The Rise of the Violent Left

Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?


Since 1907, portland, oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.

In the days leading up to the planned parade, a group called the Direct Action Alliance declared, “Fascists plan to march through the streets,” and warned, “Nazis will not march through Portland unopposed.” The alliance said it didn’t object to the Multnomah GOP itself, but to “fascists” who planned to infiltrate its ranks. Yet it also denounced marchers with “Trump flags” and “red maga hats” who could “normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice.” A second group, Oregon Students Empowered, created a Facebook page called “Shut down fascism! No nazis in Portland!”

Next, the parade’s organizers received an anonymous email warning that if “Trump supporters” and others who promote “hateful rhetoric” marched, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade … and drag and push those people out.” When Portland police said they lacked the resources to provide adequate security, the organizers canceled the parade. It was a sign of things to come.

For progressives, Donald Trump is not just another Republican president. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, according to a Suffolk poll from last September, consider him a racist. Last March, according to a YouGov survey, 71 percent of Democrats agreed that his campaign contained “fascist undertones.” All of which raises a question that is likely to bedevil progressives for years to come: If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?

In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.

As far-flung as these incidents were, they have something crucial in common. Like the organizations that opposed the Multnomah County Republican Party’s participation in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, these activists appear to be linked to a movement called “antifa,” which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The movement’s secrecy makes definitively cataloging its activities difficult, but this much is certain: Antifa’s power is growing. And how the rest of the activist left responds will help define its moral character in the Trump age.

Antifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.

In the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism. According to Mark Bray, the author of the forthcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, these activists toured with popular alternative bands in the ’90s, trying to ensure that neo-Nazis did not recruit their fans. In 2002, they disrupted a speech by the head of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group in Pennsylvania; 25 people were arrested in the resulting brawl.

By the 2000s, as the internet facilitated more transatlantic dialogue, some American activists had adopted the name antifa. But even on the militant left, the movement didn’t occupy the spotlight. To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

Those responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left. When the masked antifa activist was filmed assaulting Spencer on Inauguration Day, another piece in The Nation described his punch as an act of “kinetic beauty.” Slate ran an approving article about a humorous piano ballad that glorified the assault. Twitter was inundated with viral versions of the video set to different songs, prompting the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau to tweet, “I don’t care how many different songs you set Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one.”

The violence is not directed only at avowed racists like Spencer: In June of last year, demonstrators—at least some of whom were associated with antifa—punched and threw eggs at people exiting a Trump rally in San Jose, California. An article in It’s Going Down celebrated the “righteous beatings.”


Antifascists call such actions defensive. Hate speech against vulnerable minorities, they argue, leads to violence against vulnerable minorities. But Trump supporters and white nationalists see antifa’s attacks as an assault on their right to freely assemble, which they in turn seek to reassert. The result is a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. A few weeks after the attacks in San Jose, for instance, a white-supremacist leader announced that he would host a march in Sacramento to protest the attacks at Trump rallies. Anti-Fascist Action Sacramento called for a counterdemonstration; in the end, at least 10 people were stabbed.

A similar cycle has played out at UC Berkeley. In February, masked antifascists broke store windows and hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at police during a rally against the planned speech by Yiannopoulos. After the university canceled the speech out of what it called “concern for public safety,” white nationalists announced a “March on Berkeley” in support of “free speech.” At that rally, a 41-year-old man named Kyle Chapman, who was wearing a baseball helmet, ski goggles, shin guards, and a mask, smashed an antifa activist over the head with a wooden post. Suddenly, Trump supporters had a viral video of their own. A far-right crowdfunding site soon raised more than $80,000 for Chapman’s legal defense. (In January, the same site had offered a substantial reward for the identity of the antifascist who had punched Spencer.) A politicized fight culture is emerging, fueled by cheerleaders on both sides. As James Anderson, an editor at It’s Going Down, told Vice, “This shit is fun.”

Portland offers perhaps the clearest glimpse of where all of this can lead. The Pacific Northwest has long attracted white supremacists, who have seen it as a haven from America’s multiracial East and South. In 1857, Oregon (then a federal territory) banned African Americans from living there. By the 1920s, it boasted the highest Ku Klux Klan membership rate of any state.

In 1988, neo-Nazis in Portland killed an Ethiopian immigrant with a baseball bat. Shortly thereafter, notes Alex Reid Ross, a lecturer at Portland State University and the author of Against the Fascist Creep, anti-Nazi skinheads formed a chapter of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice. Before long, the city also had an Anti-Racist Action group.

Now, in the Trump era, Portland has become a bastion of antifascist militancy. Masked protesters smashed store windows during multiday demonstrations following Trump’s election. In early April, antifa activists threw smoke bombs into a “Rally for Trump and Freedom” in the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington. A local paper said the ensuing melee resembled a mosh pit.

