Antifa can be called many things. “Smart” is not one of them.
On Saturday, an Antifa contingent showed up in Newnan, Georgia, to protest a neo-Nazi gathering. (That’s right — for once, Antifa was protesting against actual Nazis.) Only about 30 neo-Nazis showed up, because despite what the media would have you believe, there simply aren’t too many left in the entire country.
As usual, Antifa ran afoul of the police. In Georgia, it’s illegal to wear a mask in public with a few exceptions. As this wasn’t Halloween and they weren’t part of a theatrical production, law enforcement told the protestors to remove them. Antifa, being Antifa, refused to comply.
As Huffington Post’s Christopher Mathias reports, in an article sympathetic to Antifa’s brand of fascism: “Police officers arrived before the rally began and approached a group of about 50 anti-fascist protesters. They demanded the protesters remove their masks or face arrest. The officers — who wore bulletproof vests and helmets, and carried semi-automatic rifles — cornered the anti-fascist protesters, then grabbed those who were still masked, tossing them to the ground and handcuffing them.”
He continues: “The lead officer in the arrests said the counterprotesters were breaking a state law regarding masks, likely referring to a seldom-enforced 1951 law originally aimed at combating hooded Ku Klux Klan members.”
In 1951, laws like that were on the books to combat the Klan, but local law enforcement tended to look the other way — assuming they weren’t under a mask themselves. Since that time, however, we haven’t had a lot of people wearing masks while causing trouble. The law is seldom enforced because it’s seldom broken.
But in this case, the law was broken. And Mathias, while defending Antifa, ironically missed that he reported Antifa had a criminal motive for wearing them: “Anti-fascist protesters — many belonging to chapters of antifa groups, known for sometimes violently confronting white supremacists — often wear masks to avoid being identified by both law enforcement and neo-Nazis.”
Mathias quotes an Antifa member named Molly: “The irony of enforcing masking laws to prosecute leftists is just incredible. Those are anti-Klan statutes.”
Yes, they are. But the Klan was the radical left wing of the Democratic Party. And this particular group of new-Nazis called themselves the National Socialist Movement, so … more lefties.
As I said, no one accuses Antifa of having any smarts.