Pelosi One of First Top Democrats to Blast Antifa
Protesters' violence deserves 'unequivocal condemnation'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2017 10:55 AM CDT
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An anti-fascist demonstrator jumps over a barricade during a free-speech rally Aug. 27 in Berkeley, Calif.   (AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi managed a rare feat this week: She pleased right-wing sites including Breitbart and the Washington Times. How so? The House minority leader condemned "antifa" protesters who turned violent at a weekend protest in Berkeley. "Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts," she said in a statement. "The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted." In doing so, she becomes one of the few high-ranking Democrats to call out the antifa movement, notes Mediaite. "Antifa" is shorthand for "anti-fascist," and adherents have sprung up in groups around the nation to counter white supremacist and other far-right groups.

President Trump drew condemnation when he called out antifa protesters in blaming "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, and his supporters have argued that the movement gets too little scrutiny. In a Washington Post op-ed, Marc Thiessen calls antifa protesters "neo-communists" and says their willingness to use violence makes them "morally indistinguishable" from neo-Nazis. He praised Pelosi's statement and called for other top Democrats to follow suit. "If black-clad neo-Nazis had attacked peaceful protesters at a 'No to Racism in America' march in Berkeley, politicians in Washington would be falling over themselves to express their disgust—and any who failed to do so would be vilified," he writes. "But when neo-communists commit this kind of violence, they get a pass from the left." (Don't expect the antifa movement to go away anytime soon.)

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