On our Facebook Page, we shared a story from Business Insider about the grifting morons called the “Pennsylvania State Militia” (who also have a page on Facebook) who faked a couple of flyers and conned a bunch of heavily armed pseudo-patriots to Gettysburg National Cemetery to “defend” against an “Antifa protest” that was to have featured a ceremonial flag burning and something called “Antifa face-painting,” among other heathen and unpatriotic activities.
We even went so far as to go directly to their page and tell their readers what they were doing. This was all a big scam by these “militiamen” from the get-go, they float a bunch of ridiculous nonsense to scare people, then people get taken in by it, and then when they have to face up to that, instead of just admitting it they double down and start finding Antifas everywhere until someone gets shot (or they shoot themselves in the foot, as was the case a few years ago when the same grifting jackasses pulled basically the exact same scam).
Both we and the Central PA Antifa group denied that any such thing was taking place. The “flyers” that circulated online were so bad as to be funny, were not some folks who also happen to be heavily armed and intellectually lacking taking it so seriously.
A reader on our Facebook page made a remark about being an “official Antifa chapter” in speaking about Central PA Antifa.
There are no “official chapters” of antifa anywhere, including this page. Also there are several groups and subsets of antifascist culture who allow themselves to be called official or call themselves official; they are best judged on their displayed merit.
There are groups that have come together in various ways and places and presented themselves as some type of “Antifa.” Until they do things that are in violation of basic antifa principles, nobody’s going to say they’re NOT an official chapter, just like nobody’s going to say this is NOT an official page or your current writer is NOT an official spokesman. If they do, they’ll have to show some compelling reason – show where the people they’re challenging are demonstrably not anti-fascists, that they aren’t activists, or that they’re otherwise somehow betraying or exploiting the principles of antifascism for personal gain.
When things happen that people try to blame on “Antifa,” we and others step and say nope, wasn’t us, sorry. If, for instance, this page started trying to push particular political candidates, or sell t-shirts, or even just in general giving advice or guidance that’s bad or contrary to principles, we’d be called out on it and shut down fast, because we’d have no credibility. If it turns out some of us as groups are not entirely in agreement, eventually everybody gets facts straight and makes their own decisions about how they want to deal with whatever given situation might be at hand.
The consistently on-message content on the FB page and at the website, the lack of commercialization, and the clear and credible effort to be a high-quality source of information about Antifa, speak for themselves. If we did something stupid like call out a target and tell people to destroy it, that would be remarkably dumb, just piss poor tactics and planning, to say nothing of likely being illegal, and every other antifa group would be all over us.
“Antifa” can be co-opted just as easily as any other word or idea to generate money for people, and there are very much already people in the mix who are there solely for that purpose. Your best protection against such bad actors is well-developed critical thinking skills.
Because “Antifa” has no leadership nor formal organization, nobody before us had taken on the role of spokesperson or archivist or point of information or point of contact. This has led to even greater confusion among information consumers and the whole problem just keeps getting bigger. In light of this, we decided a few years back to start a page and occasionally post a little something to it, but mostly just to serve as something labled “antifa” and created by honest and legitimate antifascist activists where we could point and go “you see, it says right there.” And it’s not easy, right, it takes time to do this stuff; that’s why people tend to fall into the fundraising trap. Our first priority is always the “unmaking” of the entire “antifa” concept, as we have a core belief that there really is no such thing as an “anti-fascist.” There are fascists, and there are the sane. It is the job of the sane to oppose fascism.
We happen to be a small group of folks who have the resources and inclination to do this, as well as being long-time anti-fascist activists, so we are doing it. As time goes by people will find us to be a reliable information source, and over time we’ll earn the broader reputation for integrity and factual accuracy that validates our assertion that we are in fact a valid, pseudo-centralized point of accurate information about “Antifa,” controlled and operated by longtime antifascist activists.
What makes us or Central PA or any of the other antifa groups “official” in any way is simply that we’re legitimately what we say we are and we don’t engage in hypocrisy or self-contradiction. Consequently no other group will have an honest motivation to claim otherwise, because we’re not competing for members or trying to fund an organization.
That’s how a leaderless movement works, and what makes it so apt to fracture. The only solution to that is integrity, so we stay true to principles and don’t play bullshit, and thus has it been since Charlottesville.
When Trump accused “Antifa” of being a “terrorist organization” in May of 2020, he basically handed us a microphone and begged us to sing. So now we are, and it’s working wonderfully. This page itself has hit a growth plateau a bit, but we haven’t really been posting much either. We’ve all got day jobs and keeping ourselves alive to worry about, and unfortunately that’s not always compatible with constantly churning out social media content.
Fortunately, winning some clickbaiting contest so we can make a bunch of money isn’t part of the agenda. Consequently we’re here, and we’ll remain here, and we’ll continue to grow the body of work contained at the website, to engage on social media, and so forth until there is no longer a need for Antifa because there is no longer any fascism in the world, and then we’ll stick around as an archive long into the future, we hope – long after this writer and their fellow administrators and content creators have ceased to have any immediate concern about the political systems in place among the living.
We hope that addresses the question of what is and is not an “official Antifa chapter.”
We rely on the integrity of everyone around us to keep us honest. It’s the only way. When you start playing with t-shirts and money and all that nonsense, people can be misled, misguided, and even stupid and bigoted, even if they are themselves a member of a minority group.
They can be trolled by a grifting t-shirt salesman into wasting their holiday showing up to counter-protest a protest that they were told repeatedly wasn’t going to happen, maybe get their kids shot up by some drunk “militiaman.”
That changes nothing about who we are, why we are, or what we are. Nor will all the flowery nonsense in the world. The simple reality is the biggest threat to the average American citizen, be it in Gettysburg, PA, or Goshen, IN, or Golden, CO, or Glendale, CA is an over-armed coward.
The kind of people that jump at shadows and rally around rumors because they’re afraid of everything and if you buy this here t-shirt I’ll tell you just how to not be afraid no more, yes sir.
The kind of people who don’t show up at all when their government and their nation legitimately IS under attack by hostile forces, because they won’t go out and fight…but they’ll play dress-up for the TV cameras and say have you seen our fine selection of t-shirts, membership badges, dues, fees, and so forth? Would you like to be part of the little club even if you’re not in Pennsylvania? Just send your $49.95 to….
But where are these folks when the government oversteps its authority to put little kids in cages, to keep the better half of the population enslaved to capitalist profiteering, to continue taking what you work for and converting it into wealth for their already wealthy friends while you get less and less back out of what you put in to life? They’re jumping at shadows and hurting innocent people, too paranoid, egotistical, and stupid to notice that they became the “tyranny” they were supposed to be defending against, a long time ago.
That’s why there are no t-shirts here, there is no fundraising, there is no advertising, there is no payroll nor office nor bosses. Antifa is anti-fascism. That’s what we are here for, to oppose fascism. Not to engage in silly games with overgrown children afraid of a boogeyman that doesn’t exist. We don’t need to create artificial monsters; we can see the real ones just fine.
We hope that one day they learn to see themselves.