National fascism often begins with a few white supremacists in town targeting marginalized and poor people who are not deemed important enough to protect by the whole mainstream society, says historian and author Mark Bray. This is why antifa seek to confront fascists and white supremacists at every turn, working as firefighters to address the most immediate threats to targeted groups.
Since election night 2016, the streets of the US have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this ongoing “Interviews for Resistance” series, experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers share their insights on what works, what doesn’t, what has changed and what is still the same. Today’s interview is the 72nd in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.
Today we bring you a conversation with Mark Bray, a political activist, historian and a lecturer at Dartmouth College and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.
Sarah Jaffe: To start, how would you briefly describe antifa?
Mark Bray: Antifa is an abbreviation for anti-fascist or anti-fascism. Anti-fascism is a movement that goes back a hundred years, but when we talk about antifa today, we are talking about modern militant anti-fascism, which predominantly grew out of movements in, especially, Great Britain and Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, of leftist immigrants and punks and all sorts of people who were targeted by a neo-Nazi backlash, a xenophobic wave that spread over these countries and others. …read more