“There Is No Evidence”: Professor Publishes Book On Domestic Terrorism While Denying Antifa’s Involvement In Violence

As we have previously discussed, there has been a bizarre denial in the face of Antifa violence throughout the country. It is particularly difficult to understand since one can acknowledge the violence of Antifa groups while recognizing the violence of far right groups. Yet, that does not fit the narrative in this political environment where every allegation seems to be part of a some zero-sum game of blame.  The latest example is Professor of Criminology and Terrorism Studies at UMass-Lowell Arie Perliger, who told The Lowell Sun, that there is absolutely no evidence of organized violence by Antifa.  The assertion is astonishing given the extensive evidence of such violence for years on the campuses and streets of the country.

Perliger has been marketing his new book, American Zealots: Inside Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism. When asked about left-wing violence by such groups as Antifa, Perliger is immediately dismissive: “As for Antifa, currently there is no evidence that the group was involved in any planned campaign of violent attacks.” He insisted that, while he had studied left-wing groups extensively, “if new data will show differently then, as any reasonable person does, I will need to reevaluate my views.”

I think that such a serious reevaluation in order.

testified in the Senate on Antifa and its history of violence on our campuses and streets. As I have written, Antifa is indeed more of a movement than a specific organization, but it has members and associated groups. Indeed, it has long been the “Keyser Söze” of the anti-free speech movement, a loosely aligned group that employs measures to avoid easy detection or association.  FBI Director Wray told Congress “And we have quite a number — and I’ve said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa.”

I have repeatedly emphasized that extreme right groups are also responsible for recent violence and Wray made clear that far right violence still dominates in terms of a threat profile.  Moreover, I have opposed declaring Antifa a terrorist organization.  We have ample laws to deal with such extremist violence from the far left or far right. We do not need to rely on terrorism laws or most recently suggested sedition laws. Yet, Antifa is more than some “idea” and it has a discernible and violent organization. Indeed, the Antifa Handbook discusses how it uses an association of groups, including self-identified Antifa groups, to carry out attacks on critics and those with opposing views.

There are a variety of Antifa groups with long history of organized violence including Rose City Antifa. The RCA is arguably the oldest reference to “Antifa” in the United States was the Rose City Antifa (RCA) in Portland, Oregon. In 2013, various groups that were part of ARA, including RCA, formed a new coordinating organization referred to as the “Torch Network.” I detailed the violence of these groups in my Senate testimony”

“The signature of the group is a self-righteous, rage-fueled violence that parallels the fascistic groups that they claim to oppose. In 2002, ARA activists attacked a neo-Nazi demonstration. Twenty-eight ARA members were arrested but all of the charges were later dropped. In 2005, ARA protested National Socialist Movement (NSM) members in what became known as the 2005 Toledo Riot. Such counter protests by Antifa routinely result in violence. For example, in 2012, ARA members attacked a meeting of the Illinois European Heritage Association with hammers, bats and other weapons. Five members were convicted of assault and other crimes.That same year, almost two dozen members of the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, part of ARA, broke into the “Fifth Annual White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet,” a group containing white supremacists and white nationalists.The attack on the Ashford House Restaurant led to criminal convictions of five members. In 2016, a confrontation between neo-Nazi groups and Antifa counter protesters resulted in a violent brawl. Seven people were stabbed and nine others were injured. Although the exact affiliation of each of the victims is unknown, both neo-Nazis and Antifa members were among the victims. In 2017, Antifa members joined an otherwise nonviolent counter protest and attacked five neo-Nazis, kicking, punching, and pepper spraying them until stopped by police. Thirteen individuals were arrested on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and other violations. On July 13, 2019, an Antifa member showed up at a privately owned ICE detention center and began “throwing incendiary devices at vehicles . . . and attempting to burn down buildings and a propane tank.” He was ultimately killed after pointing a gun at police. Antifa have also attacked journalists, including conservative journalist Andy Ngo, who was punched and hit with bear spray while trying to cover one protest.

