What is Antifa? Why did President Donald Trump regard it as a Terrorist Group?

What is Antifa? Why did President Donald Trump regard it as a Terrorist Group?


Antifa is a short form of ‘Anti-fascists.’ The term is used to define a broad array of self-described anti-fascist groups in the USA whose political beliefs lean towards left. They reportedly participated in the demonstrations in the US city of Portland.

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The Black Lives Matter protests sparked in May after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by white police officers in the USA. There was a nationwide movement for racial equality and police accountability. Portland witnessed the most ostensible and crucial demonstrations.

1 6 What is Antifa? Why did President Donald Trump regard it as a Terrorist Group?
Protests in Portland, USA (Image by Los Angeles Times)

Tensions mounted, protestors injured, property damaged, federal troops sent- the scenario described by the government. Among the demonstrators were the anti-fascists “Antifa.” 

The public asked President Donald Trump to explain why the situation was deteriorating in Portland. He tweeted by shifting the blame on Antifa.

Speaking at a meeting, Donald Trump said that he would designate Antifa, a terrorist organization. He further added, “Violence and vandalism are being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings.”

More recently, the Democrats Attorney General William P. Bar condemned the Black Lives Matter and accused the leftist of ‘tearing down the system.’ He equated Antifa with guerilla warfare.

Are they a terrorist group?

In Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, he promised to phase out the Antifa movement because it is linked with terrorism.

Individuals involved in the Antifa movement are regarded as anarchists, communists, anti-capitalistic, and anti-government. But they are not terrorists, new research said. As per the data, rightwing extremist attacks have left far more people dead than violence by the left-wing. 

The database is complied assembled by researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a centrist think tank.

According to CSIS of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks since 1994 in the United States comprises just one strike carried out by an anti-fascist that led to fatalities. In that case, a single person was killed. However, other rightwing extremists have staged attacks that left at least 329 people dead.

What is Antifa?

Antifa members are viewed as political activists supporting oppressed sections of the USA. They are against white supremacists and right extremists. And also oppose corporations and elites. These revolutionaries think of them as- ‘Amassing wealth and subduing lower classes.’

2 6 What is Antifa? Why did President Donald Trump regard it as a Terrorist Group?
( Image by Al Jazeera)

They employ both violent and non-violent methods to get their message across. Protests methods include militancy or digital activism.

The group does not have a leader, although they hold regular meetings in different states.

How did Antifa start?

Most people traced the Antifa movement to Nazi Germany. They were more commonly known as ‘anti-Nazi.’ However, many other regions also saw the emergence of anti-fascists protests.

Anti-fascists movement started in Italy after Italian dictator Benito Mussolini consolidated power under his party. After the end of World War II, Western Europe was put under the U.S. Marshall Plan, and they launched a whole anti-communist campaign. 

An Anti-Fascist group was founded in the 1980s in the United States. From time-to-time, they have become more active in making themselves known at public rallies and movements.

In August 2017, Antifa members showed up in Virginia to criticize racism and counter the demonstration of white nationalists who opposed the city’s plan to remove the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.

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Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, explained their reason for resentment. He said that “Antifa activists feel the need to participate in violent actions because they believe that elites control the government and the media.” 

The group has become controversial over the years because of their violent activities.

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