Lanterns: Antifa : The Face of a faceless enemy


Antifa : The Face of a faceless enemy

Who, exactly, is Antifa? 

Speaking plainly, as one countryman to another, I ask, who are they? Why are they here? And what do they want?

It seems they appeared some number of years ago on college campuses, protest grounds, and city streets, clad in black, carrying black flags, and ready to fight the power. It’s almost as if it were some spontaneous grass roots uprising. On the face of it, it seems these agitators are simply angry young people from all walks of life coming together in collective rage against every form of societal malady-- racism, sexism, all the ism’s, especially Capitalism led by the evil usurper, Donald Trump, who ruthlessly robbed the presidency from its rightful occupant, Hillary Clinton, champion of civil virtue. 

They’re all just regular, well-meaning, socially involved youths trying to live their lives, but tragically forced into activism by righteous indignation, and thus, they must cover their faces to preserve their identities. Like superheroes, they are, or social justice warriors

They are Antifa, the anti fascists. 

They are the militant guardians of the unique and tender, ready to fight for their right to party. Kind of like the 80’s band, the Beastie Boys. But different. 

But are they really?

Between you and me, if either of us are in a buying mood, we’re probably also ready to finally get in on that great bridge property deal in Brooklyn. 

Because what Antifa says, and what Antifa does, are two entirely different animals. 

They respond to any and all opposing voices with threats, intimidation, and violence. 

Not very social.

They respond to the alleged problems in communities they’re fighting for not by creating jobs, contributing valuable skills, beautifying those communities, protecting them in any fashion, or providing any evident relief at all. They respond by destroying property, vandalizing storefronts, trashing the streets, and preying upon its occupants who don’t support them. 

Not very just.

They respond to the rule of law, rights of their fellow man, and communities, not with peaceable protest or gatherings, but by committing crimes, causing confusion, concealing their identities, and frustrating attempts by law enforcement to enforce peace and order. Their solution to all that ails society is cowardly bullying aggression. 

Not very much like warriors who walk the walls in defense of their cities. 

In word and deed, Antifa is nothing more than the very fascists they purportedly denounce.

For those who remember, there is another name that makes the blood run cold for all its terrifying implication and darkly emotional resonance. 


For those who don’t remember, Brownshirts were the harbingers of Hitler’s Europe and a political agenda which resulted ultimately, in the extermination of six million innocent people, aside from its casualties of war. Undoubtedly there may be some who accuse me of fearmongering and historical overreach. But I ask you, as them, to consider one thing. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to unify, fund, and equip a group like Antifa, appearing as they do all across the country, at times most propitious to challenging free speech and expression, bearing expensively made signs, flags, colors, and meeting the objective needs of logistics. 

Where did they get the money? 

Who gave it to them? And, why do their targets all conveniently fit the bill for opponents of the Democratic Party? Because if a political party of this country has actively engaged in recruiting, building, and utilizing its own privately funded militant arm, then that has, in deed, very dark implications for the future of a free country. 


Written by Ben Coleman

Freelance author, historian and Navy veteran. Find him at

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