Why Antifa Is The Keyser Söze of Social Unrest

Antifa_The_Anti-Fascist_HandbookBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on yesterday’s hearing in the Senate, which ended abruptly with Sen. Hirono walking out after a confrontation with Sen. Cruz over his objection that the Democrats were avoiding direct criticism of Antifa. In roughly 50 hearings as a witness in Congress, that was a first for me. I have been in a hearing with a lock down but I have never been in hearing with a walk out. I was not sure if I was expected to turn off the lights after both senators left.

The dramatic ending of the hearing however quickly supplanted the underlying issue. As I stated in my testimony, I am less concerned with Antifa’s role in the protests as its role in the growing anti-free speech movement in the United States.

Here is the column:

If you read the coverage online or watch the cable networks, the extremist movement known as Antifa is either the new Al Qaeda or the new Big Foot. President Trump wants to have Antifa classified as a terrorist organization, while various Democrats insist it is simply a conservative phantom. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler even insisted that violence by Antifa is a myth and called the accounts imaginary.

While I oppose designating Antifa as a terrorist organization, its existence is certainly not a myth. Indeed, it may be the most successful movement against free speech in modern history. However, its structure and tactics avoid easy detection, which is why so many people claim the group is an apparition. It is true that whenever such spontaneous and concentrated violence erupts, many people tend to believe it is Antifa.

Antifa is often the culprit on university campuses. In the film “The Usual Suspects,” the character Virgil described the invisible villain Keyser Söze. He is “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” Antifa does exist and the last few weeks demonstrate how skilled it is as the Keyser Söze of social unrest in America.

Antifa was founded on a rejection of formal structures and leaders. Many associated groups are part of Anti-Racist Action and a loose coordinating organization known as the Torch Network. This lack of structure not only appeals to the anarchist elements for the movement but serves to evade both law enforcement and legal challenges. The threat of Antifa is not its role in civil unrest but its activities attacking free speech.

Both far left and far right groups have been identified in riots in various cities. These extremist groups use social media and the internet to sow disorder, hide their identities, and frame other groups for their activities. Notably in the last week, Richmond police identified both Antifa and the Boogaloo Boys in violent protests in that city. It is part of what Attorney General William Barr refers to as the “witches brew of violent groups on both sides” such as Antifa and some other similar groups.

Antifa members have been arrested and involved in violence in the cities. The president of the Portland National Association for the Advancement of Colored People wrote in the Washington Post to denounce the “white spectacle” of the recent violence. He asked, “What are antifa and other leftist agitators achieving for the cause of black equality?”

The answer is that Antifa is not an ally to Black Lives Matter. It is all about revolutionary change and using demonstrations to trigger greater social unrest. It follows the same purpose mistakenly spoken by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley following those riots during the Democratic National Convention in 1968, “The police are not here to create disorder. They are here to preserve disorder.” Antifa causes such violence.

Antifa has found allies while the movement has grown. It primarily targets conservatives and the free speech community, so it has not been a major concern of liberals. Former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, now the Minnesota attorney general, once said antifa would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump. This was after Antifa had been involved in numerous acts of violence and its website was banned in Germany. His own son, Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, declared his allegiance to Antifa in the heat of the protests this summer.

That fact is that Antifa works to strike fear not in the heart of Trump but in the heart of anyone who will oppose the movement. The Antifa handbook states how the group has rejected the idea of free speech and has spent years organizing protests to prevent opposing views from getting heard. That practice has been adopted by other groups as well. Antifa violence can give colleges or politicians cover for barring conservative speakers. Nancy Pelosi has called for the revocation of a permit for a conservative prayer group viewed as a security matter in San Francisco.

George Washington University student Jason Charter has been charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues across the capital. Charter has been an active Antifa member on campus for years. Following his arrest, he claimed the “movement is winning.” It is winning partly since local officials order police to stand down or drop criminal charges to avoid conflict. But it is winning mostly since people remain silent.

Silence kills free speech. Antifa knows that. It is the silence of professors who watch as their colleagues are harassed, investigated, or threatened. It is the silence of students who watch as others are attacked for dissenting ideas. It is the silence of reporters who watch as other journalists are fired or forcibly retired for challenging orthodox views. Finally, it is the silence of those politicians who dismiss the destruction of property as a case, in the words of Pelosi, that “people will do what people will do.”

Antifa will do a great deal of damage if allowed.

That is why, for academics and writers, Antifa’s presence is menacing, not mythological. As Virgil explained, Keyser Söze became the “spook story that criminals tell their kids at night.” Some politicians want to portray Antifa as a spook story that Republicans tell their kids at night. However, it is no illusion for those who have been the targets of Antifa and related groups.

Antifa has achieved the agenda against free speech to a degree that even critics like me never imagined possible. It simply took inaction from our government and silence from our citizens. Threats against free speech are reaching a critical mass in our schools and on our streets. We can either take action or remain passive bystanders to what inevitably comes next.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University who will testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee on antifa and the movement against free speech in America.

 

174 thoughts on “Why Antifa Is The Keyser Söze of Social Unrest”

  1. Antifa? is this year’s version of: Caravans in Mexico headed to the US Border!

    We know it is election time if Trump is trying to scare Mr. Turley and elderly white women.

