Sep. 1st, 2017 05:05 pm
supergee: (Default)
[personal profile] supergee
1. There is no such organization as Antifa

2. I’ve been an antifascist all my life. The only reason I wasn’t a premature one is that the war had already started when I was born. Lopping a few letters off the end doesn’t change anything.

Date: 2017-09-02 12:40 am (UTC)
lavendertook: by me (Jews against trump)
From: [personal profile] lavendertook
YES! Thank you! The USian left can't be tidied up into one neat box. Tying all leftist movements to violent Black Bloc anarchists, like the term antifa manages is not a very good idea for the left, but makes right-wingers very happy.

Date: 2017-09-08 01:20 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
I'm also urging caution about assuming black bloc = antifa. In Charlottesville, there were claims of attacks with "bats". A swung bat can cause an extremely photogenic bruise. It's *easy* to fake a vicious attack with punching and kicking; you might even get someone to dump some of their own urine on themselves and swear it was splashed on them.

I'm not saying there *is* no violence, from black bloc antifa. I'm saying that, when a murderous terrorist attack didn't shut down the whining about "what about the horrible violent antifa? There were SCUFFLES!" I suddenly realized that, yes, we know the right wing will lie about Acorn helping human trafficking (rather than pretending to be willing to help, so they could call the cops) or about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts.

So "see, there's PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE of people in black wearing black masks ATTACKING INNOCENT CONSERVATIVES!" proves to me only that there's a picture of an unknown person engaging in an unknown activity, that might be non-consensual violence.

Date: 2017-09-02 11:42 am (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck

Some of these folks need to meet the generation who fought the fascists and maybe that way, they'd obtain a clue.

That or the generation like mine, and I think yours, who know what fascism cost.

Date: 2017-09-02 03:38 pm (UTC)
arlie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arlie
OK, now I'm confused. Surely the left is not immune to lunatic fringe and outright lunatics. You appear to be claiming not that most folks categorized as left have nothing to do with Antifa, but that all the news reports about this organization constitute "fake news". Either that or you are riffing off some right wing source's misspelling or similar.

We have at least 2 credible reports of politically motivated attempted murder in the US in the past year, from people categorized as left. One person did a competent job of shooting police people, apparantly in reaction to police shooting of innocent black people. The other one shot up a baseball practice involving Republican elected politicians, without managing to quite kill any of them.

I'm not saying either of those were associated with any organization, let alone Antifa. They weren't; if they had been, I'd have heard it, even as news averse as I am. They simply make the point that violence in support of the "left wing" tribe is not unknown even in modern times.

What's worse is that polarization had reached such a point that many ordinary middle class folk of my acquiantance, not at all prone to violence personally, and generally understanding intellectually that political violence is a bad thing, nonetheless expressed sentiments like "too bad he didn't kill the guy" or similar.

In that climate, violent organizations are a reasonable development. When you don't think the democratic political process will ever solve your pressing issues, violence is in a sense a reasonable response, particularly if those issues are themselves life threatening. I'm white, and too old to be drafted into whatever war the Republicans decide to start to prop up their sagging popularity. I'm not looking at friends or family dying because of the US medical system. I'm not long term unemployed, trying to survive on next to nothing, with no prospects for improvement - even as executive compensation continues obscenely high. The cops aren't in the habit of shooting people like me. I can wait for democracy to fix things. But perhaps because I grew up in the sixties, I can understand why people might choose otherwise.

What I absolutely cannot condone is terrorism in support of political obejctives. And my definition of terrorism is killing random people who are at worst complacant beneficiaries of the system, and most likely fellow victims. I don't subscribe to the "folks I disagree with are terrorists; folks on my side are freedom fighters" crapola. But the urge to shoot a plutocrat - it's a bad idea, and we don't need an atmosphere where this is acceptable behaviour. But I'd find it a lot easier to pardon than e.g. someone shooting their spouse's paramour, having caught them in the act (a traditionally pardonable behaviour).

Edited Date: 2017-09-02 03:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-09-08 01:30 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
I think the statement that there's no organization called "Antifa" is pretty clear, personally. There are *people* who claim to gather under that banner. Some of those people conceal their identities. What do Antifa spokespeople say about this? Nothing - there aren't any.

Okay, but doesn't Antifa call for an end to baseless violence? No - there isn't any Antifa to do this.