When antifascists forced the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, Trump supporters responded with a “March for Free Speech.” Among those who attended was Jeremy Christian, a burly ex-con draped in an American flag, who uttered racial slurs and made Nazi salutes. A few weeks later, on May 25, a man believed to be Christian was filmed calling antifa “a bunch of punk bitches.”

The next day, Christian boarded a light-rail train and began yelling that “colored people” were ruining the city. He fixed his attention on two teenage girls, one African American and the other wearing a hijab, and told them “to go back to Saudi Arabia” or “kill themselves.” As the girls retreated to the back of the train, three men interposed themselves between Christian and his targets. “Please,” one said, “get off this train.” Christian stabbed all three. One bled to death on the train. One was declared dead at a local hospital. One survived.

The cycle continued. Nine days after the attack, on June 4, Trump supporters hosted another Portland rally, this one featuring Chapman, who had gained fame with his assault on the antifascist in Berkeley. Antifa activists threw bricks until the police dispersed them with stun grenades and tear gas.

What’s eroding in Portland is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent. With help from other left-wing activists, they’re already having some success at disrupting government. Demonstrators have interrupted so many city-council meetings that in February, the council met behind locked doors. In February and March, activists protesting police violence and the city’s investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline hounded Mayor Ted Wheeler so persistently at his home that he took refuge in a hotel. The fateful email to parade organizers warned, “The police cannot stop us from shutting down roads.”

All of this fuels the fears of Trump supporters, who suspect that liberal bastions are refusing to protect their right to free speech. Joey Gibson, a Trump supporter who organized the June 4 Portland rally, told me that his “biggest pet peeve is when mayors have police stand down … They don’t want conservatives to be coming together and speaking.” To provide security at the rally, Gibson brought in a far-right militia called the Oath Keepers. In late June, James Buchal, the chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, announced that it too would use militia members for security, because “volunteers don’t feel safe on the streets of Portland.”

Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.

Antifa’s perceived legitimacy is inversely correlated with the government’s. Which is why, in the Trump era, the movement is growing like never before. As the president derides and subverts liberal-democratic norms, progressives face a choice. They can recommit to the rules of fair play, and try to limit the president’s corrosive effect, though they will often fail. Or they can, in revulsion or fear or righteous rage, try to deny racists and Trump supporters their political rights. From Middlebury to Berkeley to Portland, the latter approach is on the rise, especially among young people.

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.


John Nolte: Antifa Teams up With Big Business and Big Media for ‘Corporate Fascist Rampage’


Senior Writer John Nolte talked about his return to Breitbart News, the left’s war against free speech, and the current state of Hollywood with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Tuesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily.

Marlow reminisced about how he and Nolte were among the first members of the Breitbart News team, with Nolte serving as inaugural editor for the Big Hollywood section. After a year and a half away, Nolte returned to Breitbart with an article on Monday entitled “5 Reasons Why Trump’s Pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is Awesome.”

Sizing up the current political environment, Nolte said: “There is no bottom the media is not willing to hit in order to take their version of the country back.”

“I think that the great definer of how low the media is willing to go is Antifa,” he continued. “You have in Antifa what is basically a left-wing terrorist group, a vigilante group, spreading out across the country to shut down – through chaos, violence, and riots – any opinion they don’t agree with.”

“Now, none of us sympathize with neo-Nazis. But it’s not just neo-Nazis,” he observed. “And by the way, neo-Nazis should have a right to peaceably express themselves, no matter how noxious their views. But it’s not just neo-Nazis, it’s Trump supporters.”

“One of the great undercovered stories during the whole Charlottesville episode was that the day after Charlottesville, in another city – I think it was Seattle – a bunch of Trump supporters held a rally, and Antifa also went over there and beat the hell out of those people, and shut them down,” Nolte recalled. “Those weren’t neo-Nazis. Those weren’t neo-Confederates. Those were just Trump supporters, and violence was used to shut them up and to stop it, and the media just doesn’t care.”

“This is the same media that freaked out because middle-aged people gathered together for the Tea Party, and I think the most violence we ever saw there was them picking up their own litter,” he said.

“The media is part of the Antifa conspiracy because you can see it. You can see it across all media platforms: the ever-expanding definition of the ‘alt-right,’ the ever-expanding definition of ‘hate speech,’ the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling opposition to same-sex marriage ‘hate speech’ – which, by extension, labels the Christian church a hate group. As the media says ‘maybe it’s OK to commit violence against Nazis and the alt-right and haters,’ they’re also expanding the definition of the alt-right and hate to include traditional conservative views,” he warned.

Marlow played an astonishing audio clip of CNN hosts implying that Islamic terrorists were somehow inspired to use cars as murder weapons by the man who drove into a crowd in Charlottesville when of course the “car jihad” strategy was pioneered by Muslim terrorists long ago.

“Listen to the language that they use: the white supremacist who allegedly used his vehicle as a weapon, and the alleged white supremacist, they just label that ‘a white supremacist used his car to murder someone.’ But when it came to the Barcelona terror attack, they used the word ‘apparently,’” Nolte pointed out. “That’s another area where you’re seeing the left drift away from due process, from the rights of the accused.”

