The different faces of Antifa in Dublin and Atlanta

While the small counter protest in support of the state’s disastrous immigration policy at Stephen’s Green on Saturday was top heavy with NGO types earning a bit of overtime, and the sort of oddballs who it is hard to imagine would have been of much use at the Battle of Stalingrad, there was some curious symbolism present given the organisers commitment to being nice and caring and the dispensation of group hugs, etc, etc.

For there, among the other emblems, fluttered the flag of Anti Fascist Action, whose entire raision d’etre, mostly notional other than occasional acts of thuggery sometimes associated with soccer hooligans, is violence.  And lest one doubt that, devotees of the same movement later took to the streets of Atlanta, Georgia for a night of mayhem which followed the shooting dead by police of an armed ultra-leftist.

 

Manuel Teran died when he was shot by police after he had allegedly opened fire on a police patrolman on Wednesday. The police were engaged in clearing the proposed site of a new police college of far-left protestors who have been encamped there since 2021. Several other extremists have been arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.

Anti Fascist Action in Atlanta have been at the centre of the protests, and Saturday evening was scheduled to be a so-called ‘Night of Rage.’

 

This turned, as was intended, into widespread violence. Buildings were attacked and police vehicles overturned and burned. The fact that similar violence, organised by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, was a key factor in attempting to destabilise the former Trump administration in the months leading to the 2020 Presidential election has meant that American Democrats and the liberal media continue to be somewhat ambivalent about the far left.

 

It is also apparent that the far left in the United States, including the “anti fascist” groups, enjoy considerable cover from the NGO sector, and billionaire corporate funds like Open Society. They also have widespread sympathy amongst the left liberal media. A good example of that was when The Guardian published a piece in June 2022 on the Atlanta camp which bore the bye line “supported by Open Society Foundations.”

The piece was basically written from the point of view of the camp organisers, Defend the Atlanta Forest, who on Thursday posted a call for violence, as did another group styling itself Scenes from the Atlanta Forest who tweeted a “call for retaliation” and “reciprocal violence against the police and their allies.”

 

Why, you might ask, is a respected British newspaper promoting people who appear to advocate violence or why is a multi-billionaire funding their “allies.” This might bring you to another question: why does the far left in Ireland seem to enjoy similar cover?

Why NGOs funded by the public, and why trade unions and others are happy, it seems, to “share a platform” with people who obviously find common cause with far left terrorists.  That formation that does not appear to be on the radar of the guardians of the peace here.

Nor is Antifa some casual or accidental grouping. It is clearly centrally organised, and has some kind of international dimension.  More significantly it shares both the symbolism, language and ideology of the original Antifa, which was established in Germany in the early 1930s.

 

Which you might imagine is okay because, of course, they were fighting the Nazis.  Except that when Antifaschistische Aktion was founded, its main targets were not the Nazis at all but the German Socialist Party (SPD), and to a lesser extent the tiny German Trotskyist group, which were defined by the Stalinist Communist Party (KPD) as not only “social fascists” but as the main obstacle to the advance of the Communist revolution in Germany.

In fact, in 1931 the Communist Party and the Nazis, who the Communists described at the time as “working class comrades,” co-operated in an attempt to bring down the Socialist Party regional administration in Prussia. Too late, the Communists realised their error but they had so successfully divided and demoralised the broad opposition to the Nazis that after 1933 the resistance was minimal. Nor did it last very long as another murderous twist in the politics of Stalinism ensured that from 1939 to 1941 the Communists and the Nazis were again effectively allies at a time when Hitler’s armies came within an ace of defeating all opposition in the west.

What has not changed is the basically nihilistic politics of this section of the left, and their current “allies” would do well to research their history and objectives and their opportunistic willingness to accept dubious support.

No doubt the supposed left-wingers they can rationalise their dependence on billionaire foundation funding through the prism of some pseudo-revolutionary fantasy. The objectives of their funders are both more basic and obvious, and there is not much doubt over which part of the relationship possesses the grey matter, nor which side is dancing for the organ grinder.

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