A “Protect Texas Kids” protest this week was attacked by counter-protesters outside of the location of a planned drag show that would reportedly involve children. The incident was caught on videotape and shows how Antifa routinely, even cavalierly, resorts to violence to silence those with opposing views. Any doubt as to their association from their signature black outfits and tactics was dispensed by this picture clearly showing the Antifa flag.
Despite the denial of its existence by figures like Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.), I have long written and spoken about the threat of Antifa to free speech on our campuses and in our communities. This includes testimony before Congress on Antifa’s central role in the anti-free speech movement nationally.
The video shows a small number of members of “Protect Texas Kids” assembling across the street when Antifa arrives in their typical black clothing, helmets and tactical vests. Some of the Antifa members were also carrying handguns and long guns.
About 12:50 p.m., a person later identified as Samuel Fowlkes, 20, approached the protesters with two other counterprotesters. After engaging them briefly, the protesters were sprayed with mace. In another signature move, Fowlkes then tries to flee after refusing to stop as other Antifa members obstruct police officers including Christopher Guillott, 33, who is seen swinging an umbrella at officers.
Meghan Grant, 37, is also shown charging past officers to join Fowlkes and Guillot before screaming at the law enforcement officials.
It is an all-too-familiar scene for those of us who have followed Antifa for years on our campuses or in political riots.
As I have written, 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. Yet, FBI Director Chris Wray has repeatedly pushed back on the denials of Antifa’s work or violence. In one hearing, Wray stated “And we have quite a number — and “Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction.”
Some Democrats have played a dangerous game in supporting or excusing the work of Antifa. 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. During a prior hearing, Democratic senators refused to clearly denounce Antifa and falsely suggested that the far right was the primary cause of recent violence. Likewise, Joe Biden has dismissed objections to Antifa as just “an idea.”
It is at its base a movement at war with free speech, defining the right itself as a tool of oppression. That purpose is evident in what is called the “bible” of the Antifa movement: Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.
Bray emphasizes the struggle of the movement against free speech: “At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase that says, ‘I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’”
Bray admits that “most Americans in Antifa have been anarchists or antiauthoritarian communists… From that standpoint, ‘free speech’ as such is merely a bourgeois fantasy unworthy of consideration.” It is an illusion designed to promote what Antifa is resisting “white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and genocide.” Thus, all of these opposing figures are deemed fascistic and thus unworthy of being heard.
Bray quotes one Antifa member as summing up their approach to free speech as a “nonargument . . . you have the right to speak but you also have the right to be shut up.”
Watch this video. This is Antifa.