The Antifa are not a part of the left. They are anarchists.
Anarchists believe in the abolition of the state, or the frenzied and orgiastic demolition of government. The left does not believe in the eradication of government. And anarchists, by definition, do not work for either side. So the confusion needs to be sorted out.
Antifa is short for anti-fascist. The problem is not that the Antifa are anti-fascist (after all, who is not?) or that they advocate violence as the answer to fascism. The most heinous fascists of the 20th century, Adolph Hitler, ushered in by the right, and Joseph Stalin, brought to us by the left, were not taken out by love-ins and pacifists, but they were not destroyed by anarchists either.
The Antifa, instead of insisting that the government official unequivocally condemn the speech of Nazis and Klansmen, which is what the left is asking, take it on themselves to violently end Nazi and KKK gatherings. There is no case to be made, by the left or the right, for shutting down free speech. The First Amendment protects the speech you don’t want to hear.
The debate over free speech is empty unless you separate the form (the right to speak) from the content (what is said). From here, you can insist that government officials to take aim not at a Nazi’s right to speak, for example, but at what they say.
The antidote to the Antifa is not the sympathy sometimes extended to them by the left any more than it is the right-wing press’s endless courting of them; you know all of the showering of them with attention. The neutralizing shot to the Antifa is engagement—– engagement with local, state and national government —-with marches, letters, petitions, running for office, and the list goes on.
There are no left wing bullies. The bullies are anarchists and I can extend a hand and say I hope that there are no right ring bullies either, just Nazis and Klansmen.
Is the next sentiment obvious? How about the left shades the anarchists and the right shades the Nazis and the Klansmen and we engage with each other on issues small and large?
Lisa Aslanian, Laguna Beach