Two college professors from Stanford and Purdue universities have created, and are seeking financing for, the “Campus Antifascist Network” (CAN) to help bring Antifa to campus.
CAN reportedly intends serve as a “big tent” for “anyone committed to fighting fascism” on campus, according to Inside Higher Ed. It was created in response to what Stanford University Professor David Palumbo-Liu and Purdue University Professor Bill Mullen refer to as “[t]he so-called ‘alt.right’ and their fellow travelers” who “have also aggressively sought to smear, bully and intimidate faculty, especially faculty of color.”
In a letter meant to act as an invitation for interested students to join the group, Palumbo-Liu wrote:
The election of Donald Trump has emboldened fascist and white nationalist groups nationwide, on campus and off, and their recent upsurge requires antifascists to take up the call to action once again. Since Trump’s election, fascists, neo-fascists, and their allies have used blatantly Islamophobic, anti-semitic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist messaging and iconography to recruit to their ranks and intimidate students, faculty and staff. As we wrote this letter, hundreds of torch-bearing white supremacists were marching on the campus of University of Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us” and other vile slurs. An antifascist activist was murdered by these same forces in Charlottesville, raising the stakes of resistance to new heights.
Fascists have used “free speech” as a façade for attacking faculty who have stood in solidarity with students against the threat that these organizations and individuals pose, and as an excuse to march and organize around slogans drawn directly from “blood and soil” rhetoric of Nazi Germany.
Asked by Inside Higher Ed about the possible use of violence by Antifa, Palumbo-Liu said, “We would advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists, but not violence.” He reportedly noted that CAN would not be able to control the Antifa label or who ascribes to it.
On Sunday, members of Antifa were arrested for attacking peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley, California.
In a related story, Campus Reform reports that Princeton University has announced it will be testing a new “social justice” training pre-orientation program in September, called Dialogue and Difference in Action (DDA). In it, freshmen will discuss “issues of identity, power privilege, and difference.”
The program notes, “Through self-reflection and dialogue, students will develop competencies and perspectives crucial to the creation of an inclusive campus climate.”