Antifaschistische Aktion, Antifascistische Aktie, Antifascist Action or Antifascistisk Aktion — abbreviated as Antifa (German/Dutch/English) or AFA (Scandinavian) — is a far-left, extra-parliamentary, anti-fascist network in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway,United States of America whose stated goal is to "smash fascism in all its forms". Some of its members are influenced by the theory of triple oppression; its members oppose sexism, racism, and classism. The point of the organization is to exchange information and to coordinate activities between local groups.
The group's activities have included handing out flyers, organizing demonstrations, direct action, and rioting. They believe that physical aggression and violence are necessary to achieve their goals, due to the supposed violence and aggression minority groups face at the hands of fascists and the far-right. In line with their ideology, and as a consequence of being constantly monitored by the police, the group has no central authority. This means it has a flat organization consisting of many independent groupings, without a board or leader. AFA works with other anti-racist groups all over Europe. It is also described as a heterogeneous group which in the 1940s was mostly made up of social democrats, communists, and progressive Christians.
The first German movement to call itself Antifaschistische Aktion was proclaimed by the German Communist Party (KPD) in their newspaper Rote Fahne in 1932 and had its first rally in Berlin 10 July 1932. May 1932 the communist paramilitary organisation Rotfrontkämpferbund had been banned and after a fight between Nazi and Communist members of parliament the Antifaschistische Aktion was created to ensure that the communists could have a militant organisation to rival the paramilitary organisations of the Nazis. After a forceful dissolution by the Nazis in 1933, the movement was revived during the 1980s.
One of the biggest antifascist campaigns in Germany in recent years was the, ultimately successful, effort to block the annual Nazi-marches in the eastern German city of Dresden which had become "Europe's biggest gathering of Nazis".
In October 2016, the Antifa in Dresden campaigned on the occasion of the 3rd October German Reunification Anniversary for "turning Unity celebrations into a disaster" („Einheitsfeierlichkeiten zum Desaster machen“), explicitly not ruling out the use of violence.
Antifascistisk Aktion (AFA) was founded in Sweden in 1993. Their Activity Guide advocates violence against neo-Nazis. AFA members have admitted to arson by timed firebombs, and have pleaded guilty to burning the Tråvad spinnery in 2005. In January 2006, Swedish AFA members attacked the Norrköping immigration office and threatened officials. In June 2006, AFA members broke windows of an estate of the Christian Democrats in Kalmar. In October 2006, AFA members threatened to block a municipal council meeting in Gothenburg, because the Sweden Democrats had been elected to the council. Noted leftist academics, Matthias Gardell and Tobias Hubinette were two of the founders of Swedish AFA.
In July 2007, AFA members threatened and attacked an immigration judge in Gothenburg. The judge's front door was hit with an axe, and the house was vandalized with red spraypaint. Personal information about the judge and other judges was posted in the Internet. On 7 March 2008, Säpo, the Swedish security police agency, reported that AFA or people using its symbols constantly threaten municipal and provincial elected council members. In August 2008, AFA members spread announcements in Uppsala with the name and image of an opponent, encouraging people to attack him. For this, AFA promised to pay 500 Swedish kronor and a free "knogjärn" (knuckle duster). In February 2009, AFA members attacked the National Democrats politician Vávra Suk.
Some in the media have called Swedish AFA left extremists. An editorial in the tabloid newspaper Expressen argued that the label 'anti-fascist' was misleading, because the organization's methods, such as stealing the subscriber list of the National Democrats newspaper, and threatening the subscribers are counterproductive and similar to methods used by fascists.
In the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump, groups using the name Antifascist Action became visible in the United States. On the alt-right event Deploraball January 19th for example, did an alt-right supporter got his cap stolen by an activist holding a Antifa banner.
Toilet brush symbol adopted for the Hamburg protests (Antifaschistische Aktion (Germany))
Logo of Antispeciesism
- Patrick Moreau „Linksextremismus: eine unterschätzte Gefahr“ (with Jürgen P. Lang) Bonn 1996.
- Hans-Helmuth Knütter Antifaschismus: der geistige Bürgerkrieg. Foreword by Heinrich Lummer. Hamburg : Die Dt. Konservativen e.V. 2010.
- "antifa.se - Antifascistisk Aktion Sverige".
- (Swedish) AFA Lokalgrupper
- (Swedish) AFA Presentation, Plattform
- Pritchard, Gareth (2012). Niemandsland: A History of Unoccupied Germany, 1944-1945. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 110701350X.
- DNN-Online. "Protest gegen Einheitsfeier – Initiativen wollen Dresdner „Einheitsfeierlichkeiten zum Desaster machen" – DNN - Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten".
- (Swedish) AFA - Aktivitetsguide för antifascister, Antifa.se, 2004, pp. 9-11
- "Afa riktar ilska mot Migrationsverket" (in Swedish). 1 January 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Afa tar på sig mordbrand på nazistgård" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 2005-12-28. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- (Swedish) Afa riktar ilska mot Migrationsverket Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. SVT 10 januari 2006.
- (Swedish) Slåss med knogjärn Aftonbladet 13.9.2009.
- (Swedish) Aktivister försökte stoppa möte med Sverigedemokrat Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. DN 2 november 2006.
- (Swedish) Migration judge threatened by extremists
- (Swedish) Domare som utvisat irakier attackerades Dagens Nyheter 31 juli 2007.
- (Swedish) Hot mot förtroendevalda ny rapport[permanent dead link] Säpo 7 November 2008.
- (Swedish) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-17. Ruotsin TV
- (Swedish) Expressen: Afa tar på sig våld mot ND-politiker
- (Swedish) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- (Swedish) Aftonbladet: Såss med knogjärn
- (Swedish) Expressen:090215: Stoppa AFA