The Mayor of Berkeley initially categorized Antifa as a gang after the violence that broke out, however he was pointing the finger at both sides. He stated, “There are organized groups — violent extremists groups — on the left and right that have encouraged people to come to Berkeley and physically confront the antifa or to confront the alt-right.”
In San Francisco, Leaders of the far left National Lawyers Guild (NLG) wrote an opinion piece titled “We are all Antifa” for the San Francisco Chronicle. Not only did it barely scratch the surface of the violence that ensued in Berkeley, this article seemed to encourage future brutality. Take a look:
The mayor was also upset with this article because it did not condemn violence completely, instead it prompted readers to “prevent the rise of fascism.” The NLG may not have been advocating for violence, however, they failed to tell their reader’s to exclude it.
The Mayor of Berkeley also explained his contempt for Antifa members beating people in the streets. Most the victims were not associated with white supremacists or fascists in any way, and had in fact denounced the groups.
It is easy to take their statements out of context because they purposely do not use a lot of words. For example, the article suggests that NLG stand in solidarity with “all who fight hatred,” but their actions show that this is not just a figure of speech. The NLG is actually fighting with fists and weapons.