Liberal social media is in a lather today about Trump’s accusation that Martin Gugino, the 75 year-old longtime social justice activist brutally shoved to the ground by riot police in Buffalo, is an Antifa provocateur. The outraged on Twitter and elsewhere contrast the image of Gugino as an Antifa militant with the fact that he is a member of Catholic Worker, which sounds comparatively more wholesome and benign – befitting for a decent citizen merely standing up against injustice.
To be fair, most people don’t know what Catholic Worker is, or that it this radical organization founded to serve the poor by Christian anarchist Dorothy Day, was, as she described it in 1936, first and foremost antifascist and anticapitalist.
Most people also don’t know that Antifa activists are very often engaged in anti-poverty work, serving meals, and building networks of mutual aid – engaged in activity like making hand sanitizer for essential workers and homeless residents in Portland, OR. In other words there is far more that connects Antifa and Catholic Worker than separates them.
While Trump meant to smear Gugino when he inaccurately associated him with Antifa, there is no reason for us to argue back by accepting Trump’s demonized definitions. Why aren’t we all Antifa?