But SURELY Antifa is in support of the rule of law! Well... the empty set is a subset of any set, so I suppose you could say that Antifa belongs to the set that supports rule of law, but you could simultaneously say that they belong to the set that REJECTS the rule of law, because, again, "empty set".

Trying to equate persistent, powerful groups of people such as exist on the right wing, with an undefined non-entity that isn't even "leftish" per se, but can be called leftish because it's opposed to mostly right wingers, is what the right wing hopes will happen.

It shouldn't happen. There's no valid comparison.

Date: 2017-09-08 02:40 am (UTC)
arlie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arlie
If there are any people who claim to be gathering under that banner, then they *are* Antifa. Who are the Antifa spokespeople? The people claiming to be gathering under that banner.

I have no idea what people claiming to be/speak for/be part of Antifa are claiming about the whole organization. I'd be unsurprised if they claimed to be larger than they really are. I'd also be unsurprised if they claimed to be smaller. Even mainstream politicians aren't known for honesty, let alone those pursuing political ends by illegal means.

Note that I'm not making any claims about whether or not "Antifa" is persistent, powerful etc. - or just 2 or 3 wingnuts in the Seattle area.

But neither is supergee making such claims - he claims complete nonexistence.

And that's what I'm contesting. We have enough lying out there, and the original post, as phrased, appears to be yet another statment of falsehood.

FWIW, after making the above posting I learned that some sources are claiming that Antifa is a KKK-scale or maybe even IS-scale organization, and thereby excusing right wing organizations for which there is credible evidence of significant size. (In their minds, if the other tribe does bad things, their own tribe is allowed to be equally bad.) Of course from where I sit these are the same people that gave us the pizza restaurant conspiracy, that one of their believers got arrested for "self-investigating" with weapons. I.e. they routinely make up stories out of whole cloth, if they can't find any scraps or rags to exagerate. But this time, they have scraps to base their ediface on, and we need to not deny the existence of those scraps.

Unless of course we agree, that the other tribe's misbehaviour excuses us from moral or ethical restraint. And that may be a fine thing, if we are tribes in a state of intermittent war with each other, punctuated by occassional truces. Last I heard though, some at least of us had what used to be called a more "advanced" view on social structure. (Hint - warring tribes cannot and do not successfully join together in realistic democracies; they are all about group power and group goals, and things like universal suffrage make no sense at all - except perhaps within the tribe itself.) We can be a collection of tribes, held together (loosely) by some kind of federation, or we can be a modern democracy. We can't be both. Or of course we can be a collection of tribes not held together at all, except by blood feuds and grudges.

Date: 2017-09-09 02:28 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
ANYONE who says "I am antifa" is, and is a local spokes person. Then you say you don't know what the spokes people say about the whole organization, because somehow, someone is able to speak for an "organization" that is created anew every time someone says "I am antifa".

(You'll note I do not capitalize "antifa" when referring to people who say they are, because there is no organization by that name. Capitalizing a proper noun or name is fine, so it's proper to write "the KKK" but if someone could just say "I'm kkk because I believe in treating all people with the same level of human dignity. White, black, brown; Jewish, Catholic, Muslim - I don't care. That's what makes me kkk" I wouldn't capitalize it, and I would also question the cultural knowledge of the speaker, assuming I was being trolled, though perhaps pleasantly.)

Where was I? Right:
Note that I'm not making any claims about whether or not "Antifa" is persistent, powerful etc. - or just 2 or 3 wingnuts in the Seattle area.

But neither is supergee making such claims - he claims complete nonexistence.

His claim sounds to me a lot like he feels there is no such organization as Antifa. Not that there are no bad people who say they are "antifa"... that there is no such *organization*. Which you agree with - you just said any bozo can claim to be antifa, and be the local spokesbeing.

If you feel it's a falsehood, tell me about the organization!

If not - there are certainly some bad people out there. Some people like to cause trouble; some people are nasty; some people like getting into fights, especially if they get to play like they're a heroic figure standing up against evil. I know there are right wingers who love to concoct plots to try to make their opponents look evil and criminal, and we can't trust them not to raise a false flag here, with the anonymity of both crowds *and* black bloc clothing.

And while I hope that the bad people are caught, shamed, and prosecuted (since, by calling them bad people, I can use *my* standards for what makes a person bad, which makes them worthy of such), I also hope that people realize the obvious.

