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“In their own words, for their world to live and thrive, America has to die.”
Independent journalist Andy Ngo has spent the last four years studying and reporting on Antifa. Even though he has been doxxed, harassed, and beaten by Antifa so badly he ended up hospitalized with a brain bleed, he still went undercover into CHAZ, the lawless autonomous zone that lasted for three weeks in Seattle last year.
Tonight, Andy Ngo breaks down the inner workings of Antifa, which he details in his new book “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.”
This is American Thought Leaders, and I’m Jan Jekielek.
Jan Jekielek: Andy Ngo, so great to have you back on American Thought Leaders.
Andy Ngo: Thank you for having me back. I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you again.
Mr. Jekielek: When I got the preview of your book in the mail—”Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy”—I was, of course, fascinated as you knew I would be. This is a force of sorts to me—looking into all different areas that I haven’t seen put together in this sort of way before. So congratulations on writing this book.
But let’s get more to the point. On Inauguration Day, there were violent protests in both Seattle and Portland. From what I can tell, Antifa was heavily involved. And from what I can tell, they’re anti the current president, Joe Biden. Even the headquarters of the Oregon Democratic Party was, I guess, attacked—I don’t know if destroyed is the right word. What is going on here?
Mr. Ngo: What happened on Inauguration Day—if we had listened to prominent politicians in the media—is that we were led to believe that Trump supporters would take to the streets again to reach out to the peaceful transfer of power and that they would riot. That didn’t happen. What ended up happening in the last inauguration, was that Antifa and their extremist allies on the Far Left rioted, particularly in their centers of influence in America, which is the Pacific Northwest currently.
So in Seattle and Portland, there were simultaneous riots that were pre-planned and organized and also advertised weeks ahead of time on Twitter. And Twitter did nothing to take down some of these accounts that were promoting these riots. So in Portland, what should be shocking, but unfortunately, it’s not, is that they gathered and then took over the street, shut down traffic, and marched just unimpeded to the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon.
This is their main facility for the entire state, and they destroyed it. They smashed out every window. Some of them actually came with firebombs, but they were apprehended by police later, so they didn’t torch down the place. But they appeared to have had that intention. There were a lot of journalists there—and go figure—the journalists didn’t actually record the destruction. They just follow the Antifa club rules of looking the other way and then essentially giving cover.
There were probably about 150 of them. Then at night, they rioted and tried to break into the ICE facility in southwest Portland. In Seattle, there were street protests. People started fires on the streets. They attacked law enforcement. This has been the nightmare Groundhog Day-story of Seattle and Portland for months and months since last year.
My frustration with the response from those who have the harshest of words to describe what happened on the 6th of January when rioters sieged the Capitol Hill building is that they were silent when people using the same tactics and worse seized entire territories in major American cities.
My book “Unmasked” is coming out. I write about my time in the Capitol Hill autonomous zone in Seattle, otherwise known as CHAZ. That was territory that was claimed by Antifa/BLM as a separate and sovereign nation-state apart from the United States in December, and people have claimed territory in a residential area in Portland.
In Portland, they rioted for more than 120 straight days last year, attacking city, county, and federal property. The worst was when for more than a month, every night, thousands of people tried to burn down the federal courthouse in downtown, and they seriously injured so many federal officers who had been sent in from DHS. The response from the media at that time was that the police were Gestapo, [that] they were secret police, part of Trump’s secret army. They defended the rioters, who came with knives, guns, explosives, electric power tools.
So 2021 is not starting off much better. I need to remind everybody. They’re probably not aware because the media ignores us. We’ve had now five riots in Portland alone, by Antifa, since New Year’s Eve. All of the conditions that allowed for the riots to continue, and for the criminals to not be punished—those variables are still there. This whole claim that they were merely opposing the fascist Trump regime was, from the beginning, always the pretext.
Mr. Jekielek: Andy, this is incredibly fascinating because everything you just described is a very short version of your book. Your book goes in depth into all these different realms, into the realm of why the mainstream media treats Antifa this way, I suppose the [inaudible] and the rioters at the Capitol a different way, or why law enforcement seems so permissive with respect to these riots, or why public officials seem that way.
