Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Antifa in a video announcing his presidential bid Thursday, characterizing the group as “courageous” and saying it’s wrong to draw a moral equivalence between white nationalist groups and those opposing them.
In a retelling of the events at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Biden describes the white nationalists as having “crazed faces, illuminated by torches, veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism,” but describes the Antifa members who engaged violently with them as “a courageous group of Americans.”
“A violent clash ensued, and a brave young woman lost her life,” Biden says in the video. “And that’s when we heard the words of the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation.”
“He said there were quote some very fine people on both sides. Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
People on both sides of the clash engaged in brutal violence that night. The young woman Biden refers to was Heather Heyer, who was killed when a neo-Nazi plowed into a group of protesters with his car. Antifa members showed up armed with mace, a battering ram and clubs, which they used in order to try to break through a line of white nationalists with riot shields lining the entrance to the rally.
They started fires with Molotov cocktails during a protest of a planned Milo Yiannopoulos event at Berkeley. More recently, Antifa members showed up at Tucker Carlson’s house and hurled threats, while one of them slammed into his front door.
The Daily Caller News Foundation’s reporting led to the arrest of an Antifa leader who’s accused of accosting and assaulting two Marines in Philadelphia. The Antifa members allegedly attacked the Marines, both Hispanic, while shouting racial slurs.
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