CNN's take on Antifa: Peace through violence (Update: CNN scrubs headline)

CNN published an article today based on interviews with members of Antifa. The headline notes, “Activists seek peace through violence.” That seems to suggest there’s a real problem with what Antifa is doing but the rest of the article comes across as sympathetic to the group, even to their violence:

Antifa activists often don’t hesitate to destroy property, which many see as the incarnation of unfair wealth distribution.

“Violence against windows — there’s no such thing as violence against windows,” a masked Antifa member in Union Square told CNN. “Windows don’t have — they’re not persons. And even when they are persons, the people we fight back against, they are evil. They are the living embodiment, they are the second coming of Hitler.”

[Scott] Crow explained the ideology this way: “Don’t confuse legality and morality. Laws are made of governments, not of men,” echoing the words of John Adams.

“Each of us breaks the law every day. It’s just that we make the conscious choice to do that,” he said.

CNN notes their Antifa source is “echoing” John Adams. Adams included the phrase “a government of laws and not of men” in the Massachusetts Constitution. His point was that no king or autocrat would determine what was legal or illegal. Instead, the government would operate based on laws which applied to everyone equally.

This is the opposite of what Antifa stands for. Scott Crow is literally saying his group breaks the law (assault, vandalism, etc.) when it determines people are “evil” and delivers extra-legal justice. That’s not at all how a government of laws operates. CNN’s source may be echoing John Adams but he clearly doesn’t understand what Adams was saying.

Antifa members also sometimes launch attacks against people who aren’t physically attacking them. The movement, Crow said, sees alt-right hate speech as violent, and for that, its activists have opted to meet violence with violence.

Right or wrong, “that’s for history to decide,” he said.

Now we’re arguing that violence is a reasonable response to “hate speech.” At least no one is trying to claim James Madison for support. As for the idea that history will decide, that’s another way Antifa is saying they don’t believe the actual law as it exists now applies to them. That’s why they wear masks and dress the same, so they can get away with it.

“People put on the masks so that we can all become anonymous, right? And then, therefore, we are able to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not,” he said.

And that means avoiding police, whom many Antifa members see as an enemy, as well as skirting the scrutiny Antifa activists often get from alt-right trolls on the Internet. Black bloc, one member told us, also unites the movement.

“Even though it only takes one person to break a window, it doesn’t matter because the bloc moves together,” said a 26-year-old named Maura, who wouldn’t give her last name.

The left’s secret society of masked vandals is growing and they are seeking to normalize political violence. People who feel they can act above the law (so long as it’s for the right reason) are a danger to all of us. Responsible Americans should condemn Antifa rather than tolerate them.

Update: As I noted in my opening paragraph above, CNN’s headline seemed like the only part of the story that was really critical of Antifa. So perhaps you won’t be shocked to learn they’ve scrubbed that one bit of criticism:

I’m not 100% sure the headline was scrubbed because Antifa didn’t like it. The update about Antifa denying violence in Charlottesville was there yesterday before they scrubbed the headline. In any case, the group admits to employing violence in the body of the article, so why remove “violence” from the headline? CNN should explain.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022