“We don’t know what happened in Charlottesville,” he elaborated. “We don’t know if that person who used his vehicle in that way, what his intentions were. Now, it looks to me like he’s guilty as hell, because he backed up and did it again. We don’t know what was in his mind, and intent matters.”

“If I were going to write a headline at Breitbart about this, you would tell me to use the word ‘alleged,’ because he has not been convicted yet, and that’s the word we use,” Nolte told Marlow. “We all learned that during the Richard Jewell case, that no matter how guilty someone looks, you wait. The media’s just not doing that anymore.”

“So maybe that guy was panicked. I don’t know. I doubt it very, very much. But as a journalist, these are the cautions that you use, and the media is even throwing those away while they wonder what the motive of a guy is who yells ‘Allahu akbar!’ before stabbing a bunch of people. That’s another area where we’re seeing the media devolve into what really is becoming a vigilante group,” he said.

Nolte agreed with Marlow’s proposition that the media has effectively become the party of the left, the primary force behind the left-wing policy agenda, as the actual Democrat Party fades away.

“You just don’t hear from Chuck Schumer. You just don’t hear from Nancy Pelosi,” Nolte noted. “Both of them are so bad on TV. I think that’s why the media said, ‘Okay, you guys need to hold my beer, we’ll take care of this.’”

“Every pretense of objectivity has been thrown out the window. You even have people who defended the objectivity of the media for years admitting that now. It’s just over. The fight now is at least out in the open,” he said.

“It’s a fight between the media institution, which is still very powerful, and those of us on the Internet. That’s why they’re attacking those of us on the Internet. They’re trying to shut us down. They’re going after our advertisers. They want to give all these left-wing corporations a veto power over the First Amendment,” he cautioned.

“It’s going to be a pitched battle. Like I said, when you have the media cheering on Antifa, when you have Chuck Todd bringing the guy on Meet the Press and treating him seriously as he talks about how it’s okay to meet peaceful neo-Nazis, peaceful white supremacists, peaceful quote-unquote ‘hate groups’ with force – meaning violence – you can see where this is all headed,” Nolte warned.

Marlow and Nolte discussed a topic of profound mutual interest, the control of free speech by corporate entities – once the subject of dystopian fiction, but now accepted without much complaint by the dominant media culture because the corporations in question have left-wing leadership.

“Corporations are given veto power over the First Amendment,” said Nolte. “It is now okay to fire someone if they went to a rally where a bunch of neo-Nazis got together to protest the taking down of a statue. Even though we don’t know what this person’s personal views are, even if the person is a neo-Nazi, I think the idea of firing someone – we’re not talking about a job where he expresses his opinions, we’re talking about a job where he bags groceries, or whatever it was. It’s a slippery slope of firing someone over his personal political beliefs, and we don’t even know if he’s a neo-Nazi.”

“That gives corporations a veto power over free speech,” Nolte argued. “Corporations that remove their sponsorship, these boycotts, that gives corporations a veto power over free speech.”

“But the most troubling thing happening is that Twitter and Facebook, and most especially Facebook, have become the Ma Bells of the 21st Century,” he continued. “They’re the telephone. You know, when I grew up, all you had was the telephone. They are the means by which people communicate with one another now.”

“Those two corporations are, again, aligned with media: expanding the definition of hate speech, expanding the definition of the alt-right, and using that sort of moral imprimatur to monitor our communications, to say ‘No, you can’t say this, and you can’t say that. If you do say that, we’re going to cut your telephone wire, and then you’re not going to communicate with anyone,’” he said.

“The lazy conservative argument to that is that a corporation should be allowed to run its company how it pleases. But what do you do when suddenly we’re living in the world of Robocop, and Demolition Man, where corporations have all this power, all this control, and are so necessary for us to communicate with each other?” Nolte asked.

“How many websites would die without the ability to post their posts on Facebook? And then there’s the issue of the Daily Stormer, which is a disgusting neo-Nazi website. No one will serve their site anymore,” he continued, prompting Marlow to interject with the news that the Daily Stormer has gone offline, evidently for good.

Marlow noted that the Daily Stormer has tried to boycott Breitbart News for employing gay writers. Nolte chuckled that they probably would not have a very high opinion of his own marriage to a Mexican, but the important point is defending free speech for one’s adversaries, not just for friends.

“You have the media ever-expanding these definitions, so if these corporations have the power to make the Daily Stormer disappear, what’s next?” Nolte wondered. “Because we’re slowly all being aligned with the Daily Stormer because of our opinion on gay marriage, or our opinion on statues. That is a huge veto power to give to these mega-corporations. It’s like a dystopia, like Robocop, where these corporations have this unbelievable power. The media goes right along with it and gives them the cover that they need to use that power in ways that continue to be more troubling.”

