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Policymakers tend to mislabel Antifa as an organized group, CSUSB professor says
Financial Times (UK)
June 3, 2020

An article about President Donald Trump and his administration blaming a loose-knit group known as Antifa, or anti-fascists, for the violence at protests over the death of George Floyd included an interview with said Kevin Grisham, assistant director of research at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

“[Antifa] keeps being labelled by policymakers as if it’s this organised group and it’s the complete opposite of what it is,” said Grisham.

Grisham said people who identified with Antifa tended to be less organised than their foes on the far-right. Unlike white nationalists, who communicate frequently online, Antifa groups tended to be much more cautious, even on the internet, making them harder to track, he added.

Read the complete article at “Trump blames ‘Antifa’ for protests despite lack of evidence.”

CSUSB professor discusses whether ‘outside agitators’ are exploiting the George Floyd protests
The Christian Science Monitor
June 4, 2020

Rumors about extremist groups – and even foreign adversaries – co-opting the demonstrations protesting George Floyd’s death and police brutality for their own agendas have abounded. So far, evidence suggests their involvement has been relatively minimal, though still worrying.

“When you have something this catalytic, you’re also going to attract thrill-seekers, accelerationists, and thieves who steal things,” says Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino.

The extremist landscape has become increasingly fragmented over the past decade, says Professor Levin.

“General extremism is a carnival mirror reflection of debates and conflicts that are going on in the mainstream,” he explains. “But when that becomes a cracked carnival mirror, the fringe does the same thing.”

He attributes the diversification of extremist movements to tectonic shifts in politics, economics, and demographics, as the U.S. approaches the point where whites will no longer be the majority. The stoking of righteous anger across the political spectrum has exacerbated frictions, and the pandemic is an added stressor.

Read the complete article at “Are ‘outside agitators’ exploiting Floyd protests?”

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