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How the Right made antifa into the boogeyman

There are those who see antifa everywhere: behind every scandal, every mass shooting, and every disaster.

by Tess Owen and Zeke Spector
Nov 15 2017, 6:19am

To some, the name antifa evokes swarms of black-clad anarchists hurling Molotov cocktails at police and lining their pockets with money from the Clinton Foundation. To others, antifa is a false flag, a right-wing conspiracy whose goal is to destabilize the Left. Then there are those who see antifa everywhere: behind every scandal, every mass shooting, and every disaster.

Antifa, by its very nature, is hard to pin down. And it’s become a popular subject for conspiracy theorists, especially on the far-right.

In many ways, antifa is an easy scapegoat: It’s decentralized and known best for its use of the “black bloc” protest tactic, where activists wear all black and often use masks to obscure their identities and protect themselves from pepper spray. The anti-fascist movement, at its core — where antifa draws many of its principles — sees violence is an acceptable means of countering fascism. The movement has also been a part of some of the most iconic moments of dissent in the last few years.

Here’s a guide to the latest conspiracy theories about antifa: