But the media have remained largely silent about another group: Antifa. Antifa is a loosely connected band of anti-capitalist protesters generally on the far left who dub themselves “anti-fascist” after their compatriots in Europe. They’ve been around in the United States since the 1990s, protesting globalization and burning trash cans at World Trade Organization meetings. But they’ve kicked into high gear over the past two years: They engaged in vandalism in violence, forcing the cancelation of a speech by alt-right popularizer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley; a few months later, they attacked alt-right demonstrators in Berkeley; they attacked alt-right demonstrators in Sacramento, California, leading to a bloody street fight; they threw projectiles at police during President Trump’s inauguration; they attacked pro-Trump free-speech demonstrators in Seattle last weekend. They always label their opponents “fascists” in order to justify their violence.
In Charlottesville, Antifa engaged in street violence with the alt-right racists. As in Weimar, Germany, fascists flying the swastika engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Antifa members flying the communist red. And yet, the media declared that any negative coverage granted to Antifa would detract from the obvious evils of the alt-right. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times tweeted in the midst of the violence, “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.” After receiving blowback from the left, Stolberg then corrected herself. She said: “Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate.”