Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted an image of himself holding the book “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” on Jan. 3, stating he “just found the book that strike fear in the heart” of President Donald Trump. Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization, rooted in communism.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 3, 2018
Antifa is a communist movement with several anarchist members, that brands itself as “anti-fascist,” and uses violence as a tool for suppression and intimidation of its political enemies.
The movement originated as a United Front program of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Russia in the early 1920s, under the name Antifaschistische Aktion (“Antifascist Action”). It was used as a tool of the Communist Party of Germany to label its political rivals as “fascists” and mark them for attack, with its targets even including the democratic socialists.
Branches of Antifa have begun a resurgence in the United States, and have worked to attack conservatives and silence conservative events. Several politicians, mainly Democrats, and many legacy news outlets, such as the New York Times, have supported the organization and its use of violence for political suppression.
The FBI is currently investigating Antifa extremists, and branches of Antifa have been listed as domestic terrorist organizations.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a Nov. 30 hearing that “Antifa operates across the U.S. in ways that involve at least potentially criminal interstate activities, such as inciting a riot and conspiracy to incite riot, as well as behavior.”
“We are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist investigations, where we would have properly predicated subjects of people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on kind of an Antifa ideology,” he said.
Wray added, “We have a number of active investigations in that space all around the country.”
Users on Twitter were quick to criticize Ellison for sharing the image of himself with the Antifa book, and noted that the organization has roots in communism, attacks free speech, and engages in domestic terrorism.
So you support fascism? Because antifa is nothing more than fascism disguised as anti-fascism. Why don't you just say you hate the Constitution and individual civil liberties such as "dissenting" free speech? You might as well be dressed in an SS uniform.
— Bobby Guajardo (@guajardo_bobby) January 3, 2018
VICE CHAIR OF THE DNC @keithellison is publicly showing support & encouaging insurrectionist group #Antifa that 1) Was revealed in an @FBI report to have trained with ISIS 2) Is designated by @DHS as committing domestic terrorismhttps://t.co/0fciAWIUqH pic.twitter.com/bAa02Nvbuh
— #AntiLiberalist Dan (@DoesAnyoneGetIt) January 4, 2018
@keithellison – please explain why you thought posing with the #Antifa handbook and praising them as the solution to Trump was a good idea for the #DNC Deputy Chair. THREAD 1 #ThursdayThoughts #KeithEllison #Dems #Democrats #peacefulprotest #nonviolence pic.twitter.com/KFHgQQftZJ
— THE Princess 👑🌌 (@TheSWPrincess) January 4, 2018
Antifa was classified as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration, according to leaked documents obtained by Politico on Sept. 1.
The documents state that Antifa engages in “domestic terrorist violence,” and is the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets.”
The organization is also categorized under the domestic terrorism section on the website of The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. It describes them as “anarchist extremists.”
Ed Klein, former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine, published FBI documents in his book, “All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump,” which state that Antifa is colluding with the terrorist organizations including ISIS.
Klein explained the FBI documents in an interview with investigative website USA Watchdog, stating that Antifa groups traveled to Europe and met with representatives from al-Qaeda and ISIS.
“They also went to Syria and got bomb-making instructions and toxic chemical instructions,” he stated, adding that “These left-wing groups, like Antifa, represent the greatest threat to law enforcement since the 1970s and the Weather Underground.”