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The most visible characteristic of antifa is its de facto dress code of all black. This leads some to refer to them as “black bloc,” but that is a description of the protest strategy, not the actual group that uses it. Black bloc simply means dressing in black from head to toe, face covered, to create a sense of paramilitary unity among radical leftists with mayhem on the mind. Conveniently, it also makes the police’s job of identifying the anti-fascist vandals much more difficult. Armed with this virtual anonymity, black bloc hooligans are willing to tangle with cops, get tear gassed, and commit multiple felonies in the name of defeating (imaginary) Nazis. It is these antifa tactics that separate them from other Leftist political groups. They are the rowdiest of the social justice warriors currently on the activist scene. They’ve been known to throw bags of urine at police, smash the windows of random nearby businesses, light random objects on fire, and attack journalists for the transgression of filming them in public places, including protests. So who joins the ranks of these neo-Marxist malcontents? In the Urban Dictionary, which defines slang terms in common usage, antifa are referred to “middle-class champagne socialist white boys.” This is a good working definition. Overwhelmingly, antifa are 30-something- year-old suburban Bernie voters casting aside their iPhones and Priuses in exchange for gas masks and homemade shields. Typically, they hold up banners that state their intention to “make war on the state,” then head back to their jobs as adjunct professors at third- tier colleges or baristas in overpriced coffee
rot of the Republican party. Antifa also attempt to explicitly associate their cause with the real anti-fascist fighters of World War II, referring to themselves as part of the “resistance,” and reveling in their street scuffles with right-wing enemies (real and imagined), known as “Nazi-punching.” A former Occupy Wall Street activist has even written a pseudo-scholarly history of the group, called The Anti-Fascist Handbook , which tries to construct a bridge from the fight against Nazism in Europe to today’s antifa social justice warriors, who are found in abundance in latte-drinking precincts like Berkeley, California. Indeed, the inauguration day protestors who lit an immigrant’s limousine on fire in the streets of Washington D.C. to protest Trump consider themselves the direct ideological descendants of the Antifaschistische Aktion communists who battled it out with Brownshirts on the streets of 1930s Germany.
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