President Trump is blaming the network known as antifa for the looting and rioting the country is experiencing. What is Antifa? Is it here in Utica, Rome, Syracuse, and New York?

What Is Antifa?

The Washington Post reports that "Antifa" is short for antifascists. It’s pronounced “an-TEE-fuh.”

What views do they have?

Mark Bray, (a historian at Rutgers University and author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook”), says to think of them as radical anti-racists who want to take matters into their own hands. Their main goal is to try and stop white supremacy.

The difference between them and a normal opponent of these things is that antifascists don’t trust government or police to efficiently bat down white supremacy and fascism. There’s a suspicion among antifa that police and a capitalist society are actually supportive of these ideals."

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Is Antifa here in New York?

In our simple searches, we couldn't find the group associated with Upstate New York. We did find the group in New York City:

Since 2010, NYC Antifa has been dedicated to research on, and action against, fascist cultural and political organizing in New York City."

The group has an active Twitter account highlighting their work in NYC.

 

Can President Trump label Antifa as a terrorist organization?

The Washington Post explained that legally he can not:

1. No groups based in the United States can legally be labeled as a terrorist group, including neo-Nazi or white-supremacy groups. The law only allows international organizations to receive that label.

2. They’re not a group, anymore than say, Red Sox Nation is, said Levin. LaFree likens antifa more to a movement, like anti-gun or antiabortion. Traditional terrorist organizations plan acts of violence; there is very little evidence antifa does.

You can read more about the group from Live Science.