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My family is “antifa”

Does anyone using “Antifa” in a derogatory manner also stand up and declare that they are fascists?

My family is “antifa”

Be aware of people who use the term “Antifa” in the negative.

There has been a spate of letters regarding violence and protests submitted to this paper of late. There have also been some comments in the online section to take note of.

My original position was not advocating for violence nor was it condemning it. I was making the point that Perry Foster does not speak for all law-abiding Canadians. I would now like to expand on that idea.

My family is “antifa”. My grandfathers both served in WWII fighting fascism, my grandmother and mother were fortunate enough to escape and survive persecution of Jewish people although the same could not be said for a large portion of that branch of our family. So, understandably my family is definitely “antifa”. I am unaware of any of my immediate family members ever being involved in any violent protests or actions. We do not carry cards, wear badges, go to meetings or have uniforms but I can assure you that not one of us is pro-fascism.

It is also important to be aware of the vast number of false reports regarding the supposed “Antifa” existence as a formal organization and subsequent participation in the riots in Charleston, Charlottesville, and the Capitol, came from alt-right fake accounts for the purpose of misdirection, which has been confirmed by the FBI and law enforcement in the United States.

Does anyone using “Antifa” in a derogatory and negative manner also stand up and declare that they are fascists? No, they do not, but maybe they should.

I will share with you that I cannot remember anyone telling me that they support fascism. I have certainly been in some debates where I have suggested that what my opponent is advocating for is fascism but that was always met with screaming denial.

My point is that trying to attribute violence to an ethereal group of, by declaration, most of the population is a little suspect.

Eleanor Penny, who has written extensively on fascism and the far-right said, “They don’t care about respecting free speech or the right to a fair trial; they’ve openly declared their murderous intent towards people of colour (and other undesirables) and they’ll pursue that goal by any means necessary. In this context, physical resistance is a duty, an act of self-defence, not an unsightly outpost of leftist moral decline.”

She goes on to say, “What’s more — it works. From the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 to similar confrontations in Lewisham and Wood Green in London in 1977, physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.”

So, be mindful when you hear someone try and blame “Antifa” for violence. Think what people who are declaring that “Violence used for political ends is unacceptable” or “Violence in protest is a nuanced discussion” are really saying. In my opinion they are not saying anything to be proud of.

Dara Quast

Cobble Hill

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