    1. Yes caravans were headed for the border

      yes ANTIFA is scary, a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization or many of them, which are engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to destroy federal property and physically assault and batter and feloniously intimidate police officers. It must be prosecuted vigorously so that law and order may be restored.

  2. Speaking Of Dubious Organizations..

    NEW YORK FILES FRAUD SUIT AGAINST NRA

    The Attorney General of New York took action today to dissolve the National Rifle Association, following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.”

    Attorney General Letitia James claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she found financial misconduct in the millions of dollars, and that it contributed to a loss of more than $64 million over a three year period.

    The suit alleges that top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain, awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty.

    James’ complaint names the National Rifle Association as a whole, but also names four current and former NRA executives: Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, general counsel John Frazer, former CFO Woody Phillips, and former chief of staff Joshua Powell.

    It lists dozens of examples of alleged financial malfeasance, including the use of NRA funds for vacations, private jets, and expensive meals. In a statement, her office said that the charitable organization’s executives “instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement and negligent oversight” that contributed to “the waste and loss of millions in assets.”

    The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the NRA in its entirety and asks the court to order LaPierre and other current and former executives to pay back unlawful profits. It also seeks to remove LaPierre and Frazer from the organization’s leadership and prevent the four named individuals from ever serving again on the board of a charity in New York.

    Edited From: “New York Attorney General Moves To Dissolve The NRA After Fraud Investigation”

    Today’s NPR

    1. REGARDING ABOVE:

      Even before New York filed this suit, the NRA was hemorrhaging money from a host of other lawsuits. The NRA is essentially bankrupt now and unlikely to play any significant role in November’s election.

      1. Absurd, whatever you think of James, the NRA is in seriously bad shape from all the lawsuits piled on. And it appears the NRA’s leadership really indulged themselves in questionable perks. These suits could easily bring down the NRA once and for all.

        1. Nonprofit board disputes are rare. I suspect the NRA cases NOT INCLUDING the NY AG action, have some merits.

          They RARELY will bankrupt a nonprofit of any significant size. And the NRA has a big size. You have zero evidence that they are “bankrupt” that is pure slander.

          The NY AG remedy will NOT be applied to the NRA. I guarantee it. I would bet you a thousand dollars against the cost of a cup of coffee. It. will. not. happen.

          1. Kurtz: this is from the same article:

            Even before today’s developments, the NRA was in dire financial straits. A secret recording of an NRA board meeting obtained by NPR in April showed LaPierre telling the audience that the NRA’s legal troubles have cost the organization $100 million.

            “The cost that we bore was probably about a hundred-million-dollar hit in lost revenue and real cost to this association in 2018 and 2019,” LaPierre said, according to a recording by a source in the room. “I mean, that’s huge.”

            1. Lapierre is using expensive lawyers to defend his own position by spending down the finances. This is a defensive tactic on his part, and its despicable.

              Fire him, and then fire his overly expensive lawyers, is what the board should do, and then settle the cases, and this will be cured sufficiently. The NRA is viable and can easily recover.,

              This reckoning for Lapierre will be good for the NRA. Former board member, deceased gun rights zealot Neal Knox, was sounding the alarm about Lapierre a long time ago, and it seems he was right.

              The organization that will grow as NRA continues to falter under Lapierre’s greedy tactics, is GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA

              https://gunownersaction.org/

            2. I won’t spend too much more time on this subject Seth. The dissenters could have hired me or any number of other mavericks better known to them, who could have set up teams to rectify Lapierre’s incompetence long ago. Unfortunately the NRA honchos have been suffering from a crusty and persistent form of groupthink a long time.

              But like many other worthy organizations that have been mislead by incompetent Republican functionaries for too long, they don’t know where to look for good help.
              now there are a lot of good Democrats in the NRA but over time the leadership staff got too sucked into the Republican orbit. The ratings system is not that bad, but the organizational leadership culture obviously has gone awry.

              Indeed, there are people in the NRA that never should have been on the staff in the first place. And they knew it and looked the other way, for a long time. This is an example of total incompetence of Lapierre and also the ineffective corporate governance.

              The NRA will recover as soon as it purges the incompetent Wayne Lapierre. This is probably a foregone conclusion at this point. There is no other choice now.

              This is a signal warning to other civic organizations and influence groups, do not continue to fail with the same Republican hacks that have been failing you for so long. I am not saying to go hire some Democrats, although in some situations that might be a valid choice, but rather, turn over the generational guard from the aging “baby boom” failures like LaPierre to some well seasoned “Gen X” operators before “Gen Z” and all its radicals crush whatever you have left to conserve.

              We can see how the short reprieve Trump bought the Republicans with his surprise victory has been misunderstood by a lot of the flunkies in the Republican party “organization” to the extent it exists at all. They have been foot dragging for three and a half years and are way behind in the current game. Wake up, you stooges, because there will be nothing left to save if the election is a socalled “blue wave,” — after Trump, le déluge

      2. You are totally wrong about this Seth: it is not bankrupt and you are making up a defamatory remark of which you have no proof whatsoever.

        There are some board dispute type civil lawsuits. This action by the NY officials is a biased one that effectively takes the side of the dissenters.

