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Antifa vs. Milo Yiannopoulos: Who won?

This dramatic decline in his public appearances over the past year is directly correlated with the precedent set in February 2017 at Berkeley. Love it or hate it, images of targeted property destruction in northern California provided a powerful incentive for venues to avoid potential headaches.

Reasonable people will disagree about the influence of the Berkeley protest on Yiannopoulos’ plummet. What is not debatable, however, is that media predictions about the inevitable ascent of Milo Yiannopoulos after getting shut down in Berkeley were wrong. A year later, already banned from Twitter, Yiannopoulos now has no access to media platforms like Breitbart and the Daily Caller, no publisher for his books, no mega-donors to bankroll him and dwindling opportunities for public speaking. In an age of social media and 24-hour cable news cycles, Yiannopoulos is already old news. The short-lived nature of his stardom is even evident on Google Trends which shows that after spiking in early 2017, the frequency of subsequent Google searches for his name have plunged to 2016 levels.

Yet, this discussion misses the most crucial aspect of protests at Berkeley, Rutgers, DePaul, UCLA and other campuses. Pundits asked how protests would affect Milo Yiannopoulos’ public profile. They failed to ask more important questions: How do Yiannopoulos’ events and the rhetoric he spews endanger those he targets, and how can they fight back? How these protests affect Yiannopoulos (or other far-right figures like Richard Spencer or Ann Coulter) is interesting; how they affect resistance to the far right is essential. Lost in such debates is the astounding mobilization over recent years of a broad anti-racist movement encompassing Black Lives Matter groups, labor unions, faith communities, immigrants’ rights coalitions, anti-fascist networks, feminist collectives and LGBTQ organizations that will not just ignore attempts to make white supremacy great again. We must situate the property destruction at Berkeley, heckling at UMASS Amherst, the air horns at Minnesota, the blockade at UC Davis, and other acts of disruption within this process of movement-building to understand their full effect.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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