Sometime in July, agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigations meet for dinner with Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs. There, Biggs agrees to provide the FBI with information about anti-fascist activists and update them on future Proud Boys events.
The story is alleged by Biggs’ defense lawyer after the militia member is charged for his involvement in the January 2021 attack on the Capitol.
The defense lawyer’s claims buttress a widely held view among left-leaning ideological opponents of the Proud Boys that law enforcement has coddled them, condoned their violence and even protected them during their frequent street brawls with anti-fascists.The Associated Press / ABC News
Biggs is at least the second Proud Boys leader who occasionally doubles as an FBI informant. Another top member, Enrique Tarrio, has worked undercover with the agency off and on since 2012. Roger Stone introduced Biggs to Tarrio last year or earlier, when Biggs was not yet a member.
The Trump administration’s attacks on anti-fascist activists began in 2019. After the FBI told Trump that Black Lives Matter does not qualify as a terrorist threat, Trump suggested that Black Lives Matter protesters are actually “ANTIFA… a major Organization of Terror.”
It’s possible the FBI intends to use Biggs and the Proud Boys to stage far-right demonstrations, which bring out both Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters. Public showdowns between the two groups help fuel the narrative that anti-fascists, not militias, are a threat to Americans. A similar operation has been alleged between militia group Patriot Prayer and law enforcement in Portland, Oregon.
Antifa, a.k.a. anti-fascist, is not an organization. It is an ideology against fascism and white supremacy. More than anything, Antifa is a label that some on the left use on social media.
There are local organizations throughout the world called “Antifa” that are dedicated to stopping the spread of fascism and identity-based violence within their communities, but there’s no nationwide or transnational operation. The closest thing that exists to a global organization is a Tumblr blog.