Fact Check: Is Left-Wing Violence Rising? : NPR – Antifa are not new. They’re a latter-day version of the anarchists and “black bloc” groups who, over the years, have often challenged police and broken windows during May Day protests in Seattle and Portland. Their membership is hard to track, but it appears to be expanding beyond the West Coast. They are also embracing other leftist causes beyond just fighting white supremacists.
Still, their numbers are tiny in relation to the mainstream political left. And, say experts, it’s misleading for right-wing groups to suggest that the Antifa are more violent than right-wing extremists.
“The far left is very active in the United States, but it hasn’t been particularly violent for some time,” says Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
He says the numbers between the groups don’t compare.
“In the past 10 years when you look at murders committed by domestic extremists in the United States of all types, right-wing extremists are responsible for about 74 percent of those murders,” Pitcavage says.