The deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee seemed to endorse Anarchist violence on Wednesday, when he tweeted a picture of himself grinning approvingly with a pro-Antifa book.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) posted a picture of himself holding “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” writing that the book would “strike fear in the heart” of President Donald Trump.
Antifa is a far-left anarchist group that is known for smashing storefronts, punching “Nazis” (aka people who aren’t left wing), and setting things on fire.
The group uses violence to intimidate political opponents throughout the United States but especially in liberal strongholds like Berkeley, Portland, Boston and Philly.
The author of the book, Dartmouth professor Mark Bray, was also a spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. He has come under fire from a New York City police union for expressing support for the virulently anti-cop group.
In his book, Bray makes clear that violence is in some circumstances justified, arguing that “militant anti-fascism is a reasonable, historically informed response to the fascist threat that persisted after 1945 and that has become especially menacing in recent years.”
In an appearance on C-SPAN last year, Bray defended Antifa’s violence against fellow Americans by calling it “preemptive self-defense.”
Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon repudiated Bray in a statement, saying he was “supporting violent protest.” Hanlon went on to say, “As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of ideas. The endorsement of violence in any form is contrary to Dartmouth values.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sought to distance the Democratic Party from Antifa last year with a statement condemning the “violent actions” of the group in Berkeley.
But now DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison seems to have signaled his approval of the group with his favorable tweet of Bray’s pro-Antifa book.