Antifa

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Bootstrap
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Antifa

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:10 pm

Here are two important articles on the Antifa movement. Most of the protesters in Charlottesville were not Antifa, and Antifa did not organize the rally, but Antifa was present and did cause violence. As far as I can tell, most of the protesters were not violent, and should not be grouped with Antifa.

Using violence to combat racism and fascism is the wrong approach, and it only leads to more violence.

The Rise of the Violent Left

Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?


What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa

If the president is concerned about violence on the left, he can start by fighting the white supremacist movements whose growth has fueled its rise.


Trump is right that, in Charlottesville and beyond, the violence of some leftist activists constitutes a real problem. Where he’s wrong is in suggesting that it’s a problem in any way comparable to white supremacism.


As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifa activists generally combat white supremacism not by trying to change government policy but through direct action. They try to publicly identify white supremacists and get them fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments. And they disrupt white-supremacist rallies, including by force.

As I argued in my essay, some of their tactics are genuinely troubling. They’re troubling tactically because conservatives use antifa’s violence to justify—or at least distract from—the violence of white supremacists, as Trump did in his press conference. They’re troubling strategically because they allow white supremacists to depict themselves as victims being denied the right to freely assemble. And they’re troubling morally because antifa activists really do infringe upon that right. By using violence, they reject the moral legacy of the civil-rights movement’s fight against white supremacy. And by seeking to deny racists the ability to assemble, they reject the moral legacy of the ACLU, which in 1977 went to the Supreme Court to defend the right of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois.
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Robert
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Re: Antifa

Postby Robert » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:16 pm

Bootstrap wrote:As far as I can tell, most of the protesters were not violent, and should not be grouped with Antifa.


I will never protest with an anti war group, or an anti-abortion group.

When you run with dogs, you tend to get fleas.

Why was there a need to protest this deluded small radical group? Ignoring them takes all their power away. if no one is getting all worked up, they loose their power and quiet their voice. Look at all the publicity they have gotten now.

This same group marched Friday night yelling very crude things about Jews. No one was hurt, and no property was damaged. No one really knew much about it. Why? Almost no one was there to pay attention. What they said Friday night was just as wrong and insulting as Saturday. They were all carrying torches Friday night. Yet, no fires were started. No one was harmed. Not because this group was so peaceful or controlled, but it is hard to hit something that is not there.

This reminds me of when Iran had the US hostages. It was only when the crowds outside the embassy saw the cameras rolling that they would start their chanting and propaganda. All these groups crave attention. The more they are shunned, the less power they have. Not shut up, but allowed to speak and then just ignored. There will always be crazies on both sides. Like the guy who shot the Republican Congressmen. I do not hold the whole Democratic party to blame, or any leaders of the party. But I digress.

Antifa came looking for a fight. Others who were protesting with their voice had that right, but it will not change one heart of the other delusional people by counter protesting.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Antifa

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Robert wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:As far as I can tell, most of the protesters were not violent, and should not be grouped with Antifa.

I will never protest with an anti war group, or an anti-abortion group.


Me neither. I used to lobby with Right to Life, and I used to run a group that protested porn films shown on campus. That was back in the early 1980s. And I learned from that experience, I'm not going back.
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Szdfan
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Re: Antifa

Postby Szdfan » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:15 pm

Robert wrote:Why was there a need to protest this deluded small radical group? Ignoring them takes all their power away. if no one is getting all worked up, they loose their power and quiet their voice. Look at all the publicity they have gotten now.

This same group marched Friday night yelling very crude things about Jews. No one was hurt, and no property was damaged. No one really knew much about it. Why? Almost no one was there to pay attention. What they said Friday night was just as wrong and insulting as Saturday. They were all carrying torches Friday night. Yet, no fires were started. No one was harmed. Not because this group was so peaceful or controlled, but it is hard to hit something that is not there.

I'm not sure how to respond to this. I don't agree that since there wasn't physical damage that there wasn't harm done by the Friday night march. Historically, both the KKK and Nazi Party used torchlight parades as a way to intimidate their enemies.

Image

From Forbes:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbon ... imidation/
If we look to modern history to understand how torches became a symbol of not only intimidation but specifically racial intimidation, we must look both to America in the aftermath of the Civil War and to Nazi Germany of the 1930s and 40s. In response to the rights given to African-Americans following the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan formed in Pulaski, Tennessee in the late 1860s. The group took their nomenclature from the Greek word κύκλος, which means "circle"; a word often used in antiquity to refer to how hunters encircled their game. Torches became a consistently described part of the Klan's early parades and use of visual intimidation. They would continue to be a terrifying feature of the organization when it reemerged in the early 20th century.


From Alan Zimmerman, president of Congregation Israel Beth El in Charlottesville:
http://reformjudaism.org/blog/2017/08/1 ... =Zimmerman

On Saturday morning, I stood outside our synagogue with the armed security guard we hired after the police department refused to provide us with an officer during morning services. (Even the police department’s limited promise of an observer near our building was not kept — and note, we did not ask for protection of our property, only our people as they worshipped).

Forty congregants were inside. Here’s what I witnessed during that time.

For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don’t know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I’m paranoid. I don’t know.

Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building, shouting, “There's the synagogue!” followed by chants of “Seig Heil” and other anti-Semitic language. Some carried flags with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

A guy in a white polo shirt walked by the synagogue a few times, arousing suspicion. Was he casing the building, or trying to build up courage to commit a crime? We didn’t know. Later, I noticed that the man accused in the automobile terror attack wore the same polo shirt as the man who kept walking by our synagogue; apparently it’s the uniform of a white supremacist group. Even now, that gives me a chill.

When services ended, my heart broke as I advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.


Soon, we learned that Nazi websites had posted a call to burn our synagogue. I sat with one of our rabbis and wondered whether we should go back to the temple to protect the building. What could I do if I were there? Fortunately, it was just talk – but we had already deemed such an attack within the realm of possibilities, taking the precautionary step of removing our Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll, from the premises.

The precautionary removal of the Torah from a synagogue is a really, really big deal.

At the end of the day, we felt we had no choice but to cancel a Havdalah service at a congregant’s home. It had been announced on a public Facebook page, and we were fearful that Nazi elements might be aware of the event. Again, we sought police protection – not a battalion of police, just a single officer – but we were told simply to cancel the event.


What bothers me about your post is that you're not a target of the KKK and the Neo-Nazis. We're not the people who white supremacists are threatening or trying to intimidate. We're not its victims. How can any of us declare that no harm was done? How can you know that?
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Bootstrap
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Re: Antifa

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:39 pm

Szdfan wrote:What bothers me about your post is that you're not a target of the KKK and the Neo-Nazis. We're not the people who white supremacists are threatening or trying to intimidate. We're not its victims. How can any of us declare that no harm was done? How can you know that?


I wonder if our responses would be different if they had done this in Goshen, targeting Mennonites.
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Robert
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Re: Antifa

Postby Robert » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 pm

Szdfan wrote:How can any of us declare that no harm was done? How can you know that?


Again, misreading my post. I said no PHYSICAL harm was done. There is always emotional reactions to things like this. I would feel very ill at ease if they walked by my house. I would not go out with a water hose, but remain peaceful. If they did try to come at me, I would try very hard to respond as countless former Mennonites who found peaceful ways to deal with conflicts. I might invite them to a meal. I might ask questions and share my experiences.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-man-daryl-davis-befriends-kkk-documentary-accidental-courtesy_us_585c250de4b0de3a08f495fc

I would also not berate and belittle the president, a human being, on my facebook feed as you and your friends did. What about the harm you are doing with that? It feeds those who will go and shoot their neighbor because of opposing views.
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Robert
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Re: Antifa

Postby Robert » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:49 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
Szdfan wrote:What bothers me about your post is that you're not a target of the KKK and the Neo-Nazis. We're not the people who white supremacists are threatening or trying to intimidate. We're not its victims. How can any of us declare that no harm was done? How can you know that?


I wonder if our responses would be different if they had done this in Goshen, targeting Mennonites.


Both of you are assuming I have never suffered from bigotry or a judgmental Mennonite Conference that branded me a troublemaker because I dared to ask questions or speak my thoughts in a calm peaceful way.

I have not had the cushy live you two have had. I have lived and been in places that were not always good or safe. I have had my house set fire. I have had to move twice because of others actions. I have had to claw and scrape for most things I have. I do not look at all this from a pristine ivy tower. I have always been in the ditch with the rest of the low life of this world.
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KingdomBuilder
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Re: Antifa

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:40 pm

How on earth do you say "Antifa"?
Anti-faa or an-tee-fuh?
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Szdfan
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Re: Antifa

Postby Szdfan » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:28 am

Robert wrote: I have not had the cushy live you two have had. I have lived and been in places that were not always good or safe. I have had my house set fire. I have had to move twice because of others actions. I have had to claw and scrape for most things I have. I do not look at all this from a pristine ivy tower. I have always been in the ditch with the rest of the low life of this world.

That's not fair, Robert. I don't have a cushy, ivory-tower life. You don't know me and what I live with. I don't understand why you'd accuse me of these things. This to me feels like a personal attack that's unrelated to the issues we're talking about.

I had no intention in offending you, but I'm OK with the fact that you unfriended me on FB. I've also unfriended people whose views I couldn't deal with. Please know that you're always welcome to friend me again once things cool down. I do like you on a personal level.

I believe that even if the President is not a racist, he appeals to racism and I believe that needs to be called out. I believe it needs to be called out because my friends and loved ones who are Jewish, black, Hispanic, queer, etc. are terrified right now. They understand what Trump is saying when he creates a false moral equivalence between White Supremacists and counter-protesters. I posted what I did about Trump on FB because this is personal for me -- people who I love and care about are threatened and some of them have faced physical violence by those who feel empowered by the President's words.

I don't believe Trump's humanity is an excuse for his behavior. Certainly none of us are perfect, but I believe it is inexcusable and alarming for the President (who is one of the most powerful people in the world) to treat people the way he does.
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RZehr
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Re: Antifa

Postby RZehr » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:49 am

Bootstrap wrote:I wonder if our responses would be different if they had done this in Goshen, targeting Mennonites.

I'm certain that we would feel very, very scared and we would have strong feelings against the Nazis.
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