Two fringe political groups have made themselves present in Bloomington in the past week. First, the national white supremacist group Identity Europa frightened faculty and students when they posted flyers on the doors of faculty offices and in Dunn’s Woods. These posters, were ironically cryptic, yet crystal clear in their intention. The spineless attempt to unease the university’s population was rightly publicized and criticized.
I write the Daily Student today to shed light on the presence of another political group whose speech is not only harmful, but unwelcome. Pictured is an ANTIFA flyer that was hung outside of Brother’s on Walnut Street. The group’s name is an abbreviation of anti-fascist, which seems fairly innocuous, but one only need do basic research to realize this organization is as much a threat to peace as a tyrannical dictator.
The website listed on the flyer calls the protest of Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to U.C. Berkeley, where Molotov cocktails were thrown and windows were smashed, a “successful demonstration”. In the same article, the anonymous author praises a video where a member of Berkeley College Republicans is punched in the face. The group goes so far as to boast about the vandalism of parking meters in downtown Bloomington the night of the inauguration. Protesters also drug trash receptacles in the road, shot paintballs at buildings and let off a smoke bomb near the Sample Gates, according to tweets from the IDS’s Jack Evans.
Anyone acquainted with me knows that I value the First Amendment as much as I value the blood in my veins, but a group who actively advocates for and perpetrates violence against those who identify differently not only disrespects their fellow man, but they tread on the Constitution as well. ANTIFA attempts to justify itself by claiming its acts of vandalism, violence and terrorism are a legitimate form of protest against its definition of fascist ideals, which includes the current administration. If we sit idly by and let homeland terrorists define “fascism”, it won’t be long before they’re knocking down the door of your average Republican.