It seems to throw this kind of a [inaudible] into a lot of the arguments that I’ve been hearing over the past year to think that these folks are attacking the Democratic Party. I’ve heard all sorts of allegations repeatedly that the Democratic Party gives cover to Antifa. In fact, you talk about that a little bit as well. So how does this work? This seems like a very weird juxtaposition, probably to many.
Mr. Ngo: The book seeks to also clarify some misconceptions about Antifa, and I think one of the biggest misconceptions that comes usually from the Right is that Antifa are Democrat voters, and that they’re the paramilitary wing of the Democrats. I think, when you describe it that way, it creates this perception that there’s like a mutual support for one another when that’s not quite the case,
I think what’s happening is that the Democrats believe that they can use and exploit the violent extremism of Antifa to sort of justify their own excesses. It’s sort of thinking foolishly that these people are, in some ways, their friends because they shared a mutual enemy, either against Trump or Republicans.
But as we’ve seen now, we’ve seen before: The entire agenda and project of the Antifa ideology, that is, anarchists and communists, is to destroy the United States and to destroy its system. So when they say burn it down, burn the system down, they really do mean that. That system is the rule of law, its systems of governance, elected representatives—all of that. They want to get of rid of all that. So in their world, there is no room for Democrats.
You can see [that] actually. The Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, since he came into office at the beginning of 2017, has really played soft with Antifa. It was under his watch that this movement continued to grow, that the political violence on the streets became normalized and routine. They recently assaulted him when they had the chance. They actually actively hunt him down. … They rioted outside his home before. They brought explosives to the condominium that he lived in, forced him out of his home.
The people held violent protests outside the home of the Democrat mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkin, and she was one who called the CHAZ the Summer of Love. So there is no Democrat who could really truly be an ally in their eyes because they view the U.S. as so irredeemable, not that it can even just be reformed, or fundamentally changed, but that it must be destroyed completely, in their own words. For their world to live and thrive, America has to die, which is why they attack all of the institutions, civil society, the norms, and more importantly, the ideas that make up America.
Mr. Jekielek: Chilling, of course, to hear, but I want to take a moment before we continue to establish your credentials in all of this and your interest. You actually do something very interesting in your afterword in the book, where you talk about your parents’ journey to America and juxtapose their experience in America to their experience in their home country of Vietnam. I thought that was really fascinating. Tell me a little bit about how you got into this—this specific beat—because obviously it is very much your beat now, and your general inspiration.
Mr. Ngo: I don’t have the luxury of a lot of my American peers and colleagues who work in journalism of viewing the revolutionary communist ideologies with rose-colored glasses. I think it’s easy to come to that perception if you are born and raised in the U.S. and educated in the American education system and go to the university. My parents lived through a Marxist revolutionary regime-change. They’re from the former South Vietnam. Both of them were sent to prison camps.
The story of communist totalitarians sending their dissidents either to death or to prison camps is not unique to Vietnam. Anywhere they’ve actually acquired power at the state level, they’ve done that. You can look at China, the Soviet Union, and so on and so forth. There is a homegrown movement of people who don’t just excuse the excesses of communism, but actually really relish in that historical violence and want to implement it. To me, that is like alarms are going off.
I started covering Antifa as a student journalist, back when I was a graduate student at Portland State, just working the beat of various Portland-related stories. On the election night, in November 2016, I was covering the reaction in my city, in Portland, to the protests.
What I saw was truly shocking in that we had three days of riots—people who not only could not accept the results of the democratic election, but actually chose to respond to their political grievances with violence. That was the first time I saw Antifa in their black bloc uniforms, carrying out organized attacks on property, starting fires.
Those 72 hours were quite shocking. Of course, we’ve had that times much, much more in 2020. But throughout 2017, 2018, and 2019, just the violence in Portland was so brutal, and people were treating it as routine. My frustration with the local journalists was that they were actually essentially repeating the talking points of Antifa—that militant opposition to people on the opposite political side is valid and warranted and that violence taken upon oneself is the needed response.
