Posts on Facebook claim that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has failed to condemn Antifa, the left-wing anti-fascist movement whose followers have used aggressive tactics including physical confrontations to intimidate groups they deem authoritarian or racist. This claim is false, as the former vice president has condemned Antifa and the use of violence from protesters on both the left and the right.
An example of a post making this claim can be found here .
As reported by Reuters here , Antifa is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists. Antifa aims to “intimidate and dissuade racists,” but its aggressive tactics including physical confrontations can create “a vicious, self-defeating cycle of attacks, counter-attacks and blame,” the ADL said.
On Sept. 7, 2020, four days after police shot and killed a self-declared anti-fascist activist in Washington state as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion he had fatally shot a right-wing counter protester in Portland, Oregon, Biden condemned Antifa in an interview with Pennsylvania NBC News affiliate WGAL (here). Asked by reporter Barbara Barr, “Do you condemn Antifa?” Biden responded, “Yes I do—violence no matter who it is.”
The Reuters Fact Check team previously debunked claims on social media that Joe Biden has condemned violent protests ( here ).
In the days following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, 2020, Joe Biden wrote on his blog, “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not.” (here ) He again condemned violence, looting, and the destruction of property on June 2 in Philadelphia ( here) and on July 28 in Wilmington (here) .
At a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 2, he said, “There’s no place for violence, no place for looting or destroying property or burning churches or destroying businesses […] we need to distinguish between legitimate peaceful protest and opportunistic violent destruction” (here).
On July 28, Biden also condemned violent protests at a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, as seen here at the 8 minute 24 second mark.
On Aug. 30, he condemned violence at protests in Portland (here) by releasing a statement on his campaign website (here), which said, “The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable […] as a country we must condemn the incitement of hate and resentment that led to this deadly clash. It is not a peaceful protest when you go out spoiling for a fight” (more here) .
During the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, Biden reiterated his stance on violence and looting. At the 1:03:44 timecode here , the former vice president says, “I’ve made it clear in my public statements that violence should be prosecuted.”
False. Joe Biden has explicitly condemned Antifa as well as violence used by those on the left and the right.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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