The problem with a group like Antifa, which we saw at far too many protests this year, is that their perceived “success” in attacking those with different views was bound to inspire others to copy their tactics. If it worked so well for the social justice warriors, allowing them to “keep their hands clean” by disavowing the violence of their more sinister partners, why not the climate justice warriors? They’re certainly busy trying to stop the construction of pipelines and other signs of industrial progress. Surely they could use a little “muscle” to call on, right? That seems to be what we’re seeing with a new group going by the moniker It’s Going Down.
Kevin Mooney at the Washington Examiner reports that the group targeted the home of one Virginia Water Control Board official after approval was given for two natural gas pipelines which are being built along the east coast.
[G]reen groups are doubling down with tactics meant to bully and cajole public officials into delaying the pipelines.
That much is made apparent by what appears to be an environmentalist version of Antifa working within the framework of a self-described “digital community center for anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements” known as It’s Going Down. Like Antifa, which is short for anti-fascist, It’s Going Down is a loosely configured network of activists opposed to capitalism.
The group recently posted an online article, which it says it received anonymously, about activists who intruded on the private property of an official with the Virginia Water Control Board and draped a banner from her front porch that read “Stop Poisoning Our Community” and “No ACP” and “No MVP,” in reference to the pipelines that will run through Virginia. Since the board has already given its approval to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the activism is concentrated against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the anonymous post explains.
It should be at least somewhat convenient for authorities to begin tracking these folks since they were nice enough to put up their own website. On it, they recently put the world on notice, instructing them that if they lose the battle in courts they will take whatever steps are required to stop pipeline construction. Saying that they would first exhaust all legal means, they reserved the right to, “resort to sabotage and we will defeat this symbol of domination, exploitation, globalized capital, earth pillage, and outright assholery.”
I found something even more hauntingly familiar when the group’s missive made reference to, “human, animal and earth liberation.” Do you all recall the destruction brought about by the Earth Liberation Front beginning in the early 90s? Loggers actually died from the spike traps they set in forests and their violence didn’t stop there. They were akin to the Animal Liberation Front, but far more ready to throw down and risk, if not take human life. The It’s Going Down crowd is already sounding like they would like to follow a similar path. Note this disclaimer they include on their website which isn’t really much of a disclaimer at all. (Emphasis added)
We do not condone or promote illegal, violent, and unlawful behavior or actions, or acts of intimidation against individuals or groups. … We do not plan or organize protests or demonstrations. We signal boost what people are already organizing in their locality. We do not advocate or promote violence or non-violence. Movements for liberation decide for themselves on the best strategy to get and stay free is.
They start out by claiming they don’t “condone… illegal, violent and unlawful behavior.” But they don’t manage to make it three more sentences before saying that they do not advocate violence or non-violence. If you don’t advocate non-violence and want everyone to decide for themselves, aren’t you condoning violence at a minimum?
Recall what Jill Stein and her followers got up to along the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They engaged in plenty of vandalism, graffiti and even a few acts of arson. That caused some damage to be sure, but it was mostly kids’ stuff. Now picture a target that large in a remote area and a group with the numbers, the resources and the willingness to engage in violence and destruction on the scale of Antifa. I don’t think I need to fill in the rest for you.
The election is over, but the battle continues. If these disparate groups begin linking up and fielding some dedicated terrorists on the domestic front we could be in for a long winter.