“No one sympathizes with neo-Nazis. No one sympathizes with the Daily Stormer. But the whole idea of American free speech is that we defend the worst of the worst because we understand the slippery slope argument,” he declared.

“Now that corporations have control of free speech, it’s a very sticky issue. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Facebook and Twitter can’t deny sex offenders a right to their site, so it should be interesting to see if this ends up going to the Supreme Court as well. Maybe it should,” he suggested.

“Whatever happened to that saying that I don’t agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it?” Nolte asked. “The liberal ideal of free speech, it’s gone. The liberal that Big Business is evil, it’s gone. The liberal ideal of due process for the accused, ask George Zimmerman. It’s gone.”

“It’s not Democrats. It’s not rank-and-file Democrats. It’s not everyday people. A lot of Democrats I know are pretty disgusted by this behavior,” he noted. But when you have the media on the side of this stuff, that is everything. That’s all that they need to continue this corporate fascist rampage.”

“The media is totally out of control. I don’t know how you can fight the media except with more speech. I think the media understands that they’re losing the argument, and that’s why they’ve moved in this direction. That’s why Chuck Todd is giving cover to people who claim that violence is okay. That’s why they’re expanding these definitions and pressuring, pressuring, pressuring Facebook and Twitter, because they can’t win the argument, so they’re going to just shut the argument down,” said Nolte.

Nolte talked about his decision to return to Breitbart News after working happily at the Daily Wire with Ben Shapiro.

“It really was the best job I’ve ever resigned from,” he said. “But the two sites, the Daily Wire and Breitbart News, are two very different sites. Both are successful, both have hit the target of what they want to do. It just felt to me like choosing between the Army and the Navy.”

“I was over there for about a year and a half. Like I said in my piece at the Daily Wire, I just feel better fighting on the water – in other words, joining the Navy as opposed to the Army. I have nothing but good things to say about Ben, and I have nothing but good things to say about the Daily Wire,” he declared.

“It’s just about where my very narrow skill set, which I think you can sum up with the word ‘belligerence,’ fits best, and where it can be the most effective,” Nolte said with a laugh.

“I just thought it could be more effective at Breitbart. I think we’re at a point where all hands are on deck. We’re in a pitched battle now. They’re trying to take down Trump – in other words, they’re trying to overturn a duly elected president, remove a duly elected president and overturn an election through fake news, through lies. All hands have to be on deck,” he urged.

“I just felt that I would be more effective – and I say this in the humblest way possible, I don’t want to pretend that I’m some sort of nuclear weapon or anything like that, but just whatever I can contribute, I would contribute more effectively at Breitbart,” he said. “It’s great to be back. It feels right.”

Speaking as a longtime film fan and critic, Nolte offered a bleak assessment of one of the left’s major cultural power bases, Hollywood. He said film studios have “painted themselves into a corner” with the summer-blockbuster model.

“They killed off the movie star: the idea that a face or a name on a poster can bring in people,” he explained. “They killed off these mid-budget movies, and they put all their marbles into these franchise films that cost $250 million to produce and promote, and they need $650 million in returns to make a profit. There’s only so many franchises out there, only so many universes you can create. People are tired of them.”

“Now what’s Hollywood going to do? What do they have left? It’s not like they have some sort of a bush-league team out there that they can call up. Hollywood is in very, very big trouble. People are getting out of the habit of going to the movies. That’s their fault, and it’s a quality issue more than any other issue,” Nolte judged.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.

John Nolte: Antifa Teams up With Big Business and Big Media for ‘Corporate Fascist Rampage’

Reveal host Al Letson shields man from beating at anti-hate rally

While covering Sunday’s “Rally Against Hate” in Berkeley, California, today, Reveal host Al Letson witnessed a man being attacked by a group of protesters. The man was balled up on the ground, fending off blows from several people. Letson, wearing a red T-shirt, jumped in front of the batterers, protecting the man from further injury.

“I was scared they were going to kill him,” Letson said. “So the only thing I could think was I wanted to get on top of him to protect him.”

The altercation was caught on video by Mother Jones journalist Shane Bauer, who identified the aggressors as anti-fascist protesters, sometimes called antifa. He also said the man being beaten may have been a member of the alt-right. Neither of those observations could be confirmed.

Letson was covering the event along with other Reveal staff members. In the video, he can be seen wearing his headphones, with his recording gear in a black satchel strapped across his body.

“Our editorial policy is clear: we are unbiased observers not participants,” said Reveal Editor in Chief Amy Pyle. “However, in reviewing the video, it is clear that Al did not take sides. Instead, he responded as any of us might if we saw another human in distress.”

Thousands of people had converged in downtown Berkeley Sunday in response to a planned right-wing rally dubbed “No to Marxism in America.” A huge police presence also flooded the streets to ward off violence between right- and left-wing groups. And barriers were erected around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, where the rally was to have unfolded.

The right-wing organizers had announced yesterday that they were canceling their events, and very few of their supporters had shown up. However, there were reports of several arrests and scattered skirmishes throughout the morning and early afternoon.

