In Donald Trump’s presidency, the Antifa movement achieved a mythical status, portrayed by the former president and his supporters as terrorists. One Antifa activist’s journey, from college honors student to on-the-ground combatant, offers rare insight into this far-left movement and its motivations.
By Aram Roston, August 25, 2021
Nicole Armbruster, 37, poised for a run in a park this spring, donned an Ironman hat from her triathlon days, black running shorts and gray Brooks running shoes. She reached over to restrain her dog Azuri, a muscular Catahoula hound with pale eyes, so it wouldn’t chase a squirrel.
You wouldn’t know it, but Armbruster, 5’5″ and under 130 pounds, is a militant activist in the far-left Antifa movement. She has clashed on the streets with the rightwing Proud Boys extremist group, with the alt-right movement and with police.
Her arrest record – in Washington, DC, Arizona, Virginia, Minnesota and Florida – dates to 2003, for charges of unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, violating the Riot Act and assaulting far-right leaders and a police officer. Most of her prior charges were dismissed by judges or prosecutors; she faces three pending cases.