What Do U.S. Anti-Fascists Actually Believe? A Reply to “On Antifa: Some Critical Notes” – by Tom (Philly Antifa) and Bernard and Mollie (NYC Antifa)
For many years, until early 2016, the U.S. antifascist movement was small and relatively stable in numbers, with only occasional national mobilizations. This year, however, new groups started springing up, largely in reaction to Trump’s candidacy. With Trump’s election, the trickle turned into a flood of interest.
Along with renewed interest has also come a flood of commentary by people who seem to consider themselves “experts” on the antifa movement. They are lining up to give us instructions or to criticize us. What’s common to them all—whether from good or bad intentions—is that they know very little about the existing movement, and therefore grossly misrepresent it.
Because the essay “On Antifa: Some Critical Notes” comes from the same political circles as our own, and has been reposted by comrades, we feel obligated to correct how the author paints today’s actual U.S. antifa movement.*
People assure us that “On Antifa” is an honest critique. Of course, we can’t say that it doesn’t accurately represent the people with whom the author is in contact. What we can say with certainly is that, as three long-term participants in the antifascist milieu, who belong to active antifascist groups (Philly Antifa and NYC Antifa)—and who know hundreds of active anti-fascists, including many currently part of the TORCH Antifa Network, the successor to Anti-Racist Action (ARA) Network, which one of us was in—the picture painted in this essay bears little or no relationship to the national antifascist movement as a whole.