Letson was at the Civic Center Park as the surrounding streets filled with left-wing groups, including members of the antifa, also known as the black bloc for their trademark black attire and face-covering masks and bandanas.

Letson recounted what happened next, a scene he also caught on video: Right-wing organizer Joey Gibson arrived at the park shortly after 1:30 p.m. He and a couple of his supporters were chased by what appeared to be antifa members, who began to throw things at him.



In Letson’s video, law enforcement officers can be seen standing on the sidelines, a protest policing strategy criticized during the violent April “Battle of Berkeley” protests and in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. Gibson continues through a line of police. Other videos from the scene show him being handcuffed.

Meanwhile, Letson said, a man who appeared to be one of Gibson’s supporters was also chased by 20 to 30 antifa protesters, who began to kick and hit him with sticks.

Letson dove on top of the man, suffering a few collateral blows but no injuries. Reveal does not know the identity of the man Letson protected, or what happened to him afterward because tear gas was released, quickly dispersing the crowd.

Jack Smith IV, a senior writer at Mic, recorded the incident from another angle. In it, Letson can be heard urging demonstrators to stop their attack. There’s a brief pause in the confrontation, then another fight breaks out between two protesters who had been watching nearby.

Berkeley Police, who were in charge of the law enforcement response on Sunday, did not respond to a request for comment.

Media inquiries should be addressed to engagement reporter Byard Duncan, by email at or on Twitter at @byardduncan.

Reveal host Al Letson shields man from beating at anti-hate rally

Anarchy in Berkeley: A hundred black-clad antifascists with ‘no hate’ signs storm rally, pepper spray leader of conservative Patriot Prayer group and clash with cops

  • Ten have been arrested after skirmishes on Sunday between competing rallies in Berkeley, California
  • Thousands of protesters joined a left-wing ‘Rally Against Hate’ march in the college town
  • They descended on a handful of pro-Trump protesters at ‘No To Marxism’ rally that had been called off 
  • Over 100 black-clad masked antifa broke through police lines waving anarchist flags, assaulting several

Violence has broken out between left- and right-wing protesters, after more than 100 black-clad masked antifa broke through police barricades at a ‘Rally Against Hate’ and assaulted at least four, including the leader of a pro-Trump conservative group.

At least ten arrests were made on Sunday in Berkeley, California after the left-wing ‘Rally Against Hate’ confronted a handful of right-wing protesters at a ‘No To Marxism In America’ rally. Antifa is short for ‘anti-fascists’.

The arrest charges in the skirmishes at Civic Center Park were various but included assault and violating a prohibition on wearing masks, KCRA reported.

Several thousand joined in the left-wing ‘Rally Against Hate’, intended as a counter-protest to the right-wing ‘No To Marxism In America Event’, which was officially cancelled after organizers said they had concerns of violence.

A handful of people wearing shirts and signs in support of President Donald Trump did turn up, however, and were quickly surrounded by the ‘Rally Against Hate’ marchers. Several Trump supporters sought police escorts out of the area.


A group of more than 100 masked antifa, with shields emblazoned with the words ‘no hate’ and waving a flag identifying themselves as anarchists, then broke through police barricades, avoiding security checks by officers to take away possible weapons.

Then the antifa blended in with a crowd of 2,000 largely peaceful protesters who turned up to demonstrate in the ‘Rally Against Hate’.

Among those assaulted by antifa was Joey Gibson, the leader of the pro-Trump Patriot Prayer group.

Gibson had canceled a separate rally Friday and was prevented from holding a news conference on Saturday when authorities closed off the public square he planned to use.

The activist has said he launched Patriot Prayer after several supporters of President Trump were beaten at a Trump campaign stop in San Jose, California last year.

After the antifa spotted Gibson at the Berkeley park, they pepper-sprayed him and chased him out of it as he backed away with his hands held in the air, escorted by a masked man wearing football shoulder pads.

Gibson and the man retreated behind a line of police wearing riot gear, who set off a smoke bomb to drive away the anarchists.

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Earlier in the day, another group of left-wing demonstrators dressed in black attacked at least three men in the park, kicking and punching them until the assaults were stopped by police. Police also used a smoke grenade to stop one scuffle.

Police in the San Francisco area have been braced for violence and trying to prevent protests that draw left-wing and right-wing opponents since the deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 during a rally of white nationalists.

Berkeley authorities did not issue a permit for Sunday’s gathering of right-wing protesters and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin had urged counter-protesters to stay away.

The ‘No To Marxism In America’ rally had been canceled by organizer Amber Cummings, who encouraged supporters to stay away but said she would attend on her own.

By mid-afternoon Cummings had not appeared and left-wing protesters far outnumbered right-wing supporters.

Earlier in the day, police had set up barricades around park and checked people who entered to make sure they did not have prohibited items like baseball bats, dogs, skateboards and scarves or bandanas they could use to cover their faces.

