The true story of the Antifa movement, from the battles against Hitler's followers to the present day
Because Trump has now chosen to declare war on the anti-fascists
"I can't breathe", the words of despair that came out of the mouth of the African-American George Floyd Shortly before he recovered, they became a "stone" that fell furiously onto the "showcase" of American society and caused a huge anti-racist "tsunami". Everything that the White House was trying to hide under the mat has now come to the surface.
And where everyone expected Trump to try to calm the spirits, the exact opposite happened.
At first it sounded like something. Funny. No one could believe that the US president wants to outlaw the Antifa movement. How could it, after all? Here we are not dealing with a specific organization, with offices, members etc etc.
This global movement is more like a huge political umbrella under which organizations, groups and individuals from the sphere of social democracy to Anarchy unite.
Could anyone say that Trump is so ignorant or stupid that he does not know what exactly the Antifa movement is? Obviously not. This would be a very shallow analysis that would definitely lead to wrong paths.
One answer is that the president of USA, with controversial to far-right views, is attempting an ideological pogrom against political opponents.
But even that is not enough to support the war declared by Trump in the movement that dates back almost a century. A building that was "built" by people who fought Mussolini and Hitler and is continued by people who are actively fighting every effort to revive dark times for humanity.
Mark Bray, professor of history at Rutgers University in New Jersey and author of "Antifa, a Handbook for Antifascist Use" (published in Greece by Colleagues Publications), speaking to the Seattle Times he said"The radical left (in the US) is much, much bigger than the Antifa movement. "The number of people who are actively involved in the episodes that are taking place is much, much higher than the radical left." So for Trump there is no question of a numerical threat.
Trump's targeting of the Antifa movement, however, is nothing new. It had already started last year in the episodes in Portland. Few, however, remember it because most believed that the American president had abandoned his plans.
What had happened then? On August 17, while Portland was in a general frenzy, for weeks, between antifa and neo-Nazi groups, hundreds of far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, Three Percenters and American Guard marched in Oregon. which, it is worth noting that is the stronghold of the Democrats on the West Coast), in a demonstration of power unprecedented for the region.
There were minor incidents, police intervened and early in the evening calm finally returned.
A few hours later, however, the Donald Trump, who, as he had said through his personal twitter account, was closely following what was happening in Portland, stated in a statement for the first time that "there are serious thoughts about the possibility of classifying the Antifa as a terrorist organization"! Not a word about the far-right groups that acted at that time.
With this statement, it becomes clear that Trump's goal is not to restore order but to neutralize a political opponent.
But why is it targeting the Antifa movement?
So far in the US "black list" of terrorist organizations there are only groups based abroad such as the IRA, extremist Islamist groups or formerly the «Ε.Ο. November 17. " The goal was and remains to stop funding these organizations as anyone found to provide them with funds faced US counterterrorism charges.
Many analysts now suggest that, in addition to the ideological side, Trump, disguised behind the "blur" over who and what Antifa is, is aiming to flow funds to his political opponents in the run-up to next November's presidential election.
There are, of course, voices saying that he is attempting to equate extreme Islamic terrorism with anti-fascism and radical action.
From a rather strange game of fate, this June will mark 99 whole years from the day the first seed fell in the field of the creation of the anti-fascist movement.
In its very early form, it began in June 1921 in Rome at the initiative of the anarchist Argo Secondari who founded the "Bold People", the famous "Associazione Nazionale Arditi d'Italia".
The rise of the National Fascist Party brought the reaction of the largest part of the communist and anarchist organizations. This reaction also brought about a conflict between the two sides. Throughout the 1920s the bloody episodes between Mussolini's black coats on the one hand and communists / anarchists on the other were successive. In August 1921, however, her Socialist Party Italy signs a peace treaty with Mussolini so that, from now on, the confrontation takes place on an ideological level and only without violence. Those who did not choose this path began to look for other ways of resistance. In June 1921 Argo Secondari founded the AdP which included socialists, communists and anarchists and which within a few weeks reached 144 structures (new or old belonging to parties and organizations that participated in the new group) and more than 20.000 members .