        That is not to say that within the private actions of the dissenters, there are not some genuine management problems.. I am not a fan of Wayne LaPierre.
        However, the state should not “pick sides” in an attempt to crush the organization as such.

    2. The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the NRA in its entirety and asks the court to order LaPierre and other current and former executives to pay back unlawful profits. It also seeks to remove LaPierre and Frazer from the organization’s leadership and prevent the four named individuals from ever serving again on the board of a charity in New York.

      You’d take this seriously? It’s another indication, in case we needed one, that for Democrats the legal process exists to harass political enemies and strike poses.

      1. There are problems with Wayne LaPierre’s governance.

        The attempt by the NY AG is an opportunistic and cynical attempt to leverage those problems into dissolving an lawful and viable organization it does not like.

        it will fail and moreover the NY AG will have a political price to pay, too.

        1. Mr. K,

          Did the NRA lose 30,000 e-mails, obstruct justice and engage in the destruction of evidence or conduct the Obama Coup D’etat in America?

          Wait, doesn’t Hills live in N.Y.?

          1. George, I support the NRA as an organization and approve of its mission.

            I do not support the arrogance and incompetence of Wayne Lapierre and his clique.

            Wayne’s gotta go.

            Go dig out your old Shotgun news editions when Neal Knox was still alive, he was telling us to watch out for this guy a long time ago

      2. Absurd, Republicans showed Democrats how to do that in fighting Obamacare.

        Yet a case could be made the NRA is a nuisance organization enabling waves of mayhem and death.

        1. Yet a case could be made the NRA is a nuisance organization enabling waves of mayhem and death.

          Only to an idiot. It’s a membership organization with chapters all over the country, facilities, training programs &c. As for the mayhem, the people responsible are not gun hobbyists but feral slum bums. Since the slums vote Democratic, dim-witted partisan Democrats are anxious to still the bill for the violent crime caused by their base with small-town gun hobbyists. Stuff it.

          1. Absurd the NRA has fought to restore gun rights to felons, the mentally ill and men with Domestic Violence convictions. In this regard the NRA has gone far beyond its original mission of marksmanship and gun safety.

            And Wayne LaPierre, we learn, is like some TV Evangelist; preaching hell and damnation while using ill-gotten funds for a lavish life style. However political James’ suit might be, the NRA has been run by common pocket-stuffers.

            1. Absurd the NRA has fought to restore gun rights to felons, the mentally ill and men with Domestic Violence convictions.

              When and where?

        2. The organization NRA has helped secure the individual right to keep and bear arms as a practical and well exercised right and not just a toothless paper ignored by courts.

          Lawful gun ownership is and never has been a big problem. Criminals using guns has always been a problem

          Thank God and the membership for the NRA all these years doing its work

          At times, in spite of incompetent leadership such as Wayne Lapierre has become. He was not always so bad, but it’s time to go Wayne.

          1. Kurtz, I just read an analysis saying James’ suit may not ‘dissolve’ the NRA. But the suit will more than likely evict LaPierre and his cronies.

    3. BTW, Peter, do you know how much time James has spent in law enforcement over the last four decades? A: Zero. Do you know how much time she’s spent as a prosecutor? A. Zero. Do you know how much time she’s spent in transactional law practice? A. Zero. Do you know how much time she’s spent as a corporation counsel? A. Zero. All of her time in law practice was spent as a public defender, and she hasn’t practiced at all in > 15 years.

      1. absurd x–She also is yet another Soros backed candidate who is seeking to turn law enforcement in this country on its head. His tentacles are all over prosecutor races from lowly DAs to the New York AG. His hand picked puppets use and abuse the power of their offices against anyone who dares stand against the “progressive” agenda. Soros’ role in electing prosecutors largely is unknown, making him every bit the Keyser Söze that Antifa is.

        1. Exactly,. Soros is the Keyser Soze. He is the global kingpin of innumerable racketeer influenced corrupt organizations. His billions however, are spread out literally over hundreds of organizations.

          if there ever was a Keyser Soze of globalist manipulators, it is he.

          he makes the “lord rothschilds” who infamously loaned to both sides of more than one European war, look dull by comparison to his cunning.

          Under “Evil Genius” in the dictionary, they have a little picture of George

        2. One scandal is that the sachems of the New York Democratic Party have repeatedly allocated junk to the position of state attorney-general, starting with Andrew Cuomo in 2006. (Cuomo had worked as a prosecutor for 18 months, but otherwise never practiced). New York’s stupid electorate just checks the box for whatever sack of trash has “(D)” after its name. Dennis Vacco was one of the few occupants of the position in recent decades with a history as a prosecutor or corporation counsel. (He’s the only Republican elected to the position in the last 40 years).

      2. Absurd, from same article:

        Allegations against CEO Wayne LaPierre

        LaPierre, who also serves as CEO, has held the top position at the organization for nearly 30 years. In the attorney general’s lawsuit he is accused of using charitable funds for personal gain, including a post-employment contract valued at more than $17 million that was not approved by the NRA’s board of directors.

        The lawsuit also claims that LaPierre received more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements over four years, including gifts for friends, travel expenses and memberships at golf clubs and hotels.

        And it alleges that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private plane trips, including for extended family when he was not present; traveled to Africa with his wife on a safari gifted by an NRA vendor; and spent more than $3.6 million on luxury black car services and travel consultants in the past two years.

