Netizens have started sharing a photo of a membership card and claimed that it belonged to former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The social media posts went on ranting that it was an Antifa membership card and Eisenhower had founded the Global Antifascism Initiative. Here is the fact.
The card is fake. There has been no evidence of existence of Global Antifascism Initiative. There is no proof for the claims that the initiative was founded by Eisenhower. It is a hoax meme based on the fact that during World War II, Eisenhower had led the Allied forces in Europe and defeated fascist Axis powers led by Nazi Germany.
Origin of Antifa in the U.S.
During Eisenhower's tenure, the movement was not even known as antifa. Any organization founded by an individual has records. But no records can be found about the antifa group founded by Eisenhower. Till date, Antifa has remained a movement that is held in pockets, without having an institution or a person in command. It is not a structured centralized organization.
The roots of Antifa movement in the U.S. can be traced to 1980s during the rise of Punk subculture. In U.S. the Punk subculture was started in mid-1970s and became popular in the 1980s where artists took to creating music to express their views regarding the system, problems through their lyrics and performances. They blocked neo-Nazis from entering clubs or removed them by force.
There is no way Eisenhower would hold a membership card of the movement that started much later than his death. Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969, much before the Punk culture started.
The Antifa movement that was not quite active came out in full force again in 2015 when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. Antifa activists emerged to counter right-wing extremism, waving black and red flags.
In fact, during American Music Awards in 2016, Pop group Green Day chanted "No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA." Though still unorganized, or non-institutionalized, the Antifa supporters became active again when Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was held in 2017.
Apart from peace protests, Antifa activists also engage in protest tactics, to fight fascists and racists including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other far-right extremists. Reports claimed that in 2017, approximately 200 Antifa groups were present in the U.S. especially in the Pacific Northwest.
Antifa Debit Card Row
In September 2020, images of debit cards were being shared on social media with claims of it being used by the members of the Antifa movement. Though it was a spoof, some netizens started believing in the claims and shared it widely.
The claims were that the debit card was automatically funded after looting, rioting, and gang stalking white supremacists. The post was retweeted by more than 10,000 people.
But a fact check showed that the image of debit card was posted by a German website called Hooligans Gegen Satzbau. It was satirical post, which stated that the basic card came with a 'Satirefaction' guarantee and the 'platinum' card had a Nazis Fuckoff Chip. The Facebook page of the website also had a statement: "ALLERGY WARNING: this site may contain traces of satire and irony."
Speaking to Reuters, the Hooligans Gegen Satzbau had clarified that the card was not linked to the antifa movement but to the one's own ANTIFA-Imagine-Account.