GWU law prof: Antifa is winning, colleges are helping
- A George Washington University law professor testified before Congress on the threat posed by Antifa.
- The respected, liberal leaning professor cautioned lawmakers on how academia has fostered an environment in which the radical leftist group can thrive.
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley testified Tuesday before Congress, in which he warned lawmakers that Antifa is "winning" and that much of academia, whether wittingly or unwittingly, is complicit in its success.
"They are winning because universities are now effectively blocking conservative or opposing speakers to avoid violent clashes. They are winning because the media and politicians downplay such violence to avoid criticism. They are winning because local officials are ordering police to stand down or prosecutors to drop charges to avoid further conflict. They are winning because free speech itself is being viewed as a destabilizing factor in our schools and society. Antifa has achieved its anti-free speech agenda to a degree that even longtime critics never imagined possible. It only took inaction from our government and silence from our citizens," Turley said during his testimony.
He told the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee that Antifa is "winning," according to the testimony. Turley cited a GWU student, an alleged Antifa ringleader, who stated that the movement is winning following his arrest for taking down statues in Washington, D.C.
Former Antifa activist and supporter Gabriel Nadales, who is now a conservative activist who works for Campus Reform's parent organization, the Leadership Institute, told Campus Reform, "Antifa is indeed winning. Their efforts have intimidated dozens of city councils around the country into submission. By neutering police response, city councils send a strong message to Antifa that they can burn down cities without any consequences."
Nadales noted that Antifa is not opposed to fascism, even though it stands for anti-fascism, and will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who disagrees with them. Antifa is known for fascism despite its name, attacking critics, journalists, and scholars alike, according to the testimony of Turley. The organization was created to oppose free speech as it feels the right to free speech is a “tool of oppression," Turley added.
The group was not originally on college campuses but has since infiltrated them, and used colleges as a way to grow.
"When I was in Antifa it was a fringe movement," Nadales added. "But now countless professors and mainstream figures support Antifa because they think it is an ally against Trump. But Antifa is not an ally and [is] more than willing to attack any liberals who dare to stand in their way."
Turley indicated that free speech advocates are few and far between on college campuses as Antifa and others who take a strong disliking to opposing views are more prevalent at American colleges.
“To Antifa, people like me are the personification of the classical liberal view of free speech that perpetuates a system of oppression and abuse,” Turley said in his testimony. “I wish I could say that my view remains strongly implanted in our higher educational institutions. However, you are more likely to find public supporters for restricting free speech than you are to find defenders of free speech principles on many campuses.“
Antifa, once again at center stage in riots around the country, have long been initiators of violence in America.
However, public officials publicly stated that Antifa does not even pose a threat.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler recently called instances of Antifa violence a “myth."
I ran into Jerry Nadler in DC and asked him to disavow the Antifa violence/rioting in Portland.— Essential Fleccas 🇺🇸 (@fleccas) July 27, 2020
“THATS A MYTH” pic.twitter.com/veImyE2rju
“If we are to preserve this defining right, Congress must do something that it has historically failed to do: protect the free speech rights of political minorities in our school and on our streets,” Turley said in his closing remarks. “Antifa and related groups thrive through intimidation, but they prevail through inaction. All that is required for free speech to die in America is for America to be silent.”
Turley did not respond to Campus Reform for further comment regarding his testimony in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @landon_mion