Antifa assaults pro-Trump demonstrators at Arizona State
Antifa members recently assaulted a group of peaceful Trump supporters who were demonstrating on Arizona State University’s campus.
After protesting an event in Phoenix, Arizona, a group of activists calling themselves Patriot Movement Arizona decided to bring their message to Arizona State University’s nearby Tempe campus. The visibly diverse group displayed various flags, ranging from the American flag to the controversial “Kekistan” flag, and shouted slogans such as “Trump is your president” and “American dreamers first” with the assistance of bullhorns.
The group of approximately 18 people received mixed reactions, including a woman who called the police and a member of College Republicans Unites who joined in. As they neared the center of campus, they began to post flyers honoring individuals killed by illegal immigrants, some of which intentionally covered Antifa leaflets proclaiming, “Fighting fascism is your social duty. Support your local Antifa.”
Eventually a group of six Antifa members approached, and as a nearby police officer stopped to watch, the two groups shouted slogans at each other.
Antifa then approached an advertising column and began tearing down the memorial flyers. As the two groups intermingled, they began to trade accusations of racism and violence. When two Trump supporters stood next to the column to protect the flyers, at least three masked and hooded Antifa members attempted to push past them, making physical contact.
Another Trump supporter, William Johnson, then grabbed the most aggressive of the three by the back of his jacket, attempting to pull him off the surrounded pair of activists. The Antifa member spun around, breaking free of his hold, and aggressively pushed multiple individuals, including a conservative man and a female Antifa member.
Johnson then attempted to halt the violence by pushing the attacker away while Arthur Schaper, a well-known conservative activist from California, shouted, “You don’t have a right to hit, you don’t have a right to hurt.”
The female Antifa member then joined in, attacking Johnson. Multiple individuals became involved, but the melee quickly dissipated.
The two groups remained entangled while they shouted accusations of violence. The Antifa members began to retreat, while the Trump supporters followed and argued with them. Police officers then arrived at the scene, and Schaper pointed out the Antifa member who had instigated the violence.
The individual began to walk away, and when a police officer approached him, three other Antifa members gathered around him. Two additional police officers approach and asked the conservatives to stand to the side, at which point both the initial Antifa aggressor and his female companion took advantage of the confusion and broke into a run, while thee activists and policemen gave chase.
One policeman grabbed hold of the aggressor and brought him to the ground, and when a second officer arrived, they handcuffed him.
A second Antifa woman then lunged at Schaper, attempting to grab his camera. The police restrained her but eventually let her go, then took the cuffed Antifa member away in a police car.
“We want to get young people…to love this country again,” Schaper told Campus Reform, explaining that the group visited the campus “to get people to think about the damage of illegal immigration, to defend freedom of speech.”
Later that day, Antifascist Action Phoenix took down many of the memorial flyers and burned them, but ASU College Republicans United later replaced them.
Patriot Movement Arizona recently appeared in headlines when two women vandalized a Phoenix-area mosque. While many outlets reported that the women, now under arrest, were part of Patriot Movement Arizona, the group has repeatedly denied any affiliation and denounced their actions.
In a post immediately following the incident and in a later statement, the group revealed that while one of the women had attended some of their events, the group had distanced itself from both women ahead of the incident.
“We don’t have a member list. We’re just a grass roots group of people,” co-founder Lesa Antone explained to Campus Reform, adding that when one of the women began to attend their public events, they alerted a contact in law enforcement that they had a bad feeling about her and that she was not part of the organization.
Deedra Hill Abboud, a local Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who is also an observant Muslim, backed the group’s claim that it was not affiliated with one of the women, who had previously targeted her. A video confirmed that the woman denied involvement with the group.
“We are law-abiding people,” Antone told Campus Reform, emphasizing that they condemn hate and violence, such as the Antifa threats against her and her family that cause her to live in constant fear.
“They plan pre-meditated attacks on innocent Americans,” she said of Antifa. “Nobody wants to talk about it.”
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