Does violence have a place in the "Antifa"movement against modern facism? Join the debate in White River Junction Wednesday evening
Can left-wing “Antifa” protesters justify using violence to combat the violence of right-wing protesters? Join in this hot-button conversation Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction.
Mark Bray, a Dartmouth College visiting scholar and author of Antifa: The Anti-Facist Handbook, will talk about modern facism and anti-facism in a public discussion at the museum located at 58 Bridge Street. The Anti-Facism 101 event runs from 7-8:30 p.m. and is free of charge.
Bray will be joined by members of The Green Mountain John Brown Gun Club, whose Facebook page describes it as “a community defense organization aimed at ending the racist, homophobic, and patriarchal systems that monopolize power and material resources.”
Bray splashed into public view last August, when one person was killed and 19 were hurt in Charlottesville, VA, where a speeding car slammed into a group of people protesting a scheduled "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups.
In a Washington Post oped, Bray slammed President Donald Trump for not repudiating the right-wingers in the tragedy's wake.. In the column and in other public appearances, he defended anti-facist protesters and sparked controversy by seeming to defend their use of force in some cases.
“Militant anti-fascist or “antifa” (pronounced ANtifa) is a radical pan-leftist politics of social revolution applied to fighting the far right,” Bray wrote in the Post. “Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville."
He went on: “The vast majority of anti-fascist organizing is nonviolent. But their willingness to physically defend themselves and others from white supremacist violence and preemptively shut down fascist organizing efforts before they turn deadly distinguishes them from liberal anti-racists.”
Bray's remarks drew protests from not only conservatives, but also from Dartmouth College President Philip J. Hanlon, who distanced the college from Bray. “As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of ideas,” Hanlon said. “The endorsement of violence in any form is contrary to Dartmouth values."