This is a story about the origins of Antifa

The World in Words

A drawing, called "Resist," of David-Jon, an antifa activist from Portland, Oregon. 

Kiaha Rasmussen

Antifa was the buzzword of the summer.

After the events in Charlottesville, it seemed you couldn't watch or listen to the news without hearing the word "antifa." This week on the World in Words podcast, reporter Lidia Jean Kott explores the roots of the word and how the antifa movement came to America. This podcast contains explicit language and content.

Podcast Contents:

:38 Pronouncing “antifa” correctly

1:18 How Peter got involved with “antifa”; He’s an activist, college student from Charlottesville

2:38 Antifa isn’t one organized group; they believe in “no-platforming”

3:20 Punching Nazis

4:14 Peter’s views on violence

4:50 “Antifa” is not in the dictionary

5:12 The etymology of “antifa”

6:39 In the 1930s, Ernst Schneller called for Social Democrats and Communists to come together to join Antifaschistische Aktion to fight the Nazi’s.

7:58 “The term was revived largely in the 1980’s out of initially West Germany, and then a united Germany, as neo-Nazis and the far right movement became resurgent, with the fall of Berlin Wall.”

9:06 There was a coalition in the UK called “Anti-Fascist Action”

10:03 “Bash the Fash” by the Scottish band Oi Polloi

10:30 “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the American band the Dead Kennedys.

11:54 Anti-Racist Action started in Minneapolis in 1987 by a group of punks called "the Baldies" who were worried about new neo-Nazi groups in their city.

12:34 “404 Not Found” by Ratchet by Nature X Miss Eaves

14:19 Daryle Lamont Jenkins runs an organization called One People’s Project that monitors hate groups, and he feels like he’s just been watching these groups grow but no one has been listening to him, or doing anything about it.

16:38 A discussion about violence and antifa

21:28 Lidia Jean goes to Charlottesville for the Unite the Right Rally to meet Peter and to see antifa in action

23:16 Meeting with Peter at the rally

24:35 President Donald Trump condemns the violence “on many sides, on many sides”

25:28 Creating a narrative of the “alt left”

26:37: How the term “alt left” transformed after President Trump used the phrase

29:08 Peter’s thoughts after Charlottesville

30:53 Word of the year? 

31:46 Thanks to Tina Tobey, and to Miss Eaves for permission to use her song “404 Not Found”

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