by Geoffrey Churchman

This book appeared in 2021 and for the most part was written about the orgy of arson, vandalism, looting, serious violence and general destruction that Antifa spearheaded in many American cities in mid 2020. Antifa thereby earned itself the reputation of America’s most dangerous domestic terrorist organisation.

With the violence that we saw on Saturday 25 March by Antifa members in Auckland and the certainty that the NZ Green Party is in collusion with this lot, it’s a disturbing picture of what could happen here.

The book makes clear that Antifa comprises seriously nasty people who are out to cause meyhem and badly injure those they dislike as much as they can.

Antifa use a variety of weapons of the sort that you’d expect NZ’s gangs to use, but are additionally fond of molotov coktails and there have been cases of them carrying — and using — guns.

The author Andy Ngo is from Portland, Oregon, the city which is the American base of Antifa and a journalist who was physically attacked in the streets by Antifa in the summer of 2019 while covering a protest, leaving him hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage from which he has yet to fully recover. He’s been repeatedly harassed, beaten and “doxed” because of his efforts, and naturally called a “Nazi”, “fascist” etc.

This exposé, a number 1 bestseller in America, is a comprehensively researched reportage of the organisation’s history and tactics. When Andy Ngo was attacked, most people assumed it was an isolated incident. But those who’d been following Ngo’s reporting in outlets like the New York Post and Quillette knew that the attack was only the latest in a long list of the organisation’s crimes.

In Unmasked, Ngo tells the story of this violent extremist movement from the beginning. He includes interviews with former followers and people who’ve been attacked by them. The book contains documents obtained by the author and published for the first time.

Andy Ngo was present at some protests and riots in the summer of 2020 and even spent a week in Seattle’s so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). He says: “violence is a feature, not a bug, of Antifa’s ideology. In fact, they venerate violence.” And behind all this violence the close observer can discern “a plan to destroy the nation-state, America in particular, to bring about a revolution that leads to their vision of utopia.” Moreover, Ngo postulates that “Antifa is a phantom movement by design. It is leaderless and structured to be functional through small, independent organizations, known as affinity groups, and individuals.”

Apart from the months-long mayhem in Portland, Seattle and other places in the summer of 2020, there is coverage of prior incidents. For example, Connor Betts was a mass shooter who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio on 4 August 2019. Betts had extremely close ties to Antifa, and his killing spree was possibly politically motivated (he didn’t leave a manifesto). Other notable incidents are the firebombing of the ICE detention center in Washington by Willem Van Spronsen and a shooting by Charlie Landeros. On these occasions fortunately only the perpetrators died, though both could have ended in plenty of bloodshed. Landeros came to his daughter’s school armed and prepared to kill, and almost accidentally shot her during an altercation with police officers. Both he and Van Spronsen were Antifa members.

The plethora of riots, shootings and other incidents would be horrible enough in and of itself. But one theme throughout the book is that, as in NZ now under this government, the perpetrators get free reign from sympathetic politicians in government and some law enforcement bosses to continue their violence.

“Portland’s left-wing political monoculture,” Ngo writes, “means that the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office has to make politically calculated prosecutions that are favorable to the city’s vocal woke populace. Justice is not blind in Portland. Antifa and BLM rioters are let go almost as quickly as they can be processed through jail.”

Portland’s mayor Ted Wheeler — the equivalant of Ms Tory Whanau of Wellington — tweeted after the first night of rioting and looting in his city: “We talked about agitation—yes even violent agitation and how it has historically occurred with purpose and resulted in change that has moved this country forward.” Mayor Wheeler is less supportive of firm resolve on the part of the authorities, however, and has no qualms publicly reprimanding his police chiefs for taking a common-sense approach to enforcing the law — like, say, using pepper spray to prevent their police stations from being looted and burned to the ground.

Ngo shows that left-wing radicalism has been festering in academia for over half a century now. He devotes several pages to the origins of “Critical Race Theory”, and particularly to Herbert Marcuse’s infamous 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance”, which laid the foundation for the idea that “we should not allow perceived intolerant ideas the space to be expressed and should be more accepting of extreme beliefs on the left.”

As in NZ, Antifa has a large sympathetic network in American academia, politics, media and the legal world. It it aims to further its goals through these tentacles as much as through violence. Lawyers belonging to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), “a legal group with historical ties to the Communist Party,” wage continuous “lawfare” against the authorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center “has establishment liberal and media legitimacy as an arbiter of ‘hate groups,’ but too often it actually serves to launder Antifa’s ideology into the mainstream.”

Furthermore, Antifa groups are able to spread falsehoods about every violent police action against them or the allied Black Lives Matter, or every police shooting of a black person, conveying the narrative that “fascist” authorities committed gross and unnecessary violence against innocent and unarmed people. One group sends out social media posts about an incident, sometimes paired with manipulatively edited video footage, which are then shared by Antifa chapters around the country. Before long, they make their way into the MSM, which all too often swallow this propaganda whole without any prior scrutiny.

Where does Antifa get its funding from? Mostly from George Soros, a billionaire and perennial Democratic donor and bogeyman for conservatives and libertarians, Soros gave a whopping $128,485,971 to Democrats in last year’s Midterm cycle which far exceeded what he contributed during the 2018 midterm election when he donated only $20 million.

One feature that does raise questions in the NZ context, considering what happened on Ash Wednesday 2022 outside Parliament, is the organisation’s relationship with the police. Many Antifa types in America are fond of the “1312” or “ACAB” acronym which stands for “All Cops Are Bastards” and police are at the centre of their fixation.

But in Wellington, did Antifa collaborate with police chief Coster and his henchmen on 2 March 2022 to smear the protestors in the MSM? Libertarians wanting freedom of choice are hated by Antifa, a hatred shared by Coster. It’s certainly plausible.

What about the situation in Kapiti? I have made inquiries and been given some names, but like the Green Party in our district, the membership is fortunately not a large one, no more than 30 and likely less

It’s a different situation in Wellington where the membership is certainly in the hundreds.

Green Party/ Antifa members now have brains full of spike protein from repeated jabs with that substance, and many are certain to be abusers of other substances too, which combined with their violent ideology is most disconcerting. Declaring Antifa a subversive organisation is something which the next ACT plus National government must look into

‘What do you make of these Antifa types, Obergruppenführer?”

“They’re haters and fond of violence like us so I think they’re on our side, Dear Leader.”