The Guardian’s anarchist-friendly writer Jason Wilson is once again very upset that anarchist terrorist group antifa have been internally described by intelligence agencies as terrorists. Jason’s latest scrawl is entitled Intelligence report appeared to endorse view leftwing protesters were ‘terrorists’.
Documents obtained by Politico confirm that antifa were classified as a domestic terrorist group by US intelligence agencies The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI under the Obama administration in early 2016. The documents reportedly expressed the belief that these “anarchist extremist” groups were the “primary instigators”of violence at a range of public events.
As the left-leaning outlet The Independent reported in 2017;
“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official said.
“These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people … they’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”
The subheading of Jason’s astute article is “Experts say the report produced before the Charlottesville rally mischaracterizes the dynamics of the street violence”. One of the “experts” Jason quotes in the article is Mark Bray, the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. One of the featured reviews for this book on amazon is a glowing one from the Washington Post: “Insurgent activist movements need spokesmen, intellectuals and apologists, and for the moment Mark Bray is filling in as all three… what it’s most relevant for today is its justification for stifling speech”.
You know, I suspect this “expert” might be a bit of an extremist.
Antifa are repeatedly described by sympathisers in journalism and academia as a “loosely connected”, “decentralised” “coalition of groups”, so as to be minimised and distanced from one another and smokescreen the fact that they act in effect as an unofficial paramilitary force disrupting any right-wing grassroots organisation across the Western world.
Worth noting is the fact that The Guardian and the various other outlets that portray antifa softly would never describe a gathering of disparate right wing to alt-right individuals or groups in the same way, even though they often actually are loosely connected temporary coalitions of activists and random members of the public. This was the case, for example, at the Australian St. Kilda rally where members of the Vietnamese community attended in support of the right-wing side, or the US ‘Unite the Right’ Rally (In fact, the entire stated purpose of ‘Unite The Right’ was to attempt to network the coalition of groups encompassing what is described broadly as the ‘new right’ and ‘alt-right’ together).
Jason Wilson himself often makes a fine point of encouraging everyone to engage in this broad-brush slandering; here is one example from his article entitled “St Kilda rally: A fascist movement can only be kept small if we call it by its name”;
“In the aftermath of a fascist rally, we commonly encounter the demand that we call it something else.
Among others, Alan Sunderland, an editorial director at ABC News, has called for more cautious descriptions of what happened last Saturday in St Kilda.There, around 150 far-right thugs and a sitting Australian senator gathered for an inchoate protest against a fiction: that “African gangs” present an existential threat to Melbourne.
Sunderland tweeted that the far-right group, who even took the trouble to throw Roman salutes, should not be called Nazis because they lack the necessary “formality and consistency of belief.”
He is not just happy to label a protest gathering hundreds of individual people to peacefully express their opposition to their government’s inability (and arguably even refusal) to deal with a growing demographic and criminal issue in their state as “fascists” because there were 3 people there who threw up a Roman salute; he actually believes enforcing guilt by association is a moral imperative.
How Intelligence officials and public broadcasters the world over assess reality is of course very valid according to Jason when the subject is right-wing groups he disagrees with, and questioning this would be conspiratorial reactionary thinking by the “hard-right” or “extreme right” or “far right” or “fascists” or “hate groups” or whatever out-of-the-box label he wants to apply to people who know anarchism is a pretty bad idea.
Even in some of The Guardian’s own comment sections, painting antifa group activism as entirely benevolent is controversial:It is very funny to me that The Guardian commenters turn out to be much more well read, balanced and insightful than The Guardian journalists and contributors
Indeed, even libertarian socialist academic and self-described anarcho-syndicalist sympathiser Noam Chomsky disapproves of antifa.
But not our champion of peace and harmony Jason Wilson, oh no, he fights violence and extremism by framing the guy who literally wrote the handbook on this violent extremist terrorist group as an intelligence expert.