In Trump’s crosshairs, antifascist activists defend themselves

2:03 p.m Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 Homepage
Anti-fascist activists are a regular feature among the protest movement that has grown to counter the alt-right. Their more-militant approach, including their willingness to physically confront white nationalist protesters, is the cause of some tension. MIGUEL MARTINEZ / MUNDO HISPANICO

When President Donald Trump said this week that “many sides” were guilty of violence at last weekend’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., right-wing extremists took it as a slap at anti-fascist counter protesters.

But two members of a local group, Atlanta Antifascists, said violence — in self-defense — has its place when used against racists mobs.

“There are those who think physical force can be morally and politically justified. We are in that camp,” one of the men said. “Violence in self-defense is justified.”

The men asked to remain anonymous out of concerns for their safety.

Antifascists — sometimes called antifa — have physically confronted demonstrators from the so-called “alt-right” at rallies around the nation, but as one of the Atlanta activists observed, they don’t believe they can “out-violence the right.”

“Do we think that is a viable strategy?” he said. “In general, that doesn’t seem realistic.”

What is the antifascist movement? What are their goals? Read more in this week’s AJC Watchdog column here. 

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