Several people were arrested for violating rules against covering their faces or carrying items banned by authorities.

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At one point, a left-wing protester denounced a Latino man holding a ‘God Bless Donald Trump’ sign.

‘You are an immigrant,’ said Karla Fonseca. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself.’

Several other people also yelled at the man, who said he was born in Mexico but supports Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the southern border.

Police pulled one supporter of President Donald Trump out of the park over a wall by his shirt as a crowd of about two dozen counter demonstrators surrounded him and chanted ‘Nazi go home’ and pushed him toward the edge of the park.

At least two people were detained by officers for wearing bandannas covering their faces.

Anti-rally protesters chanted slogans ‘No Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA’ and carried signs that said: ‘Berkeley Stands United Against Hate’.

A separate group of counter protesters had assembled earlier Sunday at the nearby University of California, Berkeley campus and then marched park to merge with the anti-rally protesters who had already gathered there.

Both Cummings and Gibson have disavowed racism and say they wanted to hold the rallies to bring conservative voices to the liberal San Francisco Bay Area.

Student activism was born during the 1960s free-speech movement at Berkeley, when thousands of students at the university mobilized to demand that the school drop its ban on political activism.

However, the violence in Charlottesville led San Francisco area police and civil leaders to rethink their response to protests.

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Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

 August 28 at 3:47 AM

Their faces hidden behind black bandannas and hoodies, about 100 anarchists and antifa— “anti-fascist” — members barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.

Jumping over plastic and concrete barriers, the group melted into a larger crowd of around 2,000 that had marched peacefully throughout the sunny afternoon for a “Rally Against Hate” gathering.

Shortly after, violence began to flare. A pepper-spray-wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields. Another was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. A conservative group leader retreated for safety behind a line of riot police as marchers chucked water bottles, shot off pepper spray and screamed, “Fascist go home!”

All told, the Associated Press reported at least five individuals were attacked. An AP reporter witnessed the assaults. Berkeley Police’s Lt. Joe Okies told The Washington Post the rally resulted in “13 arrests on a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations.”

And although the anti-hate and left-wing protesters largely drowned out the smaller clutch of far-right marchers attending a planned “No to Marxism in America” rally, Sunday’s confrontation marked another street brawl between opposing ends of the political spectrum — violence that has become a regular feature of the Trump years and gives signs of spiraling upward, particularly in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville.

“I applaud the more than 7,000 people who came out today to peacefully oppose bigotry, hatred and racism that we saw on display in Charlottesville,” Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said in a statement. ” … However, the violence that small group of protesters engaged in against residents and the police, including throwing smoke bombs, is unacceptable. Fighting hate with hate does not work and only makes each side more entrenched in their ideological camps.”

In February, 150 similarly black-clad agitators caused $100,000 worth of damage when they smashed through Berkeley protesting a University of California at Berkeley speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Portland, Ore., has been the scene of street battles between antifa members and white nationalists this summer. White nationalist Richard Spencer was sucker-punched by a protester in a January video that went viral. And Inauguration Day 2017 in Washington, D.C., was marked by violence when masked protesters burned vehicles, smashed windows and clashed with police, leading to 231 arrests.

On Sunday, police in Berkeley maintained a strict perimeter around the area in the beginning of the afternoon, including enforcing an emergency city rule outlawing sticks and other potential weapons from the park. Fifty officers were spread out at the area’s four entrances, according to the Daily Californian.

But antifa protesters — armed with sticks and shields and clad in shin pads and gloves — largely routed the security checks and by 1:30 p.m. police reportedly left the security line at the Center Street and Milvaia Street entrance to the park. Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood told the AP the decision was strategic — a confrontation was sure to spark more violence between the protesters and police.

“No need for a confrontation over a grass patch,” Greenwood said.


Joey Gibson was among the right-wing activists assaulted Sunday. Gibson, the leader of the Oregon-based Patriot Prayer group, had planned to hold a “Freedom Rally” at Crissy Field Beach. Gibson previously told the L.A. Times his group was not “white supremacist” but “feared that extreme or racist figures might try to co-opt his event.”

Yet, as with other planned right-wing events in the wake of Charlottesville, Saturday’s rally drew controversy in the San Francisco area, with one group stockpiling dog feces to lay at the scene on Saturday.

Last Friday, Gibson canceled the event because of the mounting pressure. “It doesn’t seem safe; a lot of people’s lives are going to be in danger tomorrow,” he told Unite America First.

Attention shifted to Sunday’s “No to Marxism in America” event. However, last week, that event’s organizer, Amber Cummings, also signaled the event was off due to the growing tensions. “I stress I DO NOT WANT ANYONE COMING and if they do you will be turned away, I’m sorry for this but I want this event to happen peacefully and I do not want to risk anyone getting harmed by terrorists,” Cummings wrote online, according to NBC Bay Area.

On Sunday, Cummings reportedly did not appear for her event, and anti-hate marchers far outnumbered the right-wing element that did make an appearance, the AP reported.

