When Antifa Returns from winter break

Antifa is prioritizing the subversion of college campuses as a major objective.

The 2021-2022 academic college year is nearing completion.   Students have quickly forgotten the early apprehensions associated with dorm and housing arrangements, parking permits, class scheduling, and connecting and reconnecting with peers on campus. Winter break has nearly arrived on campus.  But college students across the United States should not forget that Antifa will not be taking a winter break. Their agenda continues to oppose college students seeking knowledge and skill acquisition, job market competitiveness, and related material and social benefits critically important to the “pursuit of happiness.”  These self-professed “anti-Fascists” have planned to do much more than just continue normal operations.  

In fact, through publications like CrimethInc (formerly Inside Front) Antifa has boldly asserted that violence, subversion, demoralization, and corruption will be their primary objectives for the academic year.  Empowered by increased funds, new recruits, tactical experience, optimism created by victories won in battles on and off college grounds, and a permissive environment created by an increasingly politicized and defanged police force, these radical socialists are now calling for nothing less than a total undermining of the college system through “an effort to infiltrate and undermine the institutions of power from within.” 

Chiding college students for their lack of revolutionary zeal, strategic statements like the above incite students to intensify acts of violence directly and collectively against faculty and academic leadership. Mob violence, threats, campus occupations, and disruptions are among the brutal tactics Antifa advocates for this academic year, mirroring its escalations of violence occurring off campus).  

Not merely content to offer general suggestions for violence against academics, Antifa makes sure to provide detailed techniques of proven practices, utilizing incendiary pictures of campus unrest in Europe and Latin America as well as the experience of “CrimethInc. agents who made the ultimate sacrifice, going to schools and workplaces with the explicit goal of undermining capitalism.”   Given a college atmosphere of complicit academics, defunded police, and radicalized students targeting non-compliant professors as well as taking mob actions against invited speakers and historical statues and monuments, Antifa’s incitement to violence against faculty and administration poses a credible risk of escalating an already volatile campus environment. 

Furthermore, Antifa is prioritizing the subversion of college campuses as a major objective for the 2021-2022 academic year, redirecting its faculty, students, and resources to the end of destroying capitalism.  Subversion of universities and colleges is not a new activity for these “insurrectionary anarchists,” but one now undertaken with renewed energy and broader scope. Their messages urge faculty and students aspiring to become faculty to “corrupt the minds of the young,” sneak books like 1984 into the curriculum, and teach revolutionary theory and organizing tactics for student unions and street demonstrations.  In fact, Antifa’s strategic leadership boasts, “A truly great teacher should be able to make even geometry a revolutionary discipline!” Unlike the highly-visible black bloc formations or other disruptive acts of these political malcontents, these subversive acts are often unnoticed until they have metastasized into major organizations, institutions, and networks, and create destructive and dangerous outcomes.

Particularly disturbing about Antifa’s subversive goals is the broad targeting of university resources and facilities for violent protests and other radical ends. Redirecting school loans and other funds for Antifa operations, subverting university space for housing, planning, and organizing anarchist activities, misappropriating study abroad fellowships for training and foreign adventurism, and creating safe havens are among Antifa’s directives.  Boasting about the cooptation of college resources during a “conference,” an Antifa subversive remarked: 

Additionally, Antifa has prioritized the demoralization of students as a major objective for the 2021-2022 academic year. Among the cruelest practices of these radical socialists is their targeting of the minds of students with deliberate, calibrated messages to destroy their faith in the educational system during a time when students are vulnerable to discouragement, loneliness, and isolation.  Antifa messages encouraging alienation from family, praising the life of college dropouts, and delegitimizing the purpose of higher education create vulnerable populations more easily recruited to criminal and subversive activities (Crimethinc, August 2021, Deschooling: Unlearning to Learn From Education to Liberation).  An Antifa source states accordingly: 

Choosing a depressed, transient life in the gutters and on the fringes of society; lying about one’s intention for using university resources; feigning to help students as dedicated professors but in reality radicalizing them; stealing funds and resources from colleges; and erupting in thuggish and mob behavior on campus; all these behaviors--no matter how disguised with political jargon-- have a fitting term: corruption. Terrorists, subversives, and insurgent groups like Antifa thrive in corruption—using it as organizational and operational tools as well as the very nature of a collective identity forged in the base passion of rage. These anarchists have taken the art of corruption to higher levels as they not only promote it, but also weaponize it by calling for continued expansion of the dark networks associated with college dropouts, their sympathizers, infiltrators of academia, and the social and economic systems connected to universities.  

When Antifa returns from winter break, their agenda of violence, subversion, demoralization, and corruption will threaten, disrupt, undermine, and corrupt campus life. As long as college and university administrators, faculty, campus police, and students support, excuse, and tolerate Antifa and its violent agenda, it will continue to pose a threat to the security and well-being of students and their communities.

Dr. Scott Catino is an Assistant Professor at Liberty University Online, U.S. Fulbright Scholar, and member of the Anti-Communism Action Team (ACAT). He served in the United States, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the UAE in various research, supervisory, and advising posts for diverse entities including the Department of Defense, FBI, and private security programs. His research on civil unrest, terrorism, and insurgency has involved field studies around the world as well as numerous publications in scholarly and industry journals.