        Those who attempted to blow the whistle on this behavior, the suit claims, were retaliated against by LaPierre.

        1. Seth:

          Wayne Lapierre does have a lot of poor choices to account for.

          However, the remedy the NY AG asks for is an organizational “death penalty” — it is called that by lawyers. it is excessive.

          no judge will award it in this context. no judge will penalize MILLIONS of members because their elected adminstrator made errors and omissions
          that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. it is not appropriate to terminate an old and viable organization because it had an errant boss.
          no judge would come up with this outcome not even the most radical left winger sitting in the entire state of NY. it’s an outrageous and frivolous petition on its face.

          That you even suggest it is a viable action reveals your own biases and also a lack of depth on this legal topic.

      3. I have some experience in nonprofit board adminstration. the remedy that the NY AG is asking for is called the “death penalty for nonprofits” and it will NOT be the outcome.
        It almost never happens.

        Wayne Lapierre has some governance problems to be held to account for but the NY AG is opportunistically trying to leverage them in this outrageous action.

        She will be a mockery of other lawyers and judges as this utterly fails.

    4. This clearly biased political prosecution will fall flat and fail, even before a biased judge. It is very lame stab at lawfare waged by Democrat partisans

    5. Way to stay off topic, Sethy.

      Cuomo has much bigger issues to deal with than suing the NRA, Seth.

      “Cuomo begs rich New Yorkers to leave Hamptons, return to NYC: ‘Come over, I’ll cook!’ ”

      https://nypost.com/2020/08/05/cuomo-wealthy-residents-should-leave-hamptons-return-to-nyc/

      BTW, the NRA could cease to exist tomorrow, and gun ownership would still continue to grow exponentially.

      “First-time gun ownership skyrockets”

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/first-time-gun-ownership-skyrockets-amid-riots-increased-violence-across-country-you-can-t-really-be-too-safe/ar-BB17vH0k

      You can thank Nancy “People will do what they do” Pelosi and her Antifa/BLM buddies for that reality.

      1. Rhodes is it not funny how Cuomo wants the rich to return to NYC from the Hamptons and Conn and Hudson valley–

        but Deblosio wants to block them? you cant make this comedy up!

        Vote Democrat folks if you want more messes like that

      2. Rhodes, if you think New York is the only state suffering financial hardships now, you’re more ignorant than I thought.

          1. Kurtz, every state in the country is hurting because of the pandemic and stressed economy. The red states are not exempt on this. Nor are they doing any better. And states that were hurting ‘before’ the pandemic are ready to flat line.

  3. (CNN)President Donald Trump agreed to continue paying for the full cost of National Guard troops deployed to help with the coronavirus response in just two states — Texas and Florida — after their Republican governors appealed directly to him.

    Other states will now have to pay a quarter of the cost of National Guard deployments in their states, despite their governors also requesting the federal government continue to foot the entire bill. A White House official said Trump made an exception for Texas and Florida because their governors — who enjoy close relationships with Trump — made “special, direct cases to the President.”

    Asked why Texas and Florida received special treatment, the White House official pointed only to the direct appeals from those states’ governors, not unique circumstances in those states.

    “The governors of Texas and Florida made the case directly to the President that a continuation of the 100% cost share was necessary to support the Guard’s efforts in their states,” a White House official told CNN. “Florida and Texas were the only states to make special, direct cases to the President.”
    The National Governors Association, however, said governors nationwide asked for the extension in calls with the White House, including with the President and Vice President Mike Pence.

      1. nice distraction Book and Seth, you caught the first comment space and filled it with irrelevant Orange Man bad stuff which has nothing to do with Turley’s article about the antifa anarchist criminal movement of intimidation and other crimes.

          1. there are valid criticisms of trump but Trump is not the slightest bit at all relevant to the article. this was lame distraction. why not just argue somethign related to the topic?

  4. I have a feeling that if JT does not stop supporting free speech or criticizing the Brave Masked Wonderful Warriors of Antifa (TM), he is going to get a personal and close up visit from these mostly peaceful civic activists.

    Just wonder who will be the first on this blog to call JT a “nazi” for supporting free speech. After all “hate speech” is not “free speech”, right?

    antonio

    1. Antonio, why are you so keen for someone to call JT a ‘Nazi’?

      It’s like you’re dying for this discussion to grow even stupider than it might otherwise get.

      1. @seth warner

        Just shows with clarity and honesty where leftists are coming from. They are quite keen on classifying anyone who disagrees as such and love to shut down unfavored speech. Leftists are behind the movements to censor, deplatform, doxx and institute speech codes on anyone to the right of Mitch McConnell.

        antonio

          1. I recall a few years back when SPLC ran a series of articles on what a dastardly character Trent Lott was. Oh,. he was racist evil incarnate according to them.

            And yet we regularly have his name replaced and similar articles rerun against whatever Republican the Democrats fear most.

            Over time, this epithet loses its sting.

    1. I think that’s what they did at WACO.

      However those people weren’t starting any riots, nor looting, arson, nor physically vandalizing, attacking, and besieging any public property.

      But wow how Janet Reno’s DOJ lowered the hammer on them!

