When you turn on certain news outlets, it’s a very black and white experience; you’re being fed a formula of left vs. right, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. Political activist groups from all sides of the equation are trying to get their piece of the pie, and as a result, two unlikely adversaries butt heads.
Both Antifa and Black Lives Matter showed up to a “Dallas Against White Supremacy” rally on Saturday in front of the Dallas City Hill. Their rally was close to a Civil War memorial honoring Texas soldiers who died fighting for the Confederacy.
According to the Washington Post, roughly 2,300 people attended the rally. Towards the end, there “was a lot of pushing and shoving” between pro-confederacy groups and the protesters.
But then a video emerged showing an altercation between a Black Lives Matter member and an Antifa member.
Black Lives Matter began chanting for the group to take off their masks and leave. Antifa refused. One BLM member in a cowboy hat appeared to be the leader in the fight against Antifa. He repeatedly told the anarchic-communist in front of him to “take the mask off.”
“Mask off, mask off, mask off,” chants from BLM were met with “Uncle Tom” chants from Antifa members.
One Antifa member walked up to the cowboy hat-wearing BLM man and pointed a bullhorn only inches from his face, creating a loud siren noise.
The Antifa crowd chanted “he’s a cop, he’s a cop, he’s a cop.” But the BLM member stood his ground. Tensions got even more heated, and the BLM member threatened to knock the mask off the opposing Antifa advocate in front of him. That Antifa member responded by forcefully pushing with both hands right on the BLM man’s face. The Antifa member followed that move up with a punch.
After the attack, both teams broke it up. But hostilities remained.
Black Lives Matter members regrouped and one member of the group became the guiding voice, saying that this kind of violence doesn’t belong here. Assuring his fellow BLM followers that they won’t let Antifa infect their movement with violence.
It appears as if Antifa is showing that they believe black lives only matter if you agree with them. Media outlets, who claim that this group only fights white supremacists and Nazis, are dangerous and incredibly irresponsible for doing so, as Antifa has proven itself as an entity that will attack anyone who dares to defy them. They foster a very hostile and increasingly violent environment for students, journalists, and anyone who believes in civil discourse. They believe free speech to be a breeding ground for fascism and believe in promoting their ideas and silencing dissent by means of violence, fear, and intimidation to anyone who gets out of line, and it can really be anybody even those in their own group.
As a direct result of dissension between both groups, Antifa has officially separated itself from the Black Lives Matter movement. The West Phoenix Antifa chapter took to their Facebook page on August 20, 2017, publicly announcing their dissociation with BLM, stating that, “We (Antifa) will now be separating ourselves from the Black Lives Matter movement after multiple accounts of BLM protesters attacking Antifa members. Be sure to spread the message this is coming straight from the top.”
Along with the message disavowing the BLM movement, the West Phoenix chapter posted a photo that says, “ANTIFA LIVES MATTER”.