Antifa members took the streets in Laguna Beach, California, Sunday to protest President Donald Trump after his widely criticized response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in violent clashes with counterprotesters and the death of a 32-year-old woman.
Aspiring filmmaker and Dartmouth graduate Austen “Fleccas” Fletcher, 27, was on location to interview the protesters and quickly learned that many of them were easily confused when asked to elaborate on their cause.
When asked what the definition of “alt-right” would be, one female protester struggled to form a coherent idea.
“It’s kind of like, newer rightist ideology that tries to —” she began, but couldn’t finish. “I feel like I’m an idiot because I’m on the spot right now.”
Another protester took another shot at defining the term.
“So the “alt-right,” I would call it a loose connection of this new wave right-wing sort of — not radicals — but they have a strong emphasis on white supremacy,” he said before backtracking. “Maybe not even white supremacy, but more capitalism and closed borders.”
Fletcher spoke with another protester, asking if he thought all the attention the group was bringing to the small number of neo-Nazis in the country was doing more harm than good.
“Well, that’s probably registered Nazis,” the man responded.
At one point, Fletcher confronted masked Antifa members who told him the best way to combat neo-Nazis in the United States was simply to murder them.
“What’s the way to defeat the Nazis in the U.S.?” Fletcher asked.
“Violence,” one of the protesters responded quickly.
Another added, “Find your Nazis, beat them, take them of their Nazi paraphernalia, and then leave them alive hurting and bleeding in their cowardice.”
“Same way we dealt with them in World War II: kill them. There’s no other way,” the first protester interjected as the two listed off fictional heroes who were hailed for fighting Nazis, citing characters like Captain America and Indiana Jones.
Fletcher said that the people he spoke with felt their violence was justified, based on what they heard from mainstream media.
“The Antifa ‘activists’ have been brainwashed by the mainstream media and now they think they are fighting actual Nazis. In their mind, violence is justified. Quite scary,” he told TheBlaze by email.
An official White House petition created last week is urging the Trump administration to formally recognize Antifa as a terror group, and it quickly surpassed the 100,000 signatures needed to receive a response from the White House.