On the potential and limitations of militant anti-fascism

Bring the Ruckus has published a thoughtful discussion of a recent confrontation between neo-nazis and militant anti-fascists in Trenton, New Jersey. The article raises a number of important issues related to anti-fascist organizing.

From the article:
“The combative actions of Friday and Saturday were successful in many respects. The attacks not only confronted the fascists and challenged the police state that protects them but also cast a looming shadow of doubt on the ability of liberal democracy to effectively oppose the rising tide of militant white nationalism in the United States. In comparison to the usual counter-protests that collaborate with the police and amount to little more than sign waving and shouting matches, the actions of ARA [Anti-Racist Action] disrupted the actual logistical operations of the fascists.

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“As it currently stands, those of us who identify as radical Anti-Fascists, or “Antifa,” constitute an insular scene, not a social front. This is reflected in the fact that there was no strategy involving the community. The organizing and planning for the actions was entirely exclusive to ARA members, making it difficult for anyone outside of the circuit to usefully contribute or feel welcome at all. This was a major failure on our part. The planning meetings themselves entailed a contradictory balance between the fruitless planning of clandestine activities and organizing militant public protests. As a result, invited and vouched in newcomers as well as people with different levels of commitment felt very alienated and out of the loop.”

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