Although Gibson was reportedly seen being taken into custody, on Sunday the Patriot Prayer Facebook page stated “Joey is NOT in jail, and has NOT been arrested. He was cuffed and released after being shoved through the police line.” Gibson did not reply to a Facebook message seeking comment.

Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

Leftists’ Goal Is To Wear Us Down

Susan Stamper Brown
Posted: Aug 28, 2017 12:01 AM

They are trying to wear us down.

Although they don’t understand anything about those with whom they are dealing.

Regular folks who love God, their family and their country aren’t the fascists or racists the left makes them out to be, with the daily barrage of propaganda designed to take good people down.

Normal folks don’t have time to entertain the darkness the left promotes. They are too busy working or going to church or tending gardens or splitting wood at night to keep their families warm. Then they go to bed and get up the next day and do it all again.

There is no time for the nonsense littering the internet and television intended to cast guilt over their values and votes. The more insane the left and their propaganda becomes, the more confident they are about the choices they will make in 2018 and 2020.

They have zero interest in protests across the country about which the media incessantly reports. They have no patience for the violence and chaos and destruction. They interpret it as something city folks do when they have too much time on their hands and too much money they didn’t earn in their pockets.

They are intuitive, but too busy to be distracted.

They are fully aware of heavily funded temper tantrum groups ingratiated by the Democrat Party such as the former Occupy Movement. A movement whose members expressed their adulation for spreading the wealth around by spreading their own feces around public places during Barack Obama’s first term. Normal people respect and appreciate cops, so they were repulsed when an occupier disrespectfully did the “big nasty” on a cop car while others poured human waste down a flight of stairs and at a bank ATM vestibule in New York. Obama and Congressional Democrats cheered them on.

And whose mental state are we currently questioning?

Those who learned stamina from the school of hard work were not impressed when reports emerged the Occupy Movement fizzled into obscurity after temperatures dropped and smarmy snowflakes retreated to their taxpayer subsidized safe spaces upon realizing they could tolerate cold about as much as they do opposing opinions.

Now, according to Politico, they are back.

Those who do the right thing every day even when they don’t feel like it, don’t have time to care this group resurrected from dormancy. But they do hope protesters pack diapers or pooper-scoopers this time around because poop disposal fairies do not exist. They resent when their taxes are used to clean up these messes.

Those who work for a living aren’t worried this group, “Refuse Fascism,” has a mission to oust President Trump and threatens to march and demonstrate and occupy city centers and parks until “Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have fallen,” as Politico reports.

We all should be concerned, though, that one of this group’s lead organizers is “a Maoist activist,” as Politico reports. The left is full of history-challenged non-thinkers who have no clue that Mao Zedong was a mass murdering communist dictator whose policies killed tens of millions of people by starving, working and beating them to death.

While millions less people on the planet might excite someone like Gloria Steinem who recently said, “forcing women to have children” is the “fundamental cause of climate change,” those who value life find it concerning Democrats have not disavowed this Maoist activist group organizer.

This should also serve as a reminder to the miniscule fraction of rightwing never-Trumpers that the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

With that said, and this column complete, I need to get to work. Sorry Gloria, it’s been snowing in our mountains here since early August, so I must sign off to go outside to split more wood.

Leftists Goal is to wear us down


VIDEO: This is the Alt-Left That Trump Condemned. They Are the Real Nazis

The following video is difficult to watch not because it contains any graphic content. It’s difficult for any true American to watch because it shows how low our great nation has fallen.

How can it be that this is happening on our streets?

Liberals have always been hypocrites, so it’s no surprise that while they accuse Trump and his supporters of being Nazis, it’s actually they who are behaving in a fascist manner.

What is infuriating is that the authorities are doing so little to stop these thugs from gathering and harassing law-abiding Americans.

It’s a slippery slope, and if we don’t take back our streets now, we’ll soon lose control of America.

VIDEO The Left Hates You. Act Accordingly… – I don’t play the left’s game – Great Service Vilifying Trump’s Nominees

Reclaim Our Republic

The Left Hates You. Act Accordingly…What Are YOU Gonna Do ‘Bout It?


They hate you.

Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.

You are normal, and therefore a heretic. You refuse to bow to their idols, to subscribe to their twisted catechisms, to praise their false gods. This is unforgivable. You must burn.

American, Photo:

Crazy talk? Just ask them. Go ahead. Go on social media. Find a leftist – it’s easy. Just say something positive about America or Jesus and they’ll come swarming like locusts. Engage them and very quickly they will drop their masks and tell you…

View original post 2,463 more words

Four Black Youths Arrested For Beating Trump Supporter in the Street (VIDEO)

(Gateway Pundit) – Last Wednesday after Republican Donald Trump won the national election a group of four black youths beat 49 Year-old David Wilcox in Chicago.

The youths were screaming, “You voted Trump! You voted Trump!” as they beat his ass in the street.

