In April 2016, the Obama administration Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about so-called Antifa groups. According to the DHS, “anarchist extremists” were creating violence at public events; Politico reported that Antifa had been “blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of ‘the capitalist system,’ racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.” After Trump’s election, a senior law enforcement official told Politico:
These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows…. Every time they have one of these protests where both sides are bringing guns, there are sphincters tightening in my world. Emotions get high, and fingers get twitchy on the trigger.
Unsurprisingly, Antifa fulfilled these predictions, involving itself repeatedly in violence around the country. Over the weekend, Antifa did its damnedest to surpass expectations once again, attacking police officers and media members while chanting about the racist police. Even Vox covered the ensuing chaos:
But a few left-wing “antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”) counterprotesters did engage in violence, throwing eggs and water bottles and shooting fireworks at police officers and some journalists who were covering the demonstrations.
Members of the press were attacked: