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Behind the Black Mask: My Time as an Antifa Activist
A rare and very timely inside account of what it is like to be an Antifa activist from a former member who has since become a conservative.
As a young Mexican immigrant, Gabriel Nadales grew up feeling alienated and distant from the American Dream that brought his parents to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their family. In high school, he was attracted to a left-wing ideology and soon found himself caught up in the anarchist subculture—attending punk-rock concerts, dressing up in garish outfits, and making t-shirts, flags, and zines to fund his activism. He learned about anarchist history and got involved in “direct actions,” including destructive acts of mayhem. Above all, he was angry: angry at cops, angry at Wall Street, angry at corporations that despoiled the environment, angry at America itself.
It was only after being exposed to works by classical liberal economists—such as Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell—that Nadales began to reconsider his assumptions about capitalism and American society. Eventually he left Antifa and became a conservative activist, advising youth groups on campuses around the country on how to deal with left-wing students, radical faculty, and openly hostile administrators.