THBT the Antifa movement is a destructive political movement, and has caused more harm than good.


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Debate details
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Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
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Characters per argument
Rounds will go as follows:
R1: Opening statements
R2: First rebuttals
R3: Second rebuttals
R4: Closing statements (sans rebuttals)
Round 1
*** Let this serve as a forfeit from Con, but in the spirit of good conduct I'll follow through with all of my rounds.*** 
Before I begin my opening statement, in order for those who look to adjudicate this debate, it is important to understand the context of the following terms that will almost certainly be used by either Pro or Con:

  •  Antifa - A political movement that is composed of militant left-wing-idealized individuals, who engage in various forms of protests against those who identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right [1].
  • Fascism* - a form of far-right authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power and forcible suppression [2].
  • The political left (not to be confused with "liberalism") - A political group/ideology that is hyperfocused on the grounds of social equality and egalitarianism [3].
  • Societal progression (not to be confused with progressivism) - a normative concept and can be defined as the change or advancement of major conditions of societies and people's lives in a direction considered to be desirable based on prevailing values and goals of development [4].
Thesis: Antifa is a destructive, political movement that is unethical, condones violence, has furthered the political divide of Americans, and has had no effect in truly progressing American society, but rather implicitly regressing it instead. 
Pro stands on the following principles to support the motion: 
  1. Antifa, as a movement, condones violence. As we can see from many Antifa protests, it is no surprise that the use of violence is prominent. Antifa has also had a history of rhetoric that supports the assassination of President Trump (will cite this in rounds to come).
  2. Antifa has furthered the political divide of Americans. Antifa stands on the ground that those who support far-right politics are inherently bad people. Assuming that people are inherently bad is a guaranteed recipe for tension, and rather than choosing to protest a difference in opinion, they have chosen to condemn those for it.
  3. Antifa implicitly regresses American society rather than progressing it. I say implicitly because those who do protest on behalf of the Antifa movement firmly believe that their protests/actions cause a direct benefit to American society (be it awareness, seeking retribution, etc.). 
 The United States is no stranger to division. In the civil war, there was a division between the Union and the Confederacy, with both sides fighting on the premise of slavery. It was the bloodiest war America had ever fought, and serves as a horrific reminder about the cost of fighting an injustice against a fellow human. Nevertheless, America progressed. Up until the tumult of the 1960s, there was a division of skin color and gender; with Jim Crow laws and stigma towards the opportunity and roles of women more prominent in society than ever. Although there was no war fought on these laws, the everlasting tension and societal tug-of-war between Americans made it resemble a never-ending battle, with progressive idols like Martin Luther King Jr. and Germaine Greer on the front lines. 
The end goal of healing these divides was through progression. In order for these societal open wounds to heal, there must be a change in society so that we, as Americans, progress forward and change for the better. Whether it came through battles, loss of life, protests or newly made legislation, everyone knew that these divides would not make us progress as an American society. Since then, America society has changed for the better and the healing of these divides symbolize the importance of American unity.
Now, in this decade of the 21st century comes yet another divide. This divide is not a physical one, but rather a mental one. It is a divide of political ideology; a battle of the minds of Americans that has spawned the same kind of tension and fear that came with the tumult of the 1960s. Surprisingly, however, it has also spawned violence and brutality that had existed over 150 years ago during the civil war. 
Enter, Antifa (short for anti-fascist). Ever since the election of President Trump, the toxicity of the political left has spawned a movement that has chosen to never forget the outcome of the 2016 election results. It is a movement that seeks out retribution after the election of President Trump, and through this retribution the Antifa movement has birthed many active protests that are largely composed of violent rhetoric, as well as violent acts. They are also notable for their attire, as many protesters dress up in all black while hiding their faces from the press or police. 