In the words of Antifa, they say they’re against fascism, that they are just opposing the Far Right and white supremacy and neo-Nazis. But what I saw was that they applied a very, very broad umbrella for whoever was a “fascist,” and that included many decent, mostly decent, people who were just conservative patriots, Trump supporters. They didn’t differentiate any of them. They responded with carrying out acts of violence against them. And the response from the city was to essentially coddle this violent extremist movement.
Then we have what we had last year, when this movement actually claimed territory, not just in Portland, but in Seattle. So the chickens have come home to roost. Now with the new administration under Biden, it’s not going to get better. This perception that Antifa got what they wanted because Joe Biden won is false. They rioted in Portland, in Seattle in November, after the election when Biden was announced to be the winner.
If you’re just listening to mainstream media, legacy media, you wouldn’t even know this is happening. I was looking at some of the social media responses to stories that make no mention of Antifa and the riots that occurred in Portland and Seattle. They mentioned these were anti-Biden protesters, and the responses from the people in the comments were [that] they thought these were Trump supporters taking to the streets and rioting. This is how misinformed the public is.
This has become my weight and my burden to bear in that I cover this and it does come at a very heavy personal cost. I was seriously beaten in 2019 by Antifa that resulted in a brain bleed and over a year of various treatments at the hospital to address the deficiencies I had as a result of that brain injury. They showed up at my home, they released my address. They wrote my address on a wall in the occupied territory in December, out in the autonomous zone in Portland. They try to terrorize their opposition, if not outright kill them.
I have to remind people that Antifa is a movement that has killed. They killed in Portland last summer in one of their riots. They killed a Trump supporter. A man by the name of Michael Reinoehl [shot him]. I write about this in the book. After that, he fled out of state to a small town in Washington, and he eventually got killed by federal law enforcement. He did leave behind a sort of manifesto on Instagram, which was taken down, but I was glad that I saw it beforehand. [It said] in his own words, “I am 100 percent Antifa.” And he’s not the only one who has carried out deadly violence in the name of anti-fascism.
Mr. Jekielek: There have been very, very prominent Democratic leaders who have even said things like, “Antifa doesn’t really exist.” We know from reading your book, and other work that we’ve done, that it’s not really a single organization, either. It’s multiple organizations that share a kind of ideology. I’m wondering if you can break that down a little bit for me.
Mr. Ngo: Yes, so partially what makes them extremely dangerous and difficult to tackle from a law enforcement angle is that they are decentralized and autonomous, but there are actual formal groups, many of them. I write about it in the book. Rose City Antifa is the largest and oldest Antifa group. It’s the Portland Antifa group. They actually have a presence on Twitter with many thousands of followers.
Documents that were leaked to me by somebody who went through the recruitment process to become a member really dispels this myth that we’ve been given that there’s no such thing as an Antifa member. There actually are Antifa organizations, Rose City Antifa is one. You could look at all the groups or cells that make up the [inaudible] network. They all follow a similar curriculum—people actually go through a membership process that involves radicalization, going to training, and having extremist literature to read. It’s actually very similar to how Islamists will radicalize regular Muslims into their worldview.
What makes Antifa particularly difficult is that you can’t take out one head of it. There’s no al-Baghdadi equivalent in Antifa. That’s by design. They function autonomously, on their own, based on one shared, similar ideology between one another. The issue—in addition to those who deny that Antifa even exists—is that they get the basic ideology wrong. It’s become a meme that they just repeat over and over that Antifa is simply anti-fascism.
But anarchist communism has nothing to do with being against fascism. Looting and killing people, and carrying knives and bombs and guns to protests and riots has nothing to do with being against fascism or the Far Right. It’s just always a pretext for the volunteer extremist ideology that’s been given legitimacy by, unfortunately, many Democrats and many journalists. I think the biggest victory that Antifa has is not that they’ve been able to essentially face very little legal consequence, but rather that parts of their ideology have been mainstreamed.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s really interesting. I’m sure, Andy, you’re familiar with [Herbert] Marcuse’s principle of “repressive tolerance”. This has been something that actually has come up multiple times over the past few interviews that I’ve done. As you’re describing this, I’m seeing this principle in play all over the place. In your description just now, I’m seeing it again in play. What do you think? I suppose we should clarify what it is, too.
