With November 4 having passed without the Antifa “revolution” promised (read: threatened) by Revolutionary Communist Party front group calling itself “Refuse Fascism,” some in the the liberal media are busily accusing those who reported on this of crying wolf. Of course, those reports were based in fact even if the planned/promised/threatened revolution failed to materialize.
While many liberal media point to the lack of anything revolutionary having taken place on Saturday to ridicule those — such as The New American — who reported on the credible threat by the communists in the Antifa crowd, the reality is that the threat was credible. As this writer reported on September 30 after Refuse Fascism blocked rush-hour traffic on the 101 freeway in Los Angeles for about a half an hour:
The communists in the Antifa crowd are planning to begin a revolution in America on Saturday, November 4 — almost exactly 100 years after the Bolshevik Revolution that took Russia out of the frying pan of Tsarist rule and into the fire of communist totalitarianism. While some see Antifa activists as the modern heroes of anti-Fascism — fighting against racism, sexism, and a litany of other “isms” — and others see them merely as the snowflake crowd of spoiled brats demanding free everything, the reality is that Antifa is one tool in the communists' toolbox to bring America to her knees. And Saturday, November 4, 2017, is the day they have chosen for the opening salvo in the American Bolshevik Revolution.
On Tuesday morning, September 26, the Antifa group Refuse Fascism blocked rush-hour traffic on the 101 freeway for about a half an hour. Stretched out across the highway, holding signs spelling out “NOV 4 IT BEGINS,” eight people chanted slogans such as “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” Many others lined the areas above the freeway, holding banners demanding an end to the “Trump/Pence Regime” and shooting video of the blockade.
As part of the threat to launch a communist revolution on November 4, the group issued a “press release” along with the video. That “press release” — which was also made available on the group’s website — encouraged other Antifa “protesters” to “Take To The Streets And Public Squares in cities and towns across the country continuing day after day and night after night — not stopping — until our DEMAND is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/ Pence Regime Must Go!”
Refuse Fascism went on to write that they expected their “protest” to “grow day after day and night after night — thousands becoming hundreds of thousands, and then millions — determined to act to put a stop to the grave danger that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to the world by demanding that this whole regime be removed from power.”
Given the violence that Antifa groups have demonstrated in the past and the fact that communists have historically used violence to effect change, it was reasonable to expect that, as this writer reported in that previous article, “while there may not be ‘thousands becoming hundreds of thousands, and then millions’ involved in the events starting that day, there will be more episodes of disruption and — if the past is any indicator — some of it is likely to turn violent.”
The liberal media — predictably — does not see it that way.
On November 3 — the day before the revolution was to take place, the online magazine Slate ran an article under the headline, “Why the Far Right Thinks a Second U.S. Civil War Launches Saturday.” That article ridicules anyone who reported on, shared, or had concerns about the possibility of a communist revolution as “conspiracy mongers who dwell on the fringes of the internet” and specifically mentions “the John Birch Society, which is advising that people have buckets of water and sand ready to put out fires from antifa.” The John Birch Society (JBS) is the parent organization of The New American.
Far from the characterization as “conspiracy mongers who dwell on the fringes of the internet,” the JBS video linked by Slate shows Robin Kinderman of the JBS offering a measured, balanced approach to dealing with the possibility of violence that could reasonably have resulted from the actions of revolutionary communists taking to the streets en masse. The video encourages people to stay away from any large gatherings of Antifa and not to “get involved with any group that advocates violence” as a reaction to the Antifa threat of revolution. The most glaring example of extremest advice Slate could find to ridicule was the advice to have water and sand handy to put out any small fires started by Antifa revolutionaries. Since fire seems to be one of Antifa’s preferred weapons, that is far from an unreasonable suggestion. And just to put in the for-what-it’s-worth column, Kinderman says in the video, “The mainstream media says nothing is going to happen on November 4. We certainly hope nothing happens; but we can’t know for sure.” That is the very picture of balance.
But Slate wasn’t done, yet. In another article posted the same day, the liberal site’s Rebecca Onion attempted to draw a connection between those who believed the “conspiracy theory” of a communist revolution on November 4 and “white supremacist ideology.” Strangely enough, while ostensibly seeking to debunk as an insane “conspiracy theory” the very well-documented idea that elements within the Antifa movement were planning a communist revolution, Onion strayed out into her own conspiracy theory, writing:
Is right-wing jumpiness over Nov. 4 equivalent to the toxic anxiety whites felt in these historical examples? I know we’re not living in the 19th century, and the law, in most places, has a little more power to stop or punish extralegal violence. But white supremacist ideology is inherently violent, and there’s enough of an echo here to make me nervous. “Nov. 4 will likely come and go quietly,” [Will] Sommer writes, “and the theorists will be convinced that their videos scared off the antifa putschists. And plenty of angry, scared, increasingly armed people have been a little more convinced that their lives and homes are under threat and their country out of control.”
Following the same vein as Slate, the Washington Post reported on November 1 under the headline “The antifa apocalypse is coming this weekend, if you believe the hype.” That article also lists the JBS video mentioned above and classifies it as a video for consumption by “anyone logging time on the far right corners of the Internet.” The Post then goes on to offer a sympathetic endorsement of Refuse Fascism — including quotes from an interview with one of the group’s founders expressing his group’s commitment “to nonviolent protest” and his confusion over how anyone could possibly think otherwise.
Time got in on the act, too, with a November 3 article entitled, “No, ‘Antifa’ Protesters Aren’t Planning to Topple the Government Tomorrow” which went so far as to say, “Many doomsday conspiracies have some kernel of truth — there really was a “Y2k bug” in computer systems 18 years ago, though it failed to bring down the global tech infrastructure as predicted — but this one is pretty far afield from its origins.” While that is a good attempt to create guilt by association, there is (fortunately) no association between the Y2k hoax (which both JBS and The New American refuted at the time) and the actual, credible threat of revolution at the hands of communist Antifa groups.
And, while many in the liberal media were bending over backward to brush the whole thing aside as a “Far-Right conspiracy theory,” the New York Times was actually running a full page ad for the revolution.
The simple fact that Saturday’s attempt by communists in the Antifa crowd to launch a revolution was — in a word — underwhelming is no reason to ridicule those who reasonably reported on the threat. Ridiculing news organizations who reported on it and readers and viewers who followed those reports is more than a little like making fun of someone for calling 911 and evacuating a building because of a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax.
Of course, one difference here may be that this was no hoax; just because it did not happen on November 4 does not mean those who planned it didn’t mean it.
Photo of November 4 Refuse Fascism protest in Los Angeles: AP Images