      And all when they just could have picked the bad guy up on his morning jog. Sad!

      1. Clinton and Reno may have been more successful killing Americans minding their own business than dealing with real enemies like bin Laden.

  5. You are, of course, absolutely correct Professor Turley, and sadly – rather than Antifa being mischaracterized as the militant wing of the Democrat Party, it is more accurate to say the modern Democrat Party is the political wing of Antifa.

  6. Spare us your crocodile tears for a non-issue Turley. 160,000 people have died because of a bumbling, narcissistic moron occupying the presidency. The lies and drivel that come out of his orifice causes this country to slip everyday towards an abyss.

    This shameless buffoon begs foreign leaders for personal gains in the latest of the million ethical lapses and all Turley can write about is about Antifa. The far greater threat are from the rabid right some of whom are well represented among his readers here.

    Just cannot wait for the election. Take your country back!

    1. +1

      This blog is chum for right wingers looking to avoid reality and get outraged over BS. JT knows his audience and how to get the hits he wants.

          1. Since you falsely claim to “enjoy arguing points”.

            Explain how you wouldn’t be “outraged” at Antifa/BLM if their violence and destruction of private property arrived in your neighborhood and at your home or business?

            Are you really so stupid that would just dismiss it as “BS” if they looted and burned your personal property?

            1. Rhodes, I DK anyone who has been attacked by Antifa but I do know 2 relatives who died from covid 19 and 2 workmates who suffered long and painful bouts with it, and I and everyone I know has to tailor their life around the virus. If that changes, I will surely be outraged then and I’ll let you know.

              1. I may be an oddity in that I have talked to numerous people over about 20 years that have been fired from academic jobs all around the country due to “politically incorrect” publications or speech. In prior years, these kinds of firings were either arising out of intramural beefs at university, or, from time to time, due to negative publicity and demands for punishment that were orchestrated mostly by SPLC or ADL, — but now they have been taken up by a wide swath of “progressive” university clubs, organizations, movements like ANTIFA, etc. which have more fresh funding from Open Society Foundation and its friends. IE Mr Soros. Make no mistake there is and has long been organized activity to “purge” dissident faculty.

                There is a genuine free speech problem. However, it is a different type of social problem than the COVID, as COVID arises from a biological pathogen, and our human agency can only respond to it. Whereas, the free speech issue in academics and other employments, is a more complicated issue.

                To give you an idea of an older episode that I have never heard Turley mention, there was an educational charity called the Pioneer Fund, which was endowed amply a long time ago, and I believe it was founded well before WWII. It had prominent biologists and psychologists on its team and it awarded many grants for genetic and psychometric research. However, it was associated with the “eugenics movement” which was tarred by the nazi’s regime’s crimes in WWII, although it had nothing to do with NS Germany at all, involving almost entirely American, Canadian, and UK researchers over its many many decades of grant-making

                Pioneer fund became the target of various “hate haters” which attacked it and its researchers relentlessly in the mass media. This lead to many negative employment outcomes, which were muted due to the fact that most associates were tenured. However, there are other ways universities can make life hell on faculty even if they can’t fire them.

                This was covered in the Wall Street journal to some extent at the time, but the social and academic networks related to it have been under constant attack ever since.

                Now it’s all become significantly more ugly as direct intimidation of targets is being done by mobs in person threatening violence, not just negative employment outcomes. To me Turley is a hero for taking this issue up where other prominent intellectual leaders have been to scared to address it.

              2. “I DK anyone who has been attacked by Antifa”

                is not an answer to this question.

                “Explain how you wouldn’t be “outraged” at Antifa/BLM if their violence and destruction of private property arrived in your neighborhood and at your home or business?”

                Try again.

              3. “Rhodes, I DK anyone who has been attacked by Antifa but I do know 2 relatives who died from covid 19 and 2 workmates who suffered long and painful bouts with it, and I and everyone I know has to tailor their life around the virus. If that changes, I will surely be outraged then and I’ll let you know.”

                Thanks for clearing that up. I figured all that beating and burning on video was fake news. I feel much better now. Gravity has been an issue for me today as well. Any chance you can clear that up would be greatly appreciated.

              1. Cindy,

                This is far enough down in the blog it is not likely to be noticed by others. Even you may not get it. But you asked if I would include something more from my account. I think I need to say this is copyrighted material at this point.

                In any event, I was discussing my time in law school and during the year news came of the mining disaster in the Sunshine Mine out West in the Idaho Panhandle. That is the same mine I mentioned before. Here is part of what I wrote:

                “I was surprised it was even on the news. I thought, “When did anyone ever care what happened to us?”
                My other surprise was that I had thought of “us” and I realized that perhaps I was not as reincarnated as I thought.
                I wondered about my last day gathered with my friends deep underground waiting to go back up, three Empire State Buildings to the surface. Their faces, sweaty and yellow in the offset light from our helmet lamps, faces suspended in the dark, smiling, disembodied like ghosts. Were they ghosts down there now? Forever?
                But, as my uncle said on the news, the sooner we get over it and get back to work the better off we will be. I had law school. I turned to it.”

      1. I think the ANTIFA problem has been brewing in the United States for two decades. I have been following them that long. They have been around in the US since the “skinhead phenomenon” arose in the early 80s– mostly in Portland.