Mr. Ngo: Marcuse was a German philosopher, very influential in 20th century American leftist politics. One of the very seminal works that you just mentioned, “Repressive Tolerance,” provides an intellectual argument for why speech, essentially any expression from the Right, should be silenced. It provides this ideological framework for the Far Left today and the hard Left, who believe that it’s not just enough to counter opposing views with your own views; you have to shut down your opposition. But there’s really no line for where that shutting down ends.
So going back to 2015–16, we saw that in the form of radical student activists allied many times with Antifa, shutting down speakers at universities using intimidation, harassment, and sometimes violence. Eventually, that escalated to people being assaulted in the streets. All the while, that was actually lauded by many liberals.
That is what I meant when I said Antifa has found a lot of victory because this is a very core tenet of their ideology—that the response to what they say is “fascism” has to be violent. Of course, how they define fascism, as I said a moment ago, includes anything that opposes their ideology. What are your thoughts on that?
Mr. Jekielek: It makes perfect sense. That actually comes out quite a bit in your book, maybe not explicitly. It’s just so prominent. It provides not just an ideological, but supposedly a moral framework for the use of violence. The other part, which I find fascinating—you said it really well—is that it’s anything that doesn’t agree with my ideology. Now I’m justified in using whatever means to stop that because it’s fascist or Nazi or whatever—something really terrible.
Mr. Ngo: That’s right. A section of the book focuses on the history and founding of Antifa. It’s important for people to know. Even though as Americans, we understand that it is a new phenomenon, but its origins go back much further in that the original Antifa was a paramilitary of the German Communist Party in [inaudible] Germany. They were established to essentially be the street dogs for the Communist Party, and they didn’t just fight Nazis. That’s a misconception.
Their main opposition at the time was the Social Democrats, the center-left liberals. They carried out acts of what we’re seeing repeated today—attacks on political rallies, killings, counter-killings, and street battles. All of this leads to a destabilization in society and a polarization in society. The wider public are not going to tolerate this endlessly. At some point, regular people and regular families just want to live their life in peace. That’s the subtext of the danger of Antifa, really, is that they can have a lot of success in destabilizing local jurisdictions.
But when it comes to, let’s say, a storming of a White House or something and taking over through a coup, that’s highly unlikely given the might of the American military. The subtext of what is extremely dangerous about Antifa is when they are normalizing tenets of the ideology—that people should resolve their political grievances through violence. That’s how you undo the founding philosophies of America, when you attack the idea of freedom of expression as a protected human right, when you attack the right to property.
All these riots create counter-reactionary forces and also polarization in society. When I talk to some people, when I look at things online, responses from the Far Right, it seems like Antifa is creating the demons that they say they are there to oppose. For example, you can look at places in the Pacific Northwest where people can just riot day in and day out with no consequence, literally. The district attorney has decriminalized rioting.
The response from people who are sympathetic to those who stormed Capitol Hill were, If these people on the Far Left can do that day in and day out with no consequence and no censure—why can’t we? All of this is just leading to a weakening of the rule of law. The attacks on the law enforcement institution and the American criminal justice system are explicitly for this goal. They want confidence in the legal system to wane, so that they can posit an alternative.
In the eyes of Antifa, they believe that they can run societies without any government at all. They can create their own communist communes. But as we saw in CHAZ [Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone], what happens when they seize territory is that in the absence of any governance, warlord-like figures rise up. There are clashes with each other; people kill one another.
They created a hard border and manned it with an armed volunteer security militia. So this is the future that Antifa envisioned for the world. You don’t have to think of it as just entirely theoretical. Look at what happens when they actually gain control and power over an area.
Mr. Jekielek: This is a very, very interesting chapter. Andy, in the book, you actually went undercover in black bloc, so that you wouldn’t be recognized, in CHAZ for about a week. And that’s a very, very fascinating chapter in the book. Tell me a little bit about that. What can people expect to read in there?
