The Antifa movement isn’t new. It’s been around before World War II and the rise of Nazism. So the notion that Antifa is in direct response to our current political situation is absurd. Antifa is an international group whose mission is to disrupt the rise of Facism and a repeat of history (ie. the Holocaust, etc.)
In his latest book, Antifa – The Antifacist Handbook, author Mark Bray not only outlines and tells the history of this unique group, but also addresses how the group is operating today and into the future.
Both a guide to the modern Antifa members and those curious in the movement, and a history of this organization fighting to preserve democracy in the face of the always rising and threatening tide of Facism and authoritarianism.
“So long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism — also known as ‘antifa.’ Born out of resistance to Mussolini and Hitler in Europe during the 1920s and ’30s, the antifa movement has suddenly burst into the headlines amid opposition to the Trump administration, and the rise of the alt-right, and the resurgance of white supremacist groups.”
Starting in the 1920s after the end of World War I, the lineage of Antifa can is tracable to Paris and the struggle between Communists/Socialists and Nationalists. The Communists representing the workers and emerging middle class and the proto-fascists/fascists supporting the business industrialists and the aristocratic class.
The decimated countries, post-WWI, and the suffering of the citizenry was ripe for Fascism, Bray states. The struggle was real. And this was proven with the rise of German Nazism and Italian fascism in the 1930s.
Post-WWII, Bray writes about how in Britain, Jewish war veterans took to disrupting fascist meetings across London. This tactic of using force and blocking the Fascists from organizing and gathering, gained momentum and soon spread to other parts of the world.
Today the Antifascist movement is international and in most countries, both “developed” and “third-world.”
Through out the book, Bray not only tells of the origins of the Antifa movement, but highlights key moments in the struggle against nationalism and fascism.
His book is both a guide/handbook and a history textbook that should be required reading for any college class focusing on 20th/21st century history and current events.
Bray is a historian of human rights, terrorism, and political revolution in modern Europe and help organize Occupy Wall Street. He is currently a lecturer at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Raging Chicken recently interviewed Bray on the Out d’ Coup podcast extra. You can listen that episode here.