Professor Mark Bray Gives Presentation on Antifa

As music blared through the auditorium, Professor Mark Bray began his presentation “Antifa: The History and Politics of Anti-Fascism” on Thursday, January 18th. Bray summarized the Antifa movement as “history, politics, and theory on the run.” With said formula, it seems that Antifa has continually shattered the test tubes. However, the presentation focused more on the historical development of anti-fascist groups in Europe, and ultimately America. Starting in Europe with the rise of Nazism in Germany, Bray concluded that fascism, even in small groups, must be put down violently to prevent the mistakes of the past. While he may be correct about Nazism, the applicability of this example to our current political reality is more than questionable. Currently, the Antifa symbol found in the United States carries the slogan Abolish Capitalism. Ironically, every socialist or communist state that has existed has devolved into a totalitarian monstrosity.

The far-left, as portrayed by Bray, seems to fight the ‘noble’ fight against fascism around the world. However, Antifa seems more than happy to promote totalitarian communism. Bray discussed the Battle of Cable Street, in which Antifa demonstrators and the British Union of Fascists clashed in the East End of London. Modern Antifa members have resorted to merely role-playing the supposed glorious past of the Antifa movement. Bray flashed over the fact that by calling it a “battle,” he glorifies violence and ignores the damage caused upon the public. Furthermore, Bray continued his discussion on the development of Antifa in England during the punk scene during the seventies. The punk scene, which has historically been anti-authoritarian, and, therefore, anti-fascist, has by no means the same intentions as the modern Antifa movement. Bray claims that Antifa is self-defense against the actions of the far-right, but then states that one of the critical tenets of Antifa is “we go where they go.” At the end of the presentation, Bray took questions from the audience, in which he surprisingly admitted that “Donald Trump is not a fascist.” Whether or not this undermines his thesis on the importance of modern Antifa deserves another presentation.