What’s Antifa all about? Mark Bray explains.Historians in the News
tags: antifa, Mark Bray
Anti-fascism scholar and College history professor Mark Bray gave a presentation yesterday called “Antifa: The History and Politics of Anti-Fascism.” Bray has been a central voice in the debate over the employment of violence by anti-fascist groups, authoring national bestseller “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and speaking out in the media. Sponsored by Dartmouth’s Leslie Center for the Humanities, the lecture took place in Dartmouth Hall and had an attendance of 70 to 80 people, according to Leslie Center director and Italian professor Graziella Parati.
During his lecture, Bray defined Antifa as existing at the intersection of two considerations: “a pan-radical left politics of social-revolutionary self-defense against the far-right,” working to unify the left in an effort to oppose the common enemy of fascism and “a politics of direct action.” He said that rather than relying on the state or groups such as the police or the courts to stop the far-right, movements against fascism must organize through grassroots.
Bray then described the history of Antifa, the origins of many symbols associated with the movement and different branches of the movement around the world.
Overall, according to Bray’s lecture, there has been a reluctance to talk about the anti-fascist movement around the world. He added that his book is the first transnational history of postwar anti-fascism written in English.
“There have been books written in English especially about the situation in Britain and a few studies about other places, but in a post-war context there’s a reluctance to talk about a transnational movement,” Bray said. “That’s one of the main contributions I aim to make with this book.” ...
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