It’s not the same thing
I read with interest Mr. Bellante’s letter (6/23) titled “Against anti-fascism” in which he commented upon President Trump and Attorney General Barr labeling ANTIFA a terrorist organization. Obviously, we are all entitled to our own opinions.
However, a group simply naming itself ANTIFA does not mean that the group actually is anti-fascist. What defines a group is how it conducts itself and the values that it pursues, not what it calls itself. If what defined a group were simply its name, would a crow be an eagle simply because the crow called itself an eagle? I think not.
Anti-fascism, an international movement formed in 1920s Europe, came to the U.S. in the 70s. Per Wikipedia, “Antifa political activists engage in protest tactics such as digital activism and militancy, sometimes involving property damage, physical violence and harassment, against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right.”
ANTIFA is anti-capitalism and has used violence and black bloc tactics (all-black clothing, face-concealing masks, helmets) at events such as G-8 and G-20 meetings and the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization meeting.
One ANTIFA member told AOL.com in 2017: “Resistance is not always safe and pretty, but it is immaculate compared to our monstrous government.” During violent confrontations with police (Portland, OR, 2017), police confiscated bricks, bats, knives, pepper spray, etc. ANTIFA meets the definition of a terrorist group.
The violence of ANTIFA does not remotely resemble the actions of my father or grandfather. I believe that Mr. Bellante does a great disservice to the brave men who stormed Normandy’s beaches or fought through North Africa, Italy, southern France and throughout the Pacific Islands when he attempts to favorably compare ANTIFA to them. But then again, we all are entitled to our own opinions and values.
William E. Butka Jr., Wallingford