The right wing narrative about an evil organization, Antifa is false on its face - no such organization exists, and they're trying to link a few people by use of a word that doesn't really have any meaning. I reckon the word will probably die out because it's starting to have a bad association, but like ACORN and Planned Parenthood, it will be a demon to conjure with for a long time regardless.

There are bad people. But Antifa is no THRUSH - which is to say, a secret, shadow organization where the very LACK of evidence of existence shows how powerful they are.

Date: 2017-09-10 06:31 am (UTC)
arlie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arlie
Bluntly, I am not following these news stories - which are in any case not plentiful. There were news stories some time ago, which no one contested, placing people calling themselves antifa somewhere on the west coast (seattle?) doing bad violent things and known to locals, who were communicating on places like dreamwidth in response to expressions of surprise from those who briefly noticed. But I only noticed them via dreamwidth.

NOW suddenly - and quite possibly on the same blog - there is "no such thing as antifa".

No one has posted anything that explains this, so I'm concluding that it's a "true believer" and/or "member of our tribe" kind of thing. I presume the earlier stories have been re-explained as "fake news".

FWIW, has plenty of articles debunking various claims about antifa - but also refers to "antifa activists" as doing various things. If they were to define antifa, it would probably be as something like people "who have been showing up to counter white supremacist rallies, sometimes violently". (The quoted text comes from - which specifically refers to 'alt-left' as "a made-up term probably meant to refer to 'antifa.'" It sure sounds like Snopes doesn't question their existence.
Edited Date: 2017-09-10 06:32 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-09-10 04:28 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Just checking to make sure. You *do* know if one person states that there is no such ORGANIZATION as Antifa, that talks about an ORGANIZATION. That's very different from saying there is no such *thing* as antifa. Are you seriously having trouble making this distinction? It's been made twice now.

Date: 2017-09-10 06:59 pm (UTC)
arlie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arlie
Yes, I am. I understand that according to your religion, any statement about antifa is either "fake news" from your political opponents, or a claim that antifa does not exist (or at least "is not an organization"), from right thinking people, which includes, in your opinion, both members of your tribe and disinterested seekers of truth.

I suggest reading While debunking an especially egregious claim about antifa, Snopes makes statements like "The New York City Antifa Twitter account said that the flyer was 'fake as a three dollar bill'" Snopes also quotes @NYCAntifa as saying "there is no such group called the “national antifa front.” there is only one national group in the US and it is the Torch Antifa Network. And I can only think of one antifa group that uses the term “front” – and none use the term “national,” which in the context of our work has a far right connotation"

So what we have is one public front with antifa in its name claiming multiple antifa groups, and snopes not questioning this.

Now of course you might also say there is no such organization as the SPCA. And you'd be right, if what you mean is that there is no *single* SPCA organization. There are, instead, a job lot of animal protection organizations with SPCA in their names, along with other animal protection organizations without that recognizable tag. They share roughly common ideals, while disgreeing on details and/or organizing seperately because of locality. Also, SPCA seems to be a category name - when I googled "SPCA Silicon Valley" I got "Humane Society of Silicon Valley" as my first hit. And of course it's quite possible that some of them are in fact scamsters, trading on the well known name to collect donations that do not in fact benefit any non-human animals - or anyone at all except the scamsters in question. (Sham antifa groups would most likely have rather different aims.)

After doing far too much research, I'm unsurprised to find no single organization representing everything called "antifa". That's a lot different from their being no such organization. Unless of course you want to claim that even though the New York SPCA is constantly spamming me, there's no such organization as the SPCA.

Another example while we're at it: the Baptists seem seem to schism at every opportunity. There are more Baptist organizations than anyone but a member, or a religion researcher, can possibly keep straight. No such organization as the (a) Baptist Chruch? ROFLMAO

Edited Date: 2017-09-10 07:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-09-10 07:27 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer

Yes, I am. I understand that according to your religion, any statement about antifa is either "fake news" from your political opponents, or a claim that antifa does not exist (or at least "is not an organization"), from right thinking people, which includes, in your opinion, both members of your tribe and disinterested seekers of truth.

So: you're either a troll; dishonest; or stupid AND rude.

I stopped reading right there. You are not discussing things in good faith. Perhaps you have a "religion" that dictates what your opponents believe, but *I* don't, and I regret engaging with you as if you were holding a discussion in good faith.


supergee: (Default)
Arthur D. Hlavaty

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