Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about labeling the extreme-left Antifa as a terrorist organization, an outpouring of support for the group came from the political left in Germany as many outed themselves as supporters of the violent network.
Last Saturday, after Trump’s comments, #IchbinAntifa (I am Antifa) became the number one trending hashtag on Twitter throughout Germany, with many figures from the left – especially those from the far-left Link Left (Die Linke) party and the Green Party – expressing their support, reports Deutsche Welle.
“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror… Would make it easier for police to do their job!” wrote Trump.
Trump’s comments triggered tens of thousands of reactions on the social media platform, with about 144,000 likes and nearly 67,000 interactions.
Bernd Riexinger, the leader of Die Linke party, said that he was an Antifa “always and everywhere” due to the history of his country.
The youth wing of the Green Party also echoed Riexinger’s sentiments, writing that its members were needed to fight fascism “on the street, on the internet, in the parliaments”.
Regardless of its political and institutional support among leftists, the inherently violent, destructive, and terroristic nature of Antifa is more than well documented.
Earlier this month, Antifa made headlines in the United States after the group violently attacked Andy Ngo, a self-described “gay journalist of color”, at a political rally in Portland, Oregon.
Britain’s Nigel Farage, who has also been a victim of the far-left, referred to this attack as “very, very dangerous and it’s damaging democracy in a serious way.”
An Antifa member in Sweden was recently imprisoned after authorities found his cache of illegal firearms and police uniforms.
In Italy, the extremist group is suspected to have been involved in the terrorist sabotage of railway infrastructure which occurred earlier this month.
Although politicians of the left slammed Trump’s comments, more reasonable individuals like the party leader of Alternative for Germany, Alice Weidel, along with the Hamburg Police Union were more sympathetic to Trump’s sentiments.
“Trump is right: such extreme groups should be prohibited,” said the AfD leader.
In response to the controversy, the Hamburg Police Union published images of Antifa members carrying wooden staves with nails driven into them which, they claimed, were used to attack police horses.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who earlier this month proposed legislation in the Senate, that if passed, would have Antifa labeled as a terrorist group, has described the group as a “terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence… Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views”
In September of 2018, while eating at a Washington D.C. restaurant with his wife, Senator Cruz were both assailed by Antifa members. The extremists chased the couple out of the restaurant and later tweeted a warning to the Republican Senator that he was “not safe”