        There are racist skinheads and then there are actually anti-racist skinheads. This is a dynamic which existed among the working class urban youth of Europe before it migrated here.

        Back in the 80s, there were racist skinheads on the prowl in Portland. Now, I doubt it. Maybe locked up already in prison gangs, or off drinking beers in their basements, but I have seen no sign of them active in protesting nor counterprotesting.

        There’s been a false equivalency advanced between an amount of socalled right wing Booger Bois which have turned out in the protests and done crime, versus tens of thousands of mixed BLM/ ANTIFA/ street thugs, which have done protest related crimes. The false equivalency is the only “chum” present in this otherwise good article by Turley.

    2. And nobody would’ve died if Trump hadn’t been elected…

      Do you really expect us to believe that COVID-19 would’ve been the first non-lethal pandemic in human history if only Trump had lost in 2016. I’d love to see the epidemiological model that predicts that.

      1. Actually if you look at countries with women leaders they have been doing better than others in this pandemic – Germany, New Zealand, etc.

    3. John Turkey, I invite you to find a regular handle and stick to it for purposes of consistency. Otherwise the Trumpers are going to think you’re an established liberal regular using an alternate name.

    4. “160,000 people have died because of a bumbling, narcissistic moron occupying the presidency.”

      Details please. Also: details of the number of deaths from “protests,” details on the number of deaths from sending COVID-infected patients known to be an extreme threat to the elderly sent to New York nursing homes. Might as well run all the numbers. Throw in the number of deaths from the streets of Chicago this year as well. I think Trump killed them with all with his bare hands, but I just want to be certain.

  7. Excellent article, Professor Turley.

    “Because no one dares/disturb the sound of silence.”
    “Silence like a cancer grows.”

    Like the cure for bad speech is good speech, good speech is the cure for bad silence.

  8. If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword.

    Antifa uses violence and underhanded methods against anyone not in lockstep with their ideology. As a result, those same methods will be used against Antifa.

    It’s not a matter of if, it is just a matter of when, and the when is approaching rapidly.

    The founders of BLM will not renounce Antifa, because Antifa is their alter-ego, and their meal ticket.

    As to organization? Antifa is far more organized than BLM. I witnessed it first hand this past May.

    Truckloads of bricks on pallets, and 32 gallon plastic trash cans full of frozen water bottles, shipped in ahead of the BLM demonstrations. As well as first-aid kits to treat injuries, along with designated medics to treat Antifa members injured in confrontations with police.

    But when the rubber bullets are switched for lead bullets, the first-aid kits are not going to help.

  9. Mazie Hirono is probably the person with the least amount of brain cells in the U.S. Senate. Maybe in the history of the Senate. I have no idea where she has any room to walk out and blast Ted Cruz for for “not listening” or making speeches with his time. This woman makes speeches everytime she is supposed to be asking questions. In fact, I’m pretty sure that her staff comes up with both here speeches and questions, and always makes the mistake of writing both of them on the same sheet of paper because she just reads through them all and doesn’t realize that she was asking any questions. You can tell because unlike others that ask questions and then interrupt the witness when they try to answer, she just doesn’t stop reading so the witness never even gets a chance to start answering. What is worse is that when she is done and the witness answers a question, she completely ignores their answer, makes another speech that was written before the person could answer, and what she says often is in direct conflict to the answer she recieved kind of like when Bernie Sanders was asked if he said something about Elizabeth Warren, he denied it, then the debate moderater went on to ask Elizabeth Warren a related question which completely disregarded what Sanders had said.

    These are the people you all out there elected. They have a potato where their brain should be. Nancy Pelosi seems to have drank a whole cheap box of wine before every news conference. Maxine Waters has won re-election 15 times and I don’t believe she even knows what day it is most of the time. Adam “Pinochio” Schiff just continues to lie about everything with no reppercusion. Senator Whitehouse sees a “dark money” conspiracy theory everywhere despite the fact that he, himself, makes speeches at “dark money” group functions and recieves donations from those groups.

    Democrats haven’t just jumped the shark, they are the sharknado!

  10. Today is my 73rd birthday. August 22nd will be our 50th wedding anniversary. We would have loved to travel and visit different cities (Prior to Covid19) but were afraid of the continuing civil unrest and violence starting with the first ANTIFA, BLM or whatever groups were involved. It is truly sad that people have to live in fear of safely touring our great nation. After spending a lifetime working hard to accomplish the goal of touring our country, I am especially disgusted with these cowardly politicians and every anarchists of any leaning.

    1. Happy Birthday John. John if you let the virus, BLM, ANTIFA and the Democrats stop you from living and enjoying your golden years you might as well pay a visit today to your local mortuary. I’m older then you get out and about, this is still a great country, the life your living isn’t a dress rehearsal. Many more years to you and the Mrs.

  11. “This lack of structure……”

    Actually, comments from former Antifa members indicates that they are highly structured.

    1. their structure is informal and is kept intentionally “off paper”

      the purpose is to allow the street level criminals to get away with their crimes–

      and insulate the donors and paymasters from vicarious liability. this is the key issue. VICARIOUS LIABILITY. it is a key concept in torts.

