"The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah spoke out against the left-wing "antifa" movement on Thursday, calling its adherents “vegan ISIS.”
Noah called out some extreme tactics perpetrated by some members of the leftist "antifascist" group, which has no centralized leadership or organizational structure. Noah said that while some members simply publicly shame white supremacists or reveal their personal information, others instigate violence or cause property damage.
When anti-fascist activist Lacy MacAuley said that acts like breaking a Starbucks window were “symbolic” ways to resist extremism, Noah responded by saying that most people wouldn’t agree that property damage is productive.
“Breaking a window was a symbolic act?” Noah said. “Most people see that and think, ‘Great. Now I’ve got to walk a whole block up to the next Starbucks. … Who is that supposed to convince? What are you trying to do? It definitely doesn’t convince the Starbucks guy — the person who’s going to be cleaning up the glass [isn’t] saying, ‘Yeah, they made a good point about fascism.'"
Noah continued saying that the most destructive tactic of all is when antifa members engage in physical violence.
“It doesn't matter what you say you're fighting for, when people see you beating other people up, people think oh shit, it's vegan ISIS,” Noah said. “You don't realize that when you think you're punching Nazis, you're also punching your cause. Your opponents will just use every violent incident to discredit your movement.”
While antifa’s most outspoken critics are on the right, including President Trump himself, leaders on the left have also spoken out about the group’s extreme tactics.
After the group participated in a rally in Berkeley, Calif., last Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded with a critical statement.
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts," Pelosi said.
“The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”