Natasha Lennard // Is Antifa Counterproductive? White Nationalist Richard Spencer Would Beg to Differ.

Is Antifa Counterproductive? White Nationalist Richard Spencer Would Beg to Differ. – [] “I really hate to say this, and I definitely hesitate to say this,” said the poster boy of the so-called alt-right. “Antifa is winning to the extent that they’re willing to go further than anyone else, in the sense that they will do things in terms of just violence, intimidating, and general nastiness.” He stated that the willingness of far-left activists to use any means necessary in attempts to shut down his speeches has left the far right “up the creek without a paddle.”

Spencer’s announcement came a week after he gave a scarcely attended speech at Michigan State University. The appearance drew antifa protesters that clashed with Spencer’s far-right supporters, landing 20 people under arrest — nearly all from the antifa contingent.

Spencer’s statement, celebrated by antifa groups and supporters across social media, offers a sharp rebuttal to the glut of claims that antifa practices serve as a gift to the far right. Antifa, which is short for anti-fascist, is not a group or an organization, but a set of political practices aimed at expunging neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and adjacent groups from public spaces on and offline. While these practices, which include but are not limited to physical confrontations, have been deployed against fascists since the early 20th Century, President Donald Trump’s election and the resurgence of overt white supremacy brought antifa opposition to the fore. Where white nationalists gather — from Berkeley to Boston to Charlottesville — antifa has been there with the intent to disrupt those gatherings.

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