Antifa mayhem is well-known to the courts. Violence between Antifa and Alt-Right protestors was addressed in Virginia, where “people were hurt and beaten on both sides” after Antifa members attacked protesters with baseball bats, mace spray, canes, sticks, bricks, bottles, and a metal pipe.The Ninth Circuit recently reversed a lower court that dismissed a battery claim against an Antifa member, who allegedly helped “unnamed assailants who attacked Plaintiff with pepper spray, bear mace, and flag poles, by participating in surrounding Plaintiff and by shining her flashlight in such a way as to enable the direct attacks,” may be liable on an aiding and abetting theory. In Arizona, Antifa members threw rocks, bottles, tear gas, an incendiary device, and a spear-like object at officers who set up a perimeter around a rally held by President Trump.”

Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook speaks proudly of Antifa’s organized violent history. He makes clear that what Antifa calls “self-defense” includes violence against police or anyone deemed a fascist. In a recent Washington Post opinion editorial criticizing President Trump’s attacks on Antifa as “delegitimizing militant protest,” Bray stated:

“I believe it’s true that most, if not all, members do wholeheartedly support militant self-defense against the police and the targeted destruction of police and capitalist property that has accompanied it this week. I’m also confident that some members of antifa groups have participated in a variety of forms of resistance during this dramatic rebellion.”

Antifa groups, including groups calling themselves Antifa like RCA, have regularly engaged in violence. Bray again describes the attacks during the Trump inauguration as a defining use of violence by the group:

“Fascists in tuxes were pelted with eggs and several MAGA hats set on fire. The next morning, an ‘anti-capitalist and anti-fascist’ black bloc – that is, a mass of anonymous, black-clad militants—set off from Logan Circle to disrupt ‘business as usual,’ while a man whom liberals had bemoaned as a literal fascist was being sworn into the White House. Some of the black bloc, though certainly not all, engaged in target property destruction of corporate enterprises to smash Trump’s ‘façade of legitimacy.’ Most notably, the glass storefronts of Starbucks and Bank of America were rapidly demolished, similar destruction forced a McDonald’s to shut down and ATMS and other corporate property spray-painted or destroyed. The most iconic moment of the day may have been when a limousine was set ablaze.”

Yet, in announcing an extensive study of violent domestic groups, Perliger could find no evidence of organized Antifa violence. It takes an impressive act of willful blindness to ignore the Antifa violence, including the arrest of Antifa supporters allegedly responsible for violent crimes like one of our own GW students.

While Antifa is a collection of groups and individuals, it is both organized and violent. The fact that Antifa regularly resorts to violence reflects its rejection of debate and dialogue with opposing views. Tellingly, the Antifa Handbook starts with the following quote from Buenaventura Durruti: “fascism is not to be debated, it is to be destroyed.”

93 thoughts on ““There Is No Evidence”: Professor Publishes Book On Domestic Terrorism While Denying Antifa’s Involvement In Violence”

  1. Next time have him called as an expert witness and when he lies in the same manner ….jail time!

    1. Antifa was founded under the direction of Stalin by Leon Trotsky. Flash forward now Putin admits he can work with Biden because the Democrats in the USA share a lot in common with Communism. But didn’t those same socialists not democrats but socialists claim President Trump was assisted by Biden? Putin is correct though modern day disguised as Democrats socialists aka DNC have far more in common with Communists than they do with our Constitutional Republic and their members more in common with Trotsky and Stalin and nothing in common with Constitutional Republics with it’s inclusion of the best principles of Democracy. Same with the Squat and others in the falsely named Democrat party whose real name since 1909 is Progressive Liberals.

  2. @us of bug

    The overwhelming majority of lynchings occurred because someone had either committed rape or murder not because the “color of their skin”. After all, 27% of those lynched were white. It is well known that blacks despite being 13% of the US population commit 56% of all homicides; including a large majority of violent crime.

    Not supporting extrajudicial measures but leftists seem to have no problem with discarding the law when it suits them (i.e. the 2020 riots) and then going after people who defend their property as a result.

    As for crime rate differentials, I recommend that anyone interested download a pdf of “The Color of Crime” by Edward Rubenstein.

  3. @Mrkurtz

    I was not there but know people who were. The organizers were warned about having this kind of demonstration in a hostile area but trusted the authorities to uphold the law since they had a permit to demonstrate. Some big names tool this advice and stayed away. Charlottesville was BIG MISTAKE and led to even more deplatforming and censorship.


    1. If Kessler the organizer was not a fake, and I hold out the possibility that he was, he was at the very least a cherry, a naif.

