Immediately following the violence in Charlottesville people started looking for answers. They wanted to know why this happened and who was responsible. Initially, the focus was on the white nationalist who had gathered to protest the removal of a General Robert E. Lee statue. Now the focus is starting to shift to the left, or far left, and looking at those who confronted the protesters – ANTIFA.

ANTIFA, short for anti-fascists, is a loosely organized far left leaning group who has made appearances at a growing number of protests over the last 8 months. They are especially prone to make an appearance at anti-Trump rallies, or as counter protesters at pro-Trump events, but they really do not appear to have a defined platform.

At times ANTIFA appears to support minorities, oppose corporations and clash with both Democrats and Republicans. About the only constant aspect of the group appears to be the fact that most members hide their identity, either by wearing masks or bandanas. But another trait is quacking taking front and center – their willingness to resort to violence with ANYONE who does not share their views or attempts to stop them. This includes the police.

ANTIFA’s belief that violence may become necessary has never been a secret. Members, who are highly active on social media, have posted hundreds of videos focusing on weapons training and hand to hand tactics. But the majority of these instructional videos are amateurish and almost comical in nature- showing “instructors” who have little or no knowledge of the skills they are sharing. But, in recent months this acceptance of future violence has blossomed into a willingness by some members to use violence now.

On Sunday, Aug. 27th ANTIFA members were accused of attacking a large group of peaceful right-wing demonstrators at Berkley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park. Welding homemade wooden shield, shields and even weighted water bottles black clad members attached demonstrators. By the end of day 13 suspected ANTIFA members were arrested on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer and various municipal ordinances.

So why has ANTIFA grown so bold? Why do they feel safe in committing open violence instead of civil disobedience? It boils down to two simple issues – they feel justified and believe they have the support of the people.

They see themselves as the resistors to a large government conspiracy to control the masses and think that eventually, the masses will support them. A modern day revolution similar to that seen in oppressed societies throughout the years.

While they may have garnered some support early one, most likely due to their open opposition to Trump, their actions are quickly being questioned by liberals, conservatives, and other left leaning organizations. Black Lives Matters members clashed with ANTIFA members, chanting “Take off the masks”. CNN, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine have each run recent articles questioning ANTIFA’s use of violence and identifying them as the aggressors in Berkley.

Law enforcement may laugh at the videos and brush off what appear to be 20 somethings looking for attention. But the fact is that a certain segment of ANTIFA is not only willing to use violence they are also capable of actually doing so. Anyone assigned to a demonstration or protest security should be prepared to identify possible ANTIFA members and ready to protect themselves and bystanders from attack.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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