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The Antifa Handbook

ANTIFA cover image

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

In the wake of Saturday’s violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, condemnations of the marchers’ cause came quickly.

Except from the White House. In remarks Saturday and in the following days, President Donald Trump made references to “many sides” and violent responses from counter-protesters. Conservative critics were more explicit in pinning some blame for violence on Antifa.

Antifa is short for anti-fascist, a non-centralized ideology whose followers, as the Washington Post says, have a “willingness to physically defend themselves and others from white supremacist violence and preemptively shut down fascist organizing efforts before they turn deadly” which “distinguishes them from liberal anti-racists.”

Antifascists argue that after the horrors of chattel slavery and the Holocaust, physical violence against white supremacists is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective. We should not, they argue, abstractly assess the ethical status of violence in the absence of the values and context behind it. Instead, they put forth an ethically consistent, historically informed argument for fighting Nazis before it’s too late.

The newly published “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” traces Antifa’s history and tactics, from its origins fighting the wave of European fascism in the early 20th century to protests in Berkeley, California, and Charlottesville today.


Mark Bray, Historian of human rights, terrorism and political radicalism in Middle Europe; a lecturer at Dartmouth College; author of the new book “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook”

Maria Stephan, Director, Program on Nonviolent Action at the U.S. Institute of Peace; co-author of “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict”

For more, visit http://the1a.org.

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