Like many on the Right, I’m not exactly a fan of Antifa. I don’t support fascism of any kind, but I find it especially loathsome when it pretends to be anti-fascist. Antifa isn’t so much about combating the scourge of fascism so much as labeling anything they disagree with as fascism so they can then turn around and commit acts of violence.

Antifa has done it for a while, starting with setting fire to buildings at Berkley to blocking a speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannapolis and eventually spawning into the so-called “Battle of Berkley.”

That “battle” was, primarily, a brawl. While it was ugly, it could have been much worse. Antifa caught the losing end of the stick that day. They expected their opponents to run away when faced with violence, only their opponents were ready, willing, and able to respond in kind.

However, Antifa hasn’t disappeared. They’re still out in force, stirring up trouble everywhere they can.

Yet there are some indications they may be gearing up for something bigger.

Much of my reasoning for this comes from a report by Andy Ngo, a reporter who has covered Antifa extensively, as well as having been assaulted by them

Earlier this week, Ngo reported on how what he described as an Antifa militia was distributing the manifesto of the ICE shooter. “The Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club (PSJBGC), a far-left gun group, disseminated the extremist manifesto of terrorist Willem van Spronsen at an event on Kurdish Marxist nationalism,” Ngo wrote.

He went on to describe the group as providing, “armed security for various left-wing and antifa protests in Washington state. It has also hosted a training workshop on how to make homemade guns.” Ngo also noted that he was accosted by members of the group outside of the city hall in Seattle last year.

Of course, the John Brown Gun Club has been seen before. In particular, in a video from a couple of years back. They were soundly mocked by the gun community and for understandable reasons. After all, the “training” was laughable. It was static shooting in a bad choice of environments. There was nothing to really be concerned about.

The thing was, though, they were actually out there shooting.

Far too many in the gun community talk a good game, but they don’t actually put forth all that much effort into shooting. Instead, they opted to ridicule the John Brown Gun Club for their efforts.

Personally, I was more concerned.

To be clear, they certainly have the same right to keep and bear arms that I do. I wouldn’t interfere with that just because I have fundamental disagreements with them on, well, pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean I can’t compare their actions with their rhetoric and recognize there’s a potential problem here.

After all, they’re now celebrating a domestic terrorist.

If that was all in Ngo’s report, that would have been enough. It wasn’t, though. You see, the truth is that the training in that video actually is laughable. Just because it’s better than the non-existent training many people undertake doesn’t mean it’s actually all that useful, especially if they’re gearing up for a civil war.

But going somewhere that there’s a war and getting trigger time in combat? That’s something else, and it seems that’s happening.

The event in Seattle featured author Debbie Bookchin, the daughter of radical eco-anarchist communist thinker, Murray Bookchin. It was organized by several groups advocating for solidarity with the YPG, a Syrian offshoot militia of the PKK, a Turkey-based revolutionary Marxist Kurdish group labelled a terrorist organization by the US and the EU. The YPG has been engaged in military battles against both Turkey and the Islamic State. Some Westerners who are part of antifa groups have travelled abroad to fight with the militia against ISIS. 

On the right, we have a lot of combat veterans; men and women who saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan. This would give the Right a decisive advantage in any kind of war between ideologies. While the Left claims a number of veterans as well, most of those were in support billets, otherwise known as POGs. They don’t represent much of an advantage.

Yet people going to the Middle East to fight? That does, especially if they fought with a group like the PKK.

Let’s be clear, Ngo’s description of PKK, also called the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, is apt. It’s also been declared a terrorist organization by a number of nations. It’s not good people, and yet Antifa has gone to fight with them.

Antifa’s learning from terrorists and they’re learning from a lot of other places.

Back in July, I noted that all Antifa’s activism may not change the landscape politically–especially as they seem predominantly based in the Pacific Northwest in areas already sympathetic to their cause–but it does help them learn how to organize.

What does all of this mean? Hopefully, nothing. It doesn’t look like they’ve broken any laws with most of this–the obvious exception, of course, being their propensity for turning to violence due to political disagreement–and as such there’s a possibility they won’t go any further.

My hope is that this is really nothing than a bunch of commies LARPing to make themselves feel less powerless under a Republican administration and they’ll soon grow out of it. Many of them are young and there may still be hope for them.

However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to watch them do all this and just assume they’ll go away. They’re armed, they’re violent, and they’re likely looking for an excuse to kick off a new civil war. Pretty much every civil war we saw start in the latter half of the 20th Century was the result of Marxists groups like this deciding they knew better than anyone else what was good for others.

If we’re not careful, we’re going to see it start here too, so keep an eye out.