[Ed. – “Dealing with” the police through hand-to-hand combat? What about dealing with the police by behaving in an orderly manner and staying out of trouble? The author’s fan-girl tone and all-in perspective on Antifa as “anti-fascist” obscure the fact that most Antifa violence has been either self-instigated or deployed against the police.]
Members of Haymaker and other more militant anti-fascist factions consider the far right a threat, and one they must physically prepare to defend themselves from. As reports of hate speech and violence have dominated this past year, antifa say their membership is increasing not just with militants, but also with people who have been targets of racism and bigotry. The methods they choose to employ are as diverse as their ranks — with some taking up arms and others turning to hand-to-hand combat. Beyond just self-defense, the increasing intensity on both sides could mean bigger brawls than anything seen at Charlottesville, with neither side prepared to step down.
“At the end of the day, stronger people are harder to kill,” Lanski said. …
In workshops, trainers point out the different strategies for dealing with protesters or the police. “Police are more systematic, whereas fascists are unpredictable,” Lanski said. He and other gym members analyze news and amateur footage of protests online, and shape their trainings accordingly. In addition to one-on-one combat, they practice group fights as well.