In the mainstream media, you can see the visual horror of the Antifa protests that take place. For example, look at what happened in Portland, Oregon. Two protests were happening that day; one was an Antifa protest and the other was a far-right protest. Obviously, this sounds like a case of disaster, but if you look at footage of the event you will see that the far-right protesters were not prepared for the acts of violence that took place courtesy of Antifa. Far-right protesters were beaten up, and attacked with deadly weapons; chased through the city streets regardless of the protection by the police in riot gear. Some individuals were attacked with hammers, and 4 arrests were made from Antifa protesters carrying deadly weapons (aerosol cans w/lighters, knives, etc.). 

The concept of a peaceful protest is dead according to Antifa. The use of violence against those who disagree with Antifa is somehow justified, and through this the message of "anti-fascism" has been not only downplayed, but completely ignored by a regular spectator. There should be no need for police officers to show up to a protest in riot gear, just to ensure that no one gets killed. With Antifa, there is always a possibility, and because of this Antifa is a dangerous movement that needs to be stopped.  

At the end of the day, you get regression. Society regresses because there are a select group of people who are willing to use violence to get what they want. It's exactly what bullies do; they take out their aggression on people to get their fix. In this context, it is obvious that those who take part in Antifa protests are still upset about the 2016 election and because of this they protest not a message of peace, but anger as a result. When we resort to violence because of not getting what we want, it makes us seem immature, and through that immaturity we get more damage rather than solution. 
*Although I personally disagree with this definition as it falsely associates itself with conservativism, I have decided to bite the bullet and stick with this definition anyway for the sake of relevancy. Whether fascism should or should not be considered to be associated with the far-right is a debate for another day. 

Round 2
I accept my opponent’s concession, and will extend my arguments with brevity. 

1). Antifa, while not a terrorist organization and has been unfairly as one by right wing media, has nevertheless been confused as one by the public and for good reason. When a movement uses or condones violence to spread their message, it obstructs the message of the movement. Ironically, fascism, which is a form of government/nationalism that most resembles a dictatorship, using violence to protest against that seems contradictory. 

2). It is clear that Antifa stands on the principle that those who support fascism or politics that idealize with conservativism are to be condemned simply for their take on ideology. Politics has never been about who’s right or who’s wrong, but rather coming together as a collective whole and solving issues in our country that we all can agree upon. When one side says “it’s my way or the high way,” all that side creates is tension and anger form the other. 

