What is Antifa and why is Trump targeting it?
Donald Trump promised on Twitter this week that “the United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization”. He is blaming the group for the violent protests against racism that are going on across the country.
Legal experts immediately threw cold water on the proposal, arguing that there may be no means by which any domestic entity can be designated in this way.
WHAT IS ANTIFA?
It is an anti-fascist political movement in the U.S. Individuals involved in the movement tend to hold anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist views, subscribing to a range of left-wing ideologies such as anarchism, communism, Marxism, and socialism.
Although the word “antifa” was first used in 1946, more people began joining the movement after Donald Trump became president.
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.
WHAT ARE THEIR 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.
ARE THEY VIOLENT?
Antifa political activists engage in protest tactics such as digital activism, sometimes involving property damage, physical violence and harassment, against fascists, racists and those on the far-right.
Many antifa organizers also participate in more peaceful forms of community organizing, but they believe that using violence is justified because of their views that if racist or fascist groups are allowed to organize freely, it will inevitably result in violence against marginalized communities. a