Mr. Ngo: When I was there on the ground, what was really shocking to me was [that] the reality I saw and experienced with my own eyes in being there was so different from what was being reported by the mainstream press. I remember the Daily Beast was giving this impression that it was just a festival, a fair type of event that was family-friendly. You had Ben and Jerry’s go in with the big old truck giving out free food. People were pouring in tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations and giving food and supplies and all that so that this could keep going.
Then when the sun sets and the media left with their security, what happened were fights were breaking out all over. They had these tents that were set up in occupation. From what law enforcement said there was an attempted rape. People tried to burn down what remained of the Seattle Police East Precinct, which is right at the heart of this occupation. It was all boarded up and abandoned. I don’t take joy in this, but I knew it would be literally within hours that people would die because you had people going around with weapons openly and brandishing them at other people.
You had these different warring factions that were developing. Police refused to go into the area. They held thousands and thousands of people hostage in this really densely packed area. It was just so shocking to see what journalists were trying to put out in the media to give good press for this. [Inaudible] would allow it to go on for more than three weeks. There were multiple shootings, several homicides. It’s still chilling and so dystopian when I think about it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just CHAZ. In Antifa-claimed territory in Portland, for a week in December, they set up booby traps, and they set up a hard border and barricades. They have their own armed militia who are keeping guards at these gates. They had a weapon stockpile for areas. This is happening in major American cities. It should be front page news. But it’s not. You could be on the East Coast or in California actually and have no idea what’s been going on with some of these cities, and the lives of so many people that are impacted.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes, the response of many of the legacy media, as I also like to describe them, and certainly the corporate media, has been to put powder on its face, so to speak, or even ignore it, or make it sound, like you said—this is obviously the mayor’s statement—a “Summer of Love” type situation, not the reality that it was. Why is that? That is just something that for a lot of people might be incomprehensible, the people that are devoted to these media.
Mr. Ngo: Journalism, like entertainment, like academe, like K-12 education, within the culture, these are under the cultural hegemony of the Left. So journalists, the majority of them, I would say, are sympathetic to what they believe are the wider aims of Antifa and the Far Left—which is for racial justice, fighting for Black lives, all these really noble-sounding things, so they provide cover to them. …
Everybody remembers the name of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville in 2017. But nobody knows the name of Aaron Danielson, who was killed by Antifa in Portland—shot dead out there. He had been stopped by this armed man.
That’s the power of the media. People remember what Dylann Roof did when he killed people at the church. People don’t remember that Connor Betts and Antifa in Ohio carried out a mass shooting in 2019. People don’t remember or recall or are aware that Willem van Spronsen in Tacoma, Washington, came armed with a rifle and homemade fire bombs to attack the Tacoma ICE [US Immigration and Customs Enforcement] facility.
Media, news stories—it’s a zero-sum game. You only have so many resources to focus on these stories; other things are being ignored. What makes it particularly worse is that people like myself, and people like Epoch Times who focus on these issues, actually get demonized and smeared by the mainstream media. I still write for mainstream publications. I contribute to the New York Post. I’ve written news reports for Newsweek. I’ve done columns in the Wall Street Journal.
But if you Google my name, you look at my Wikipedia, you would think that I was some fringe extremist. This is all based off lies and smears that get coordinated between different journalists. Then activists will use these opinion pieces as citations in your Wikipedia to destroy one’s reputation. I would hope that one day there will be a “come-to-Jesus” moment for journalists who have really empowered these violent extremists, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. If anything, we’re seeing that they’re helping their friends.
In the book, through some of these leaked documents from Rose City Antifa, I was actually not too shocked to see that there was an academic and a so-called journalist who was on the teaching curriculum for the secret Antifa meetings in Portland. You can find out more about that in “Unmasked.” That sounds shocking. It should be scandalous, but it’s not. Antifa does have the support of a lot of extremist academics who actually teach and influence young people. And unfortunately, many journalists—if they’re not actively defending Antifa—some of them are actually members of this movement.