      Anyone with brains who has watched the past 20 years or so of the occasional “racist” protest knows the police almost always allow the “heckler’s veto” to occur, if they do not do worse and actively aid and abet the criminal suppression of “racists” free speech rights, which is precisely what the negligent coppers did at Charlottesville

      I find it amazing that regular people still do not grasp that ANTIFA created the mess that was Charlottesville, which otherwise, if they had not attacked the “racists” before the event had begun, would have been a peaceable assembly, as the scary “torchlight procession” was the night before

      but we all understand that our vaunted “First Amendment” allows massive global media corporations to entirely dominate the news spectrum and spin any event however their editors and ownership pleases.

      Hence we have to seriously question the First Amendment’s value to the people. If only SOME people are allowed the right of public assembly, then it is not what it presumes to be.

      If only those voices which hold a massive technological megaphone like the major newspapers or controlled social media censorship platforms, then, it is not what it was promised to be.

      Essentially, one wonders if the First Amendment is there to protect the truth, or protect lies.

      if it only operates to protect the lies of the global financial interests, then it needs severe modification, or repeal. There! I said it. We very well might be better off without the precious socalled cornerstone of our vanishing freedom.

      Apparenlty ANTIFA & BLM could give a rip about “permits” or “lawful assembly” since we have seen for four months that they don’t, and, they can get away with pretty much anything so long as the mob is big enough. Hence, again, we are left wondering about the usefulness of the First Amendment.

      As a person who has invoked it a thousand times, I almost feel ashamed asking these questions.
      But does not our First Amendment protect my right, to question the First amendment? A little perhaps, a little. One wonders if a little, is enough.

  4. What we have, however, is something unanticipated from the Left’s perspective. The uncivil Left is today strong and occupies the commanding heights of American society. The Right has the reputation for dominance but grows weaker by the day. The Left thinks of civility as the structure the dominant class creates to sustain its rule. Liberals sustain their rule indeed through defining the terms of debate. If the Left is correct, then Corey’s embrace of civility for conservatives is, from the Left’s perspective, fattening the calf for the kill. The strong Left could afford civility (but it does not practice it), but the weak conservatives cannot afford it if they hope to win…Too high an emphasis on civility and excessive worry about gaining a reputation for incivility is political suicide.

  5. Turley’s daily attempt to whip up his Trump base has become comically pathetic. Of course enabler’s of tin-pot dictators always have to have a boogeyman. And Trump supporters have to have a boogeyman to cover up the gross incompetence of the Trump administration.

    1. Translation: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, even if it’s a bunch of psychopaths calling themselves Antifa.

      You truly are a simpleton, fish. But you’ve got lots of company.

    2. You still haven’t critiqued his article. All you have done is proffer the same old stupid progressive rant. I can only guess that you lack the requisite intelligence to debate things on the merits.

    1. Oh I read it Antonio. I anticipated that some kind of mess like that would happen and it did. I was almost surprised when the report came out confirming it. Occasionally the system tattles on itself.

      Still the press makes nothing of the fact that this Kessler person who planned the event, was an Obama supporter suddenly turned racist. How is it that nobody besides me found that to be suspect. With friends like him, who can put together a debacle that leads to horrible press, arrests, beatings, incarceration, and lawsuits? right wingers don’t need enemies.

  6. @US OF BUG

    There were 4743 lynchings in American history and this # includes 1297 whites (27%) occurring in 46 states. The overwhelming majority of them occurred between 1890 – 1910. These numbers are from Tuskegee University.

    Give me a lynching which happened in 1950’s Kentucky and where.

    You would think a nation of inveterate, hopeless bigots would have lynched hundreds of thousands.

    1. There were only a scatter of lynchings coast to coast during the period running from 1946 to 1959. The last was in Mississippi in 1959. Per the UMKC database, about 0.5% of all lynchings occurred after 1946. NB, if you look at individual cases, you can see that in re that era, the enumerators are using a fuzzy definition of lynching (including, for example, political murders) which inflates the statistics. NB, the database records 205 lynchings in Kentucky over a period of > 70 years. If they were temporally distributed in accordance with the pattern of the whole dataset, there might have been one in Kentucky after 1946 (if that).

  7. Are you kidding? I absolutely DETEST antifa and anything related. I post on this blog regularly; am often mocking BLM and antifa.


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