      I am not speculating about this. it is a well understood dynamic among tort lawyers and criminal defense lawyers.

      it’s also well understood by criminals engaged in racketeer influenced corrupt organizations, which is what ANTIFA really is

  12. I am old enough to remember Attorney General Barr teargassing a peaceful protest so Trump could hold up a bible in front of a church. It was a month or two ago.

    Anyway, Antifa was not among the teargassed. It was peaceful protestors whose free speech rights were being infringed in a very violent manner. Let’s worry more about what a well armed fascist government is doing to our free speech rights than this imaginary enemy who are standing up to them.

      1. I do! I do teacher!

        Definition of fascism
        1often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

        1. book, that may be a valid definition for the common parlance, but it is not useful for serious and objective political categorization.

          I recommend the definition framed by Roger Griffin, from wiki:

          “[Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led “armed party” which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation’s imminent rebirth from decadence.[29]”

          the resource “wikiwand” says of him:

          Roger David Griffin (born 31 January 1948)[1] is a British professor of modern history and political theorist at Oxford Brookes University, England. His principal interest is the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, as well as various forms of political or religious fanaticism.[2]

          Education and career
          Griffin obtained a First in French and German Literature from Oxford University, then began teaching History of ideas at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes). Becoming interested in the study of extremist right-wing movements and regimes which have shaped modern history, Griffin obtained a PhD from Oxford University in 1990. He first developed his palingenesis theory of fascism in his PhD thesis.[2] His best known work is The Nature of Fascism (1991).[3] In May 2011, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leuven in recognition of his services to the comparative study of fascism.[2]

          Research and writing
          This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
          Griffin’s theory, set out first in The Nature of Fascism in 1991, and more recently in Fascism: An Introduction to Comparative Fascist Studies (2017), offers a heuristically useful ideal type of fascism as a form of revolutionary organic nationalist movement, or palingenetic ultranationalism. For Griffin, fascism directly mobilises popular energies or works through an elite to eventually achieve the cultural hegemony of new values and the total rebirth of the ‘ultranation’, whether conceived as a historic nation-state or as a race or ethnos, from what it defines as the present state of decadence. Fascism is an ideology that has assumed a large number of specific national permutations and several distinct organizational forms. Moreover, it is a political project that continues to evolve to this day throughout the Europeanized world, though it remains highly marginalised compared with the central place it occupied in inter-war Europe, and its central role in identity politics has been largely replaced by non-revolutionary forms of radical right-wing populism.

          Griffin’s approach, though still highly contested in some quarters, has nonetheless influenced the comparative literature on fascism of the last 25 years, drawing on the work of George Mosse, Stanley Payne, and Emilio Gentile to highlight the revolutionary and totalising politico-cultural nature of the fascist revolution in marked contrast to Marxist approaches. His book, Modernism and Fascism, locates the mainspring of the fascist drive for national rebirth in the modernist bid to achieve an alternative modernity, which is driven by a rejection of the decadence of ‘actually existing modernity’ under liberal democracy or tradition. The fascist attempt to institute a different civilisation and a new temporality in the West found its most comprehensive expression in the ‘modernist states’ of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Since 1945 fascism has diversified and can no longer form a mass movement that is populist and charismatic, having been reduced instead to terroristic attacks on liberal democratic society and those it deems ‘enemies’ of the ‘true’ nation/race and its rebirth.

          His most recent research has been on terrorism. In his Terrorist’s Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning he studies the origins and motivations behind terrorism. He compares the origins of terrorism to the extremes of the National Socialists in the 1930s, noting that “fanatics” separate the world into good and evil, and then undergo “heroic doubling” where they see themselves as warriors in the battle between good and evil.

        2. “Definition of fascism
          1often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

          Sounds like a perfect fit for Bill DeBlasio.

      2. On wikipedia, Fascism is: “a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition …”

        Sounds like Trump and Barr in a nutshell. America First. Teargas and beat up peaceful protestors. Lock up children at the border. All done unilaterally by the President. Constant call for prosecution of President’s political enemies. Heck, fascism it is basically Trump’s reelection campaign at this point.

        1. “Truth isn’t truth” and “Alternative facts” are the hearts and minds of trump supporters so trying to inform them will not work. Facts are fake news to them.

        2. Encyclopedia Britannica

          Keywords: “Socialist” & “Socialism”

          “Nazi Party

          political party, Germany

          https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nazi-Party

          Nazi Party, by name of National Socialist German Workers’ Party, German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), political party of the mass movement known as National Socialism. Under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, the party came to power in Germany in 1933 and governed by totalitarian methods until 1945.”

          Mussolini was also a socialist, and he modeled his Fascist Party after Lenin’s “Third Way”. Which is also known as Corporatism.

          All of which is why both Hitler and Mussolini praised FDR’s New Deal, as well as why FDR was pen pals with, and an “ardent admirer” of, Mussolini.

          So according to By the Book and Anti-fascist, Franklin Roosevelt was “right wing fascist”?

          The government school victims are everywhere.

          1. Rhodes, this is insultingly stupid! You’re pretending the rest us never read a single article on WWII or Nazi Germany.

