Antifa violence?

Now that Yiannopoulos’s tour has ended, antifa in Australia will readjust its sights to homegrown targets. Hassan makes clear this will not be limited to the extreme right: “It is about building an anti-racist movement with the confidence to challenge bigotry in all its forms,” he says. “That includes taking on the far right but it also includes the establishment right as well: Cory Bernardi, George Christensen, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull.

The Nazis came to power in Germany as a socialist party that dominated and ultimately won the street brawls. It eventually received the support of the conservatives in Germany because the only other political group of note at the time were even worse — the communists. It was a two horse race, national socialists versus international socialists. If you ever read Mein Kampf or looked at the domestic policies of the Nazis, you realize the Nazis were indeed a very left wing group — with a similar attitude to their opponents as antifa is demonstrating here.

Antifa are the new Nazis.

hat-tip Stephen Neil