House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a surprising statement condemning the violence from the left-wing group “antifa,” and specifically referenced that which occurred in Berkeley, California.
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts,” the statement read. “The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.
“In California, as across all of our great nation, we have deep reverence for the Constitutional right to peaceful dissent and free speech,” she added. “Non-violence is fundamental to that right.”
“Let us use this sad event to reaffirm that we must never fight hate with hate, and to remember the values of peace, openness and justice that represent the best of America,” Pelosi concluded.
The left-wing group “antifa” is short for “anti-fascist,” and the members fashion themselves as counter-protesters to racist Nazis, KKK, and other hate groups.
But some also expand their definition of these groups to unfairly included traditional conservative groups, and attack them as violently as they do racist groups.
Some antifa members justify violence against these groups, and social media has caught many of their unprovoked attacks on conservatives they call racist and fascist.
Recently the ACLU blamed police for inciting antifa to react violently in Phoenix, Arizona, after a speech by the president. Reuters was criticized widely for describing the antifa protesters are “peaceful” – they edited their description later.
CNN’s Jim Acosta also attempted to contradict President Trump’s characterization of the protesters as “anti-police,” and was widely criticized on social media for it.