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Damian Dovarganes, Rainmaker Photo, Damian Dovarganes / AP

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have been warning state and local officials of violence coming from far-left anti-fascist ("antifa") groups for at least a year, including the potential of violence between those on the far right and the far left, per a new report.

"Department of Homeland Security formally classified [antifa] activities as 'domestic terrorist violence,'" according to confidential documents obtained by Politico's Josh Meyer. "These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the s*** out of people," a senior law official told Politico.

Why it matters: "Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations," former New York City police officer Brian Levin told Politico.

The backdrop:

We published a summary of far-right extremist groups a couple weeks ago. Now we're also looking at four extremist groups on the far left.

Note: Most of the far-left organizations that have protested and counter-protested in Berkeley, Durham and Charlottesville in the past few weeks do not classify as "hate groups." They are not to be equated with groups like neo-Nazis and the KKK, which target people based on ethnicity, but they do represent a growing trend of left-wing groups whose members do not always shy away from violence.

The groups:
  1. AntiFa has become more visibly active since Trump's election, but the movement as a whole has remained relatively secretive. Until recently, they were most well-known for their violent protests of alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley. They often wear black masks and commit vandalism. Go deeper with this piece from the Atlantic on the rise of the violent Left.
  2. Redneck Revolt does not claim to be liberal, but supports most left-wing social causes. The group opposes white supremacy and hopes "to incite a movement amongst white working people that works toward the total liberation of all working people," according to their website. They are pro-guns, anti-racist, anti-capitalism and anti-Trump. Members of Redneck Revolt network showed up at Trump's speech in Phoenix last week armed to protect those protesting against Trump from Trump supporters and any law enforcement who might oppose them, according to their blog.
  3. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is an anti-racist group primarily led by white people, which works alongside multicultural leaders and organizations to counter white supremacist groups. SURJ believes that "none of us can be free until we end white supremacy," according to their website. While they aim to be instructive and inviting so that others will join forces with them, they also "organize to create tension and target people in power." SURJ led the protests in Berkeley last week. Although their protestors were encouraged not to be violent, many were trained in self-defense and held pastel painted, wooden shields, according to LA Times.
  4. Anti-Racist Action, founded in 1988, is an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-discrimination group, which wants "a free classless society," according to their website. They are known to chase down and attack members of hate groups, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, which they refer to as "boneheads," according to SPLC.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.