The organization started with two victories against the black coats, in two battles in Viterbo and Sazana, where 20 fascists were killed. Unfortunately, however, the rise of his fascist movement Mussolini It could not be stopped and the corresponding fall of the AdP antifascists began fatally as within a year it lost half of its power (it reached 50 sectors and about 6.000 members), while until the end of 1922 in the "Associazione Nazionale Arditi d ' Italia "only the Anarchists were left.
The real birth of the anti-fascist movement with the names and emblems we know today, however, came a few years later in Germany.
In the late 20s and early 30s, Berlin had become a battleground between communists and members of the Nazi party.
In the "Weimar Republic" there was no room for a peaceful resolution of ideological differences. Socialists and Communists legitimize violence against his followers Hitler.
Until 1929, the Roter Frontkämpferbund was in charge of the anti-fascist struggle on German soil, but that year it was outlawed due to its intense paramilitary activity.
The need to create a mass anti-fascist movement, however, was insurmountable and whatever the political differences between communists and socialists were, it was not long in coming.
The "Antifaschistische Aktion" maiden conference was held on July 10, 1932 in the capital of the "Weimar Republic". Her Antifascist Action. Parties, groups, organizations and individuals united against the common enemy, fascism and Nazism. The alliance logo, designed and designed by artists Max Keilson and Max Gebhard, both members of the Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists (which since 1928 has produced posters and graphic propaganda for all German leftist organizations), remains to this day. a trademark of any anti-fascist mobilization.
No one knows how many members it had in that first phase as for security reasons, mainly, it was decided not to register and not to have membership cards of those who participate.
The Stalinist leader of the German Communist Party, Ernst Thalmann, is considered the father of all this effort.
Unfortunately, however, micropolitical expediencies between communists and socialists, as well as a lack of awareness of the common enemy that was sharpening its fingernails and preparing to seize power, soon led to the dissolution of the organization.
The legacy of the "Antifaschistische Aktion", however, was enough to continue the fight against fascism during or after its end. World War II. In fact, small antifa groups were created with the nickname "werewolves" and whose main goal was to locate and exterminate Nazi officers who had committed war crimes.
The "Antifaschistische Aktion" began to disappear in the early 50s.
Since then and for about 25 years Antifa groups were moving somewhere between non-existence and picturesqueness. But things are starting to change in the late 70's and in a rather. Paradoxical way.
Various neo-Nazi organizations, wanting to get out of the basements and meet new people, are targeting music and stadiums. They make small nuclei and start their propaganda.
They try to penetrate punk music as well. This species, however, was also a social movement with clear anti-authoritarian characteristics so the reaction was immediate. Many bands like Sex Pistols, Crass, Conflict, Discharge and of course the Dead Kennedys (typically the song "Nazi Punks, Fuck Off" released in 1981) declare war on the neo-Nazis.
Influenced by the anti-fascist groups of pre-war Germany, a new type of movement called the "Anti-Fascist Action" was created in the early 80s in the United Kingdom to hunt down members of the "National Front" and the "British Movement". ». Where there were rallies of the extreme right and neo-Nazis, there were the Antifa and they disbanded their plans.
Now, the war goes beyond its narrow limits punk and Britain and spread to the rest of Europe and the other side of the Atlantic with one of the first strong Antifa teams to be formed in Minneapolis and New York.
To get to today, however, we will again need the intervention of the German anti-fascists who in the mid-80s adopted the name and symbol of the pre-war "Antifaschistische Aktion" and "gave" the world of anti-fascism a world movement.
From then until today, of course, there is an antifa movement in Greece and in fact very strong which became even stronger with the rise of the Golden Dawn and its assassination Paul Fussa. It was then that anti-fascist coordination was created in almost every city in the country.
As is the case everywhere in the world, there is no central organization here. Many heterogeneous groups, without a hierarchical structure, with anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-capitalist proposals, act mainly at the neighborhood level ("support your local Antifa", is the characteristic slogan) in order to make the life of neo-Nazi groups difficult, to carry out anti-rallies and not to leave room for action to their opponents. This concerns both the streets and the stands of the stadiums where banners with anti-fascist and anti-racist content have been hung many times.
Antifa groups can be found in the domestic Left (mainly the extra-parliamentary) and of course in anarchist space where the so-called militant antifascism prevails, which essentially means that the confrontation of the enemy is done with the necessary, in these cases… diversity.