Mr. Jekielek: This is both fascinating and disturbing, and very familiar at The Epoch Times, unfortunately—this type of demonization and character-assassination. It’s not enough to say, Hey, just look at our journalism. Andy, you could say, Just read my book, just read my journalism. It doesn’t work like that, it seems.
Mr. Ngo: That’s right.
Mr. Jekielek: So Andy, I think one of the things that your book really exposes, and in a better way than I’ve seen done before, is that these are actually highly, highly organized groups, with a highly, highly organized methodology. You describe, for example, the use of innocuous-looking weapons like water bottles that are frozen. Now, a water bottle doesn’t sound like a serious weapon, but a frozen water bottle launched at your head at close range could be a very serious weapon.
You talk about instruction manuals from many of these organizations with deeply, deeply disturbing instructions. Tell me a bit more about this—how this organizing works. And one more thing I’ll add: You had posted, from what I recall, the invitation posters to these rallies and riots—we are deciding to call them—that happened in Portland, and Seattle before that. So it’s not like these things weren’t known; they were going to happen. These things are very openly organized and attracted significant numbers of people with the aim to do violence, it seems.
Mr. Ngo: Antifa, like other terrorists—for example, the Islamic State group—for their core member group, they will carry out their communications through encrypted channels on Telegram and Signal. That’s where a lot of the planning happens, away from law enforcement’s eyes. But then a lot of it also happens out openly in the public, such as on Twitter. You just mentioned these fliers. It wasn’t just for the riots that happened on Inauguration Day.
You can go back to more than 100 fliers that were made for the riots in Portland. They would announce where people would meet, at what time, and those are advertised on Twitter and Facebook. These accounts did not get taken down, even though they were openly inciting violence, criminal violence. Then, the other thing is the funding. You would think that for such an organized movement that is able to maintain and sustain months and months of riots, it takes lots of supplies, resources, et cetera., that there must be some rich people backing them up, backing them up financially, when instead it’s much more simple than that.
It’s not a big secret conspiracy. You see how they fundraise openly, They will use GoFundMe. They would create these front groups with very innocuous names like PDX Bail Fund, Portland Bail Fund, Minneapolis Freedom Fund. These organizations then get shared within their networks. Then, unfortunately, within these networks would include people in mainstream politics who would then donate and advertise these links.
In Minnesota, for example, the rioters there raised over $35 million dollars, and this was for people who were arrested in the course of the riots that had entire neighborhoods torched to the ground in Minneapolis. Then the bail fund also paid for people accused of other crimes, like attempted rape and attempted murder.
In Portland, $1.3 million was raised through GoFundMe. So it’s like Big Tech is helping them, either willingly or not. So their organizing is actually much more simple. Another thing is that they face no opposition, really. They have journalists who are sympathetic to them. They have law enforcement that essentially has been made feckless. They have the tacit support of usually local city councils and even the mayors. Then Big Tech makes no effort. By Big tech, I’m referring to Twitter, Facebook, but also GoFundMe, cash app Venmo. All these things that help—where they do their mainstream organizing, their open organizing—they don’t get taken down.
There’s no opposition to them. Of course, they would continue the momentum and do what they are able to do. Who’s actually opposing them? You have one journalist, me, and even then, they’ve been able to chase me out of my own home, essentially. So we have a huge issue on our hands.
The really frustrating part is we’re not talking about a very large number of people who are involved in the criminal activities. It’s relatively small. It looks big because if you look at the arrest records, particularly in Portland, a lot of these people, as I said earlier, are getting arrested four, five, six, seven, eight times and just turning out, over and over, sometimes within the same day. They are released the morning, the charges are dropped, so they go back to riot at night.
It’s a small group of people. What makes them particularly powerful, in addition to not having any opposition, is that they have a lot of people who are sympathetic to the cause. That’s why I put so much effort into finding out who are some of these people who are arrested at these riots.
Some of them are professors; they’re registered nurses. They work at the hospital that provided treatment for me after I was beaten by Antifa. They work in white-collar positions as attorneys. That’s the power of Antifa, that they’ve been able to pull in lots of normal people who really think that we are under the threat of fascism, and that the appropriate response to that is to take up arms and to harm others.
Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned the term “terrorists” earlier. Would you describe Antifa as domestic terrorists?
Mr. Ngo: I do. They are domestic terrorists. But it’s also an international terrorist movement and organization as well, and networks that are linked. The Antifa in America didn’t just start from scratch. They took tried- an- true methods that were first seen in Western Europe, particularly in West Germany, and then in Sweden and France, and other countries. They’re applying it with much success in the American context.
In part of the book, I write about how they’ve been able to really take over, essentially, soccer culture in the Pacific Northwest. Portland and Seattle both have official Major League Soccer teams. If you go to these games, you will see Antifa propaganda everywhere. People wear it, they fly it. The fan clubs are also fully propagating this ideology. They put it on their symbols as well. So, they’re doing everything right in front of us, and only a fraction of it is done secretively. I document that in the book. Most of it is actually done openly, and nobody’s really blinking an eye.
Mr. Jekielek: What is the relationship—you talked about this in the book—what is the relationship between Antifa and Black Lives Matter? When I say that, I mean the organization Black Lives Matter, not people who believe in the truism that, obviously, black lives matter.
Mr. Ngo: In 2020, we’ve seen and experienced the consequences of the cross-pollination of one another. In Portland, I had seen an informal alliance building since 2017 in that Antifa in black bloc, were providing volunteer security for these BLM rallies in Portland. We saw this being done then in other cities in 2020. The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter, quite openly, has called for people to go down to Antifa events through their Twitter account. And Antifa had a perfect opportunity to also exploit the racial grievances of black Americans when these riots were breaking out.
I saw a video that was coming out of Minneapolis, New York, and other cities that were showing how Antifa would set off a chain reaction that would lead to looting, and then eventually the burning down of buildings entirely. And really, all it takes is the initial smashing of a window just so that there’s a physical breach inside a business, and then opportunists and other people go in and loot. Then from there, Antifa simply uses a Molotov cocktail or something to start a fire.
So there was a symbiotic relationship between BLM and Antifa extremists throughout these riots. Eventually, Antifa [members] were then using the exact same chants of BLM in rioting—wherever they were rioting. I consider them, at least in America, really the same linked entity. BLM/Antifa, what I call them—they’re hard to separate now.
Actually, somebody who doesn’t know much about BLM, might be confused and even offended about what I just said, because they think of BLM as a truism, as you just said, rather than as an organization explicitly founded by self-identified revolutionary Marxists. I’m talking about the three women who co-founded the organization. You can look at their own statements and how they identify ideologically, the official statements that have been put out by BLM—respecting the communist regime in Cuba, venerating cop-killers and Marxist revolutionaries like Assata Shakur.
BLM is a radical extremist group, they don’t even hide it. They’ve just been given so much cover by the press that people just think that Antifa is merely antifascist; they think BLM are merely racial justice activists.
Mr. Jekielek: Andy, who did you write the book for?
Mr. Ngo: I wrote the book for people who cherish the liberties and freedoms that they have living either in America or in another liberal democratic state. There’s this hubris with young people who are born and raised in prosperous Western countries [who think] that what they have is the norm, [that] their rights can never be taken away. They don’t think about the ideas that it took to build a civilization like we have in the United States and some other places, about having a consensus that you don’t solve grievances through violence against one another. That’s actually not natural to humans.
You can look at how much of the world’s people who live in failed states and how they organize it—kind of like how ants are organized—creating their own militias and tribes and protecting and guarding their own territory and killing other people who go into it.
Just seeing the founding ideals of America under such attack, I grieve a lot, so I wrote the book for people who are seeing what’s happening to their country and just wondering, what the hell is happening? Where is this threat really coming from? I want people to to truly understand Antifa for the violent extremist movement and ideology and network organization that they are.
Mr. Jekielek: Andy, I’ve had a really good time, albeit it a difficult time reading the book. I look forward to finishing it, and I’ll recommend it to all our viewers. The book is “Unmasked”. Andy Ngo, thanks so much for joining me again.
Mr. Ngo: Thank you for having me on.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.