        3. that is very shallow. so plastic anyone could fit.

          go deeper into the wiki entry on fascism and you will find the most useful definition, advanced by Roger Griffin:

          “[Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led “armed party” which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation’s imminent rebirth from decadence.[29]

          Griffin’s definition can be summarized as: “palingenic ultranationalism”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palingenetic_ultranationalism

    1. sigh. failure to disperse means they were not peaceful.

      if someone comes to your yard and refuses to leave, they are not being peaceful.

      please try to think.

  13. Yet another disastrous gift from the Left. I can’t think of a single positive thing their ideology has brought about. Do these fools not realize that what follows the First Amendment is the Second? Anyone who thinks the words of others are violence has obviously never met a bullet. I wonder if folks on the Left are ready to die for their beliefs, because many to the Right are.

  14. We all knew that Keyser Soze was Virgil at the end of the movie, however, Antifa is real.Just hard to get a handle on. And they are getting coverage from the press, who refuse to call them rioters and Democrats, who refuse to call them out.

    We have been lucky to have some brave reporters on the scene who have reported the actual activities of Antifa, like Andy Ngo (thanks Andy).

    1. Another fine contributor on Tweeter is Ian Miles Cheong

      How ironic that we have one Vietnamese American and one Chinese American helping protect our society against this radical group of nutjob criminals the ANTIFA, by bringing their awful crimes to attention. We are fortunate and if we are wise we will engage other Asian Americans in our quest for law and order.

  15. Following these same arguments, White supremacists, Neo Nazis, and all those other far right anarchist groups should be labeled terrorist groups; you know those, ‘good people on both sides’ types that Trump talked about. Neo Nazis are allies of America, freedom, and all the sacred stuff, as they interpret it.

    When Antifa, Neo Nazis, White supremacists manifest their extremism and harm society; then arrest them and lock them up. Otherwise arrest Trump for much of what he says. If Antifa is guilty, so is Trump. Lock him up. Lock him up. Lock him up…….

    1. ugh Issac, Trump didn’t refer to the white supremacists and similar as “good people on both sides.” You insult those of us who are capable of viewing the video of what Trump said in context.

      1. Add up Trump and he is far, far, far right from the center. Anarchy is anarchy and inhabits the extreme left and right. Antifa is not one distinct force only. Neither is the extreme right. You have right wing separatists who advocate anything from racially conscious stances of separation for the good of all to racist stances that call out a distinction between the races that is simply not there. The Antifa range from limiting to abolishing authority is an anarchist statement advocating absolute equality where equality is simply not possible. The unequal position of police and citizen is necessary to protect the citizen. One could argue this until the cows come home or simply state that the goal of those progressing to the left is equal justice for all, including the police, government, the rich, those in power, ALL. Until the police are held to the same judicial standards as those that they protect, there will be the George Floyds and Antifa. The direction of the right has at its extreme, racism, segregation, and most of what has been proven over time, not to work, or having been rejected.

        If any lesson has been presented it is that ‘run to the cave’ is not the answer when divisions present themselves in society. Trump didn’t only yell ‘run to the cave’ when he confronted those imperfections in our American society, Trump fabricated and continues to fabricate fake imperfections that distance the naturally polarized American society, which may be human nature, even further. Trump’s power is sourced from dividing America. The left, as much as its extremes tend to want to separate, has always had as its objective the unification of all. Equal justice under one law for all. So far, we have separate legal systems for the average person, the minority, the police, the rich, those either elected or appointed to power, etc. Antifa may be wrong in its manifestation its goals through violence and chaos but the goals are far more American than those who blindly resort to the status quo, ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’, America, love it or leave it., etc.

    2. I reject the notion that “supremacists” of any ethnic or racial stripe including whites should per se be labelled as terrorists. That is preposterous isaac.

      whether it is nation of islam which proclaims the superiority of the black race–

      or whether it is the local two man kkk klavern swilling beer in someone’s basement–

      or whether it is a jewish group which claims a special covenant for their ancestry group with God Himself–

      there is nothing inherently criminal nor “terrorist” with ethnocentric opinions.

    3. “Following these same arguments, White supremacists, Neo Nazis, and all those other far right anarchist groups should be labeled terrorist groups; you know those, ‘good people on both sides’ types that Trump talked about. Neo Nazis are allies of America, freedom, and all the sacred stuff, as they interpret it.”

      I know, I see so many of these right wing types attacking people in major cities that it makes me pull the sheets over my face at night.

  16. Again, Antifa prospers because higher ed administrators and Democratic pols are complicit. Antifa is Democratic Party muscle. The rest of us have the right to respond in kind at our discretion.

  17. “The answer is that Antifa is not an ally to Black Lives Matter. ”
    *********************
    Until the socialists who founded and run BLM renounce Antifa and their violent ways they most certainly are an ally by silence.

  18. Prof. Turley is absolutely right with most of his observations. May he stay safe in his ability to continue to defend free speech. The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for not caring about Antifa, since, for the time being, the group goes after Conservative voices. One day, that will change and on that day, it may be too late for free speech for anyone in America.
    We must not allow our freedoms to be taken from us by a very devious group or individual.

    Thank you Prof. Turley, for bringing this to our attention. The big question is, what can we do about this, without the help of half of America?

    1. I agree with all you said Justice for All, except over half of America has been silent in allowing Antifa to grow and fester. Including our institutions, media, education system, politicians and corporations, I’d guess 90%.

Leave a Reply