Wilcox later told reporters he got out of his car to exchange insurance information when he was brutally attacked.



Wilcox suffered scrapes and deep bruises over much of his body.


Now four people have been charged in the violent beating.
The Daily Mail reported:

Four people have been charged in the videotaped beating of a man as bystanders yelled ‘Don’t vote Trump’, Chicago police say.

Julian Christian, 26, along with 21-year-old Rajane Lewis, 20-year-old Dejuan Collins and a 17-year-old girl who wasn’t identified were each charged with vehicular hijacking in the November 9 incident, authorities say.

Christian is from Broadview, Illinois, and Lewis and Collins are from Chicago.

The attack happened in the 1100 block of South Kedzie Avenue, ABC30 reports.

David Wilcox, 49, says he was attacked after another car scraped his. He says he was beaten after parking and asking the other driver if they had insurance.

He told the Chicago Tribune: ‘The car pulled up next to me, we side-swiped each other, but they hit my car. I put the car in park, the light was red, I got out of the car.

‘One of the guys – African-American at the bus stop – said “Yeah, that’s one of those white boy Trump supporters.”

‘And I said “What does that have to do with this accident? I just want to exchange insurance.”

Someone drove off with Wilcox’s car after his beating.

High school students’ mock Trump assassination highlights post-election bullying, harassment | Fox News

A skit performed in a south Texas high school English class that portrayed the assassination of Donald Trump is just one of the latest cases of K-12 election hysteria.

Officials at San Antonio’s Marshall High School claim they took “appropriate action” following the skit, in which a student dressed as Trump was shot by a classmate, complete with gunfire sound effects from a cellphone. But some parents say harsher punishment was warranted, and critics worry that political polarization has found its way into schools.


“Honestly I have run out of words to describe how angry I am and how shocked I am that they’re still in school today,” parent Melinda Bean told the San Antonio Express-News.

The misguided skit was just one in a slew of controversial acts happening across the country in the wake of Trump’s win over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Election Day.

Most media coverage following Trump’s victory has focused on sometimes violent protests in cities around the country, but it is now clear the election’s reverberations are being felt all the way down to elementary schools.

  • Students at a Detroit-area middle school reportedly chanted “build the wall” last week, in an apparent reference to Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • White students at a central Pennsylvania technical high school reportedly chanted “white power” in the hallways and referred to students of other races as their slaves.
  • A 15-year-old Maryland boy wearing a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat was reportedly beaten by a group of high school students.
  • Last week, a California high school student was also attacked after she expressed her support for Trump, in an attack captured on cellphone video.

Experts in child development and psychology say that this type of bullying has occurred in the past, this year it has taken on a more ominous tone and been seen a greater scale given how divisive the presidential campaign season was.

“This election was unusually nasty,” Judith Myers-Walls, a professor emerita of human development and family studies at Purdue University told “It was in many ways at a child’s level with the candidates at times acting like they were in pre-school.”

Myers-Walls said that with the pervasive media coverage and constant presence of the candidates on television, the Internet and social media, it is no wonder that young students picked up slogans – “Build the Wall” and “Lock Her Up” are just two examples – without even truly grasping what they mean.

It’s important, Myers-Walls said, that both parents and educators talk to students when they see them expressing these types of behavior and it’s even more important to know when to introduce them to what’s going on in regards to politics.




“You need to get a sense of where they are and what they feel about certain issues,” she said. “A lot of times children have some ideas that adults wouldn’t even think about.”



Source: High school students’ mock Trump assassination highlights post-election bullying, harassment | Fox News

Ohio man charged with threatening ‘to assassinate Trump’ on Twitter

Ohio man charged with threatening 'to assassinate Trump' on Twitter

An Ohio man was in court Thursday after reportedly threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump on Twitter.

Zachary Benson, 24, could face five years in prison if convicted of the federal charge of making threats against the president and successors to the presidency, NBC News said.

The U.S. Secret Service said Benson sent the tweet early Nov. 9, the morning after Trump’s surprising Election Day victory, according to an affidavit included in the criminal complaint.

Benson has since deleted his Twitter account, but the Secret Service reproduced the tweet targeting Trump and others vowing more general violence in the affidavit.

“My life goal is to assassinate Trump,” the tweet allegedly says. “Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease [sic] existing.”

Investigators said Benson realized when he awoke later Nov. 9 he had “went too far” and immediately erased the social media posts. The Secret Service was alerted to the tweets beforehand, however, with Benson admitting he posted them.

Benson allegedly told Secret Service agents he “never had any intentions behind any of the posts.”

NBC News said Benson, who hails from the Cleveland suburb of Fairview Park, was ordered held on $20,000 unsecured bond Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

Benson was “just frustrated thinking about how President-elect Trump’s policies could affect [his] job,” according to the affidavit, which did not specify Benson’s profession.

NBC News added Benson waived a preliminary hearing and will face a federal grand jury. No follow-up court date was set.

Ohio Man Charged