Ongoing Events in USA : The Antifa
Source | The Hindu
GS Paper II: India and its neighborhood- relations.
- A ‘law and order’ situation is being experienced by the United States, due to the violent nationwide protests triggered by anger over racial inequities and excessive use of police force.
- The word “Antifa” was first used in 1946, which stands for “Anti-fascism”. The name comes from early 1930s Germany, where socialist “anti-fa” groups attempted to stand up to the rise of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
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Context: A ‘law and order’ situation is being experienced by the United States, due to the violent nationwide protests triggered by anger over racial inequities and excessive use of police force.
What is the issue about the ongoing events in USA?
When noted from the ongoing events in USA, the unrest began with peaceful protests over the death of a George Floyd, an African-American man, in police custody in Minneapolis city of USA.
- Subsequently, many cities across the USA remain under curfews at a level not seen since riots following the 1968 assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
What is US President’s Stand on this ongoing unrest?
The USA President has blamed an organisation namely, Antifa for the violent protest that erupted in the country. The Antifa movement gained more visibility in 2017 after a series of events that put a spotlight on anti-fascist protesters.
It has been also argued that the USA will be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization in the future. Although, the USA has no statute that permits designating violent domestic groups terrorists, as it has for international groups like Islamic State or Al-Qaeda.
What you need to know about Antifa?
The word “Antifa” was first used in 1946, which stands for “Anti-fascism”. The name comes from early 1930s Germany, where socialist “anti-fa” groups attempted to stand up to the rise of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
- Antifa was started in the Rose City Antifa of Portland, Oregon (USA) in 2007 to shut down a neo-Nazi skinhead music festival called Hammerfest.
Principles of Antifa
The organisation covers a range of social justice issues. It believes in a world free of fascism, racism, sexism, homo/transphobia, and islamophobia.
It also focusses on countering the resurgence of neo-nazi and white supremacist groups. It is also only one activist movement that has come together in the past few years to oppose the far right.
MEMBERS: Antifa is more of a movement of activists whose followers share a philosophy and tactics. The movement is secretive and has no official leaders. It is organised into autonomous local cells.
UNIQUE WAY OF PROTEST: Antifa members typically dress in black and often wear a mask at their demonstrations, and follow far-left ideologies such as anti-capitalism. What makes them stand out is the violence, although the group also participates in non-violent protests.
- It criticises mainstream liberal politicians for not doing enough.
- Antifa members have often physically confronted their conservative opponents.
- Apart from public counter-protests, Antifa members run websites that track white extremist and ultra-right groups.
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What you need to know about Fascism and its origin?
- The term ‘fascism’ has an Italian origin. It was first used for the movement which started in Italy under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. It came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
- The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries.
- Several other countries also have experienced fascist regimes or elements of them which include Adolf Hitler in Germany, Francisco Franco in Spain and Juan Perón in Argentina, etc.
Ideology of Fascism
Fascism is basically a form of authoritarian ideology which promotes ultranationalism. Opposed to Liberalism, Marxism, and Anarchism, Fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
- It is usually characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy.
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