3). The concept of the peaceful protest has gone as far back to the establishment of the United States. Our founding fathers recognized the fact that those who believe in a cause should stand up and advocate for it, even when it challenges the status quo. That being said, it was never their intention to have those spread their messages through anger, violence, and condemnation. Ultimately, a tyranny or a dictatorship does all of those things to establish order, and not only does Antifa regress the foundations of the freedom of assembly, but becomes the fascist platform that they have so desperately tried to fight against. 
Oh well ok, how's life?
Round 3
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Round 4
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--> @blamonkey
Yeah, I feel like Proud Boys can be d***s. I just think that Antifa is more d***ish.
--> @bmdrocks21
There was a bottle thrown, but there were cross-provocations from both groups beforehand. Also, I can't imagine that throwing one bottle is justification to start decking people in the face, especially those who were simply standing by and minding their own business. There were other incidents in which the Proud Boys instigated attacks though. There was one who was arrested for their part in assaulting DeAndre Harris. Another hit a counterprotestor over the head with a wooden dowel during the Berkely protests. The group made a showreel of the violence they committed in Portland.
I've known alleged members of both Proud Boys and Antifa. They both seem like d****.
--> @blamonkey
Woah, lol.
I'm wondering if by assault charges you are referring to the incident a few months ago in New York. Antifa members threw a bottle then got destroyed, and the Proud Boys got arrested.
Antifa is formed to seem unorganized and without a leader to avoid the label of being a terrorist group. They use group chats to coordinate.
--> @bmdrocks21
There was one at a Republican Club Event in which some members started a fight. They don't seem to be a pleasant group at all. The founder seems to support political violence in some capacity as well. There have been plenty of members arrested for assault, but none yet for murder. The thing is, it's hard to ascertain whether violence was politically motivated sans a manifesto of some kind. They tried to pin the Antifa label on a killer from Dayton. While his social media suggested far left leanings and perhaps an appreciation for Antifa in some respect, he wasn't a member. It's such a loose organization anyway that it hardly resembles a political group. Perhaps it is the same for some of the crimes attributed to the Proud Boys, but it doesn't make them any better. Just as I resent Antifa, I too resent Proud Boys as the epitome of what's wrong with politics and why it only makes sense to be wholly apathetic to everything political. Why would I care when practically all political pundits are slurping down a piss stew of generalizations and bitter indignation for everyone who doesn't match their ideology exactly?
Yes, I am bitter because the meds haven't kicked in yet, thanks for asking.
--> @Exile
lol I truly don't believe in Antifa, but I will try to argue for it.
--> @oromagi
Ok, I Ctrl + F Proud Boys and didn't find anything. That was mainly what I was looking for.
My right-wing propaganda news sources say Proud Boys act mainly in self-defense, and I wasn't sure if there was an incident they failed to report on.
--> @bmdrocks21 is what I was thinking of specifically, although I said Proud Boys, etc and was more generally thinking of that core group of 60 or so men who have been marching in Portland, Berkeley, Seattle, Austin, etc since the advent of Trump. I suppose you could argue that the Portland stabbings were really Patriot Prayer or that JJ Christian was no official member, he just attended their meetings and wore their uniform and marched with them a bunch but that kind of misdirection is right out of any violent radical group's playbook.
--> @oromagi
What is this about Proud Boys murdering?
--> @oromagi
They are not white supremacists at all. Antifa and Neo-Nazi white-on-white rivalry is actually an age old rivalry (both loathe the government equally but opposite sides of it for opposite reasons).
I am a social democrat, so I have some leftist ideals I share with Antifa whereas with Neo-Nazis I share next to nothing ideologically, but both are toxic as fuck in practise.
Antifa has no idea what it's doing, it's got genuinely no clue how to go about getting a point across, that's why Trump got elected and Brexit-vote won. They are helping enough idiots assume the right-wing look like the good guys in enough places around the world that slowly we are seeing a horrific thing happen in the short-run. If they'd be more civil and cunning, like the right-wing shills are, they'd see far more victory and the world would be a better place.
I believe the lack of cons on this debate demonstrates the false portrayal of the left by the right wing media.
Out of the 100 million on each side, there are idiots on both. Portraying those idiots as the common denominator of a third of a population is idiotic, and a common propaganda tactic.
--> @Exile
BLM and Feminists are grass roots and good, certainly. I have done a debate where I had to argue just that: the good BLM has done. I, for one, would struggle to argue the same for ANTIFA.
--> @oromagi
I mean, there are other movements that some would argue to be influential. BLM is a very good example. Women's suffrage was considered to be grassroots at the time...
it was just an example of a potential argument to be made; I don't expect anyone to make it single-handedly. I just think this topic would make for an interesting debate is all.
--> @Exile
Have you considered that the word radical means the same thing as "grassroots"?
From French radical, from Late Latin radicalis (“of or pertaining to the root, having roots, radical”), from Latin radix (“root”); see radix.
Favoring fundamental change, or change at the root cause of a matter.
"His beliefs are radical."
I don't think that an argument "radical movements are inevitably good" would fly so I wouldn't defending every grassroots movement. American White Supremacists are certainly radical and grassroots but there nothing inevitably good about White Supremacists, perhaps even nothing good at all.
--> @oromagi
I don't think it would be that hard to falsify per se. I don't want to explicitly give away any strategies/talking points as it would make the debate not as fun but you could approach it from a "grassroots movements are inevitably good" angle or something. And I wouldn't be surprised if there were some people on this platform who stand with Antifa considering the diverse array of ideology I've seen thus far.
Idk I think it would make a great debate.
--> @bmdrocks21
gOtTa FiGhT tHe MaN xD
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