In this video excerpt from Glenn’s week-long chalkboard series on ‘antifa,’ Glenn continues with the evolution of anti-fascism after World War II. [To see a clip from Part 1, click here.]
“Antifa groups were generally dormant for the first couple of decades during the cold war,” said Glenn. “But then every thing began to change: it changed with music.”
- Starting in Britain in the late 1960’s, groups of mostly young white males who identified themselves as “skinheads,” congregated around “counter-cultural” bands like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. Skinheads rebelled against the hippie culture and were often violent toward minorities.
- In the late 1970’s, skinheads gravitated toward the punk music scene, listening to bands like The Clash, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols. It was during this time that the often-violent skinhead culture split into two opposing movements: the neo-Nazis and a resurgence of antifa. Also around this same time, violent groups of protesters in Europe starting sporting a style of dress they called “blackblock” to hide their identity behind all black clothing and a mask. Antifa protesters, who at the time opposed the neo-Nazis, adopted the blackblock clothing to avoid arrest and retaliation.
- During the 1980’s and 90’s, a skinhead sub-culture sprang up across the US. Like their European counterparts, American skinheads had two opposing sides: the neo-Nazis and what started as a group called “Anti-racist Action” but eventually became the American version of antifa.
- In 2011, antifa launched the Occupy Wall Street movement to rally against a variety of causes including income inequality, the influence of money in politics, and corporate greed….
“Wait a minute. I thought antifa was fighting Nazis and racists,” said Glenn. “Now they are fighting international trade and Wall Street?”
So when did antifa expand their list of oppositions to include, “anything that they deem oppressive including free speech and capitalism?”