Groups of Antifa protesters have become increasingly violent over the past year, vandalizing and destroying property, and attacking those they perceive to be “fascists.” Members of Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” share an amorphous ideology which loosely borrows ideas from a multitude of seemingly-contradictory ideologies, including Marxism, and anarchism.
In the first eight months of 2017, Antifa has rioted in dozens of cities across the United States, leaving a trail of burning rubble and broken people in their wake.
The following is a timeline of Antifa violence from January through August of this year:
On Inauguration Day, Antifa members rioted in downtown D.C., leading to the arrest of at least 217 people, according to CNN.
… black-clad "antifascist" protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police lined up in an eastbound crosswalk.
Six police officers were injured in the riots.
CNN reports that protests in New York, Portland, and Seattle also turned violent:
In New York, nine people were arrested for disorderly conduct, according to the New York Police Department. Authorities said five people were arrested at a protest in Dallas, six in Chicago.
In Portland, Oregon, protesters were armed with clubs, sticks and throwing unknown liquid at officers, according to the Portland Police Department. Six people were arrested in Portland Friday, Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson tells CNN.
In Seattle, people threw bricks and other items at officers during a demonstration on the the University of Washington campus, city police said.
In D.C., a limousine was vandalized and set on fire. The chauffeur limo belonged to Muslim immigrant, Muhammad Ashraf:
Prior to a planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley, Antifa members and a coalition of “Black Bloc” rioters devastated the campus, causing approximately $100,000 in damages, according to CNN.
Black-clad protesters wearing masks threw commercial-grade fireworks and rocks at police. Some even hurled Molotov cocktails that ignited fires. They also smashed windows of the student union center on the Berkeley campus where the Yiannopoulos event was to be held. At least six people were injured.
… The violent protesters tore down metal barriers, set fires near the campus bookstore and damaged the construction site of a new dorm. One woman wearing a red Trump hat was pepper sprayed in the face while being interviewed by CNN affiliate KGO.
In Berkeley, California, a pro-Trump march was violently disrupted by Antifa rioters. According to The Washington Post:
A planned “March 4 Trump” demonstration held at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park — several blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus — escalated after fights broke out between those who had shown up for the event and counter-protesters. …
Other items, such as bricks and baseball bats, were confiscated as well.
The Los Angeles Times writes: “Berkeley Police Officer Byron White said 10 arrests were made: one for resisting arrest, four for assault with a deadly weapon, including a dagger, and five for battery. About seven medical evaluations were made on the scene. None of the injured wanted to be taken to the hospital.”
A Pro-Trump demonstration in Berkeley, California, was disrupted when black-clad protesters showed up.
According to CBS News:
Police in Berkeley, California, say 13 people have been arrested and knives and makeshift weapons confiscated after violence erupted at a park where factions that support and oppose President Trump gathered for Tax Day rallies.
...Officials say officers have confiscated knives, flagpoles, helmets and sticks with signs on them, things that were being used as weapons.
A May Day rally in Portland, Oregon, descended into chaos when the “anti-fascists” showed up, attacking police officers and setting fires.
"Various fires were set in the street and in garbage cans, a police car was spray-painted and vandalized, and there were attempts to set at least one business on fire," according to Portland Police. "Numerous projectiles were thrown at or launched at police and firefighters including rocks, bottles, ball bearings, fireworks, smoke bombs, and road flares."
25 arrests were made. NPR adds that Portland wasn't the only city in the pacific north west marked by violence on May 1:
Police in Olympia, Wash., say they were confronted with a "mob" of masked and violent protesters who threw rocks and used slingshots to target officers. The situation settled down after officers used "crowd dispersal devices" and arrested several people.
In the wake of the rally in Charlottesville in which white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters, Antifa has upped their game.
On Sunday, members of Antifa “barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park,” writes Kyle Swenson of The Washington Post.
Shortly after, violence began to flare. A pepper-spray-wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields. Another was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. A conservative group leader retreated for safety behind a line of riot police as marchers chucked water bottles, shot off pepper spray and screamed, “Fascist go home!”
The Associated Press reports: “Six people suffered injuries, including two who were hospitalized, and one officer was injured while making an arrest and several others were hit with paint. ... There were 13 arrests on various charges including, assault with a deadly weapon.”
The anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley was organized by Amber Cummings, a transsexual supporter of Trump. Citing the potential for violence, she canceled the event but said she would show up on her own. She was not seen there, though Gibson vowed to come and when he did anarchists set upon him.
They pepper-sprayed him and chased him as he backed away with his hands held in the air. Gibson rushed behind a line of police wearing riot gear, who set off a smoke bomb to drive away the attackers.
Separately, groups of hooded, black-clad protesters attacked at least four other men in or near the park, kicking and punching them until the assaults were stopped by police. The assaults were witnessed by an Associated Press reporter.
Interestingly, AP adds that “Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood said officers were told not to actively confront the anarchists. He applauded officers' restraint, saying it forestalled greater violence.”
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Antifa-related violence. Milder skirmishes have taken place intermittently between the more large-scale events listed above. As the tactics of Antifa are praised by mainstream progressives, their demonstrations will likely become more aggressive.