Mother Jones, “The Long History of ‘Nazi Punching'”

Anti-fascist groups like Anti-Racist Action, Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, and the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation fought back. Their members advocated “direct action” against white supremacists, eschewing legislative efforts in favor of physically preventing Nazis from organizing, distributing literature, and speaking in public. To their supporters, these groups merged the moralism of America’s abolitionist tradition with the nihilism of punk rock, and boiled the culture wars down to their most primal element: vicious brawls over racism, sexism, and homophobia. The logic of their direct action was that, if a white-supremacist leader inspired someone to commit a hate crime, police couldn’t intervene until after a violent action had taken place. Anti-fascists wouldn’t wait.

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