Left-wing “anti-fascist” agitators attacked several demonstrators this past weekend at a rally organized to demonstrate against hate. A right-wing group had scheduled and then canceled an anti-Marxist event, but thousands of people still turned up to demonstrate against them. Along came Antifa, the left-wing group made famous by its pugilistic behavior in Berkeley, Charlottesville, and other cities around the country.
With police taking a hands-off approach, Antifa agitators infiltrated the demonstration and proceeded to attack Trump supporters and others with whom they disagreed. Numerous videos posted to the Internet showed gangs of black-clad antifas with their faces covered, attacking and beating their opponents. Berkeley police made ten arrests, mostly for violating restrictions on carrying weapons or covering faces.
Antifa’s recent actions in Berkeley raise the specter of more left-wing violence in the future, as controversial speakers Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro are scheduled to speak in Berkeley in September. Since one of antifa’s favored tactics is the use of force and intimidation to keep its opponents from speaking, the expectation is that, should Yiannopoulos and Shapiro decide not to cancel their appearances, they may find themselves the target of more antifa violence.
Antifa’s antics and the events that took place in Charlottesville in mid-August highlight the dangers that exist when large groups of protesters and counter-protesters clash. The willingness of antifa to engage in violence with those which they disagree is troubling, especially if it leads to a reaction from right-wing groups. The last thing anyone wants to see is mob violence breaking out in the streets, but that may very well where things are headed if antifa continues to engage in and incite violence with impunity.