General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

How would you deal with an Antifa counter protest?

Asked by Caravanfan (3388points) August 17th, 2018

This is a real situation that will happen to me in less than 48 hours. I am here at WorldCon76 in San Jose. There is an alt-right protest that will be happening in front of the convention on Saturday (the reason for the protest is rather long and not relevent to this question). As I walk around San Jose I am seeing posters calling for counter protests by Antifa. It could get ugly.

My plan is to try to sneak into the convention center early by a side enterance but the potential for violence could get high.

How would you deal with a situation like this? I’m going to make the assumption that everybody hates Nazis, but how do you feel about Antifa protesters?

I’m a middle aged nonconfrontational guy who will try my best to avoid the whole thing. But how would you deal?

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24 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I would try to avoid any risk as much as possible. Do you know what time they are supposed to show up? I’d seriously think about not going to WorldCon76 if I were you.

Alt Right and Antifa are a menace in my opinion. I’m all for protesting, with permits, but not for violence.

Why are these groups picking to go to WorldCon? Why do they feel the need to disrupt that event? I know you said you didn’t want to go into it, but is there a one sentence brief?

Can you go Friday or Sunday? Avoid Saturday.

flutherother's avatar

It sounds like a great event and I wish I could go. I don’t think there will be trouble, there are thousands going and if trouble were to start I think police would ensure safe access. In the unlikely event trouble should flare up as you approach the convention just walk the other way. Have a drink in Callahan’s Place for me and enjoy the convention!

notnotnotnot's avatar

I would feel significantly more safe knowing that anti-fascists plan to be there. A recent fascist “Unite the Right” rally only brought a few people, and some believe it is because of the fact that Antifa had planned to be there. Richard Spencer has expressed concerns about Antifa. So, the fact that there might be less fascists at the even would make me feel much safer.

ragingloli's avatar

Antifa may torch your car, but fascists will torch you.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think the extreme left is just as dangerous as the extreme right. Watch your back.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Antifa is like lighting a match in a room full of gasoline. The mentality of these people is not much different from the nazis: young, angry, misguided, naieve and needing an outlet….

zenvelo's avatar

I would join the counter-demonstration.

seawulf575's avatar

Despite the proviso of this question, the reason for the “alt-right” protest is relevant. Because it isn’t alt-right. It is being promoted by Erin Sith, a person that identifies as a trans woman and Jon Del Arroz, an hispanic Sci-Fi writer. They are protesting against the push for pedophilia in science fiction and other art forms. Somehow that doesn’t hit me as “alt-right”. If it is considered alt-right, then maybe the left needs to revisit where their center is. So what we have is a group protesting against pedophilia and a domestic terror group trying to make the news again. No surprise which side I would support.

Demosthenes's avatar

Can’t find anything about this on the news, maybe it’s too local to show up in internet searches. Anyway, avoid them. Sneaking in a side entrance sounds good. That’s all I would try and do. It’s too bad these things have to ruin perfectly good events.

Jaxk's avatar

Anybody that goes to a protest wearing a mask is not there for peaceful protest. Antifa is dangerous and anybody wearing a mask should be arrested. IMHO.

canidmajor's avatar

It’s Worldcon, @Jaxk. There will be more masks (predominantly of the Klingon or Ood or Cthulhu types) than are usually seen at a costume ball. :-)

flutherother's avatar

You are probably aware of this advice being given by Worldcon76…

Worldcon 76 in San Jose, the San Jose Police Department, and the McEnery Convention Center Security are aware of the protest and counter protest that are planned to occur on Saturday afternoon adjacent to the convention center plaza. The San Jose Police Department, the center, and Worldcon 76 have discussed how to ensure that these demonstrations do not impact events inside the center.

The best course of action to maximize your safety is to simply avoid engaging either the protestors or the counter protestors. We encourage our members to consider alternate routes and entrances to the convention center that avoid the front plaza on Saturday afternoon. Convention volunteers will be available to assist you in accessing the center through these alternate entrances. As with any other convention, only properly credentialed members will be allowed into our convention spaces.

If you have any questions about this you can email or during the convention come by the Ombudsman office in room 112/113 or ask any staffer and they can direct you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What’s at the convention center that is worth risk? Let us know what happens, please.

Caravanfan's avatar

World Science Fiction Convention.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. Yeah! That would be worth it!

mazingerz88's avatar

Why concern yourself with anti-Nazis instead of being concerned with Nazis and Fascists? ( if they are indeed Nazi lovers and fascists )

Be safe. Avoid this potential violent confrontations. But be glad there are people out there opposing Nazis and Fascists.

Any group who embraces killers and slaughterers in WW2 needs to be opposed. Because you know Nazis in big enough numbers and when good people do nothing and just wait and watch what they do…they would slaughter an entire race or races probably if given the chance.

Caravanfan's avatar

@mazingerz88 I never said I wasn’t concerned with Nazis and Fascists. See below

@seawulf575 Your information is incorrect. It’s why he says he is protesting, but it is not the real reason.

@JLeslie No, I plan on going tomorrow (Saturday). I’ll take their advice and go in through the side.

@demosthenes it is a local event. I knew it was happening as I got the email from Worldcon, but I wasn’t concerned until I saw fliers calling for counterprotests. If there is only one set of protesters they can make noise; I’m totally used to that. Two sets of protesters can be violent. Hence my question.

@ragingloli Yes, I’m aware. As I mentioned above, I wasn’t worried about the protest, but the fact that there is a counterprotest increases the risk of violence.

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know how it goes. Most likely everything will be fine.

Caravanfan's avatar

Update. I got here early this morning and I am going to just stay inside until this evening. I’ll miss it completely.

Caravanfan's avatar

Okay update. Everything went without a hitch. A handful of protesters came out and picketed in front of the blood donation van and literally nobody paid attention to them. People were walking right by them to and fro. The only tragedy here is that I’m sure they prevented people from donating blood. By the time I left the building the few people who were there dispersed.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

…“and literally nobody paid attention to them”

Best possible outcome.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wonderful. Thanks for letting us know.

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