The black-clad members of Antifa were treated as heroes for facing off against neo-Nazi's and the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville.
CNN's Chris Cuomo even compared Antifa to the soldiers fighting Hitler.
And CNN actually described Antifa as seeking 'peace through violence'.
But what happened next, in Berkeley, when Antifa beat up peaceful demonstrators, has forced more and more leaders on the Left and Right to condemn the movement.
Freedom Fighters or Thugs?
America is learning what Europeans already know – that Antifa, which claims to fight racism and fascism, is not what it seems.
Antifa has been marching and destroying things in Europe for decades.
What Americans call "An-TEE-fuh" is, in Europe, An-tee-FAH, a shortened version of the German 'anti-fascistische aktion'.
It's not a single organization but a movement, also known as the black bloc. It's comprised of anarchists and Marxist revolutionaries who seek the overthrow of capitalist systems.
You Were Warned
In 2014, CBN News warned of the rise of Antifa in Europe, reporting:
If you want a glimpse into how bad it could become to America in the future, look to Europe. Take American conservative values of God, country and traditional family to Western Europe and you would be branded extreme right, anti-woman, homophobic and even Nazi. And should you be brave enough to actually demonstrate publicly for a conservative cause, you could be physically attacked. Or in Sweden your home might be wrecked.
Author and Journalist Lars Hedegaard told us, " You could get beaten up. We see that in Sweden by the way. You have these so-called anti-fascists coming to known right wingers homes and wrecking their apartments; destroy the furniture, tear up the books and then they make a video of it and put it out on the web [to say] 'See what we did to this guy.'
The 'Anti-fascists' Are the Fascists
Under the banner of 'fighting racism,' Left-wing radicals terrorize those who dare to speak out against mutli-culturalism.
Kim Møller is considered the leading expert on the extreme violent Left groups in Denmark. He told us, "Today they call them anti-racists or they fight for a better environment or a more humane society but their goal is to smash democracy as we know it."
Dale Hurd: "It looks like they are against fascism but they're really against parliamentary democracy?"
Kim Møller said "Yeah. They're revolutionary communists."
"If you say you want revolution, people say you're crazy, but if you say you want to 'fight racism,' then suddenly everyone is against racism," Møller said.
Antifa's approach can be summed up in their slogans. They say they are resisting "hate and racism." That sounds good, but they also include "patriarchy," which is Leftist code for Judeo-Christian values, and "Corporate rule," which is pure Marxist theory.
Antifa's Alliance with Radical Islam
Antifa can also be defined – not only by who it opposes – but by who it almost never opposes – radical Islam.
But why? Radical Islam treats women as property and calls for death for adulterers and homosexuals. This should be repugnant to Leftist radicals.
But Antifa is more likely to march against so-called Islamophobia than against Islam. Islam expert Robert Spencer has had first-hand experience with Antifa violence in Europe, he's dodged eggs and excrement thrown by Antifa demonstrators, and leftists tried to poison him in Iceland.
He explains the connection: "The Left and the Jihadis both hate America. They are both internationalists. They both have contempt for borders; for nation states. And they hate the United States as being the foremost obstacle to their vision for the world."
The Left's 'Muscle' on American Streets
The Left-dominated European media tends to give Antifa a pass, treating them more like rowdy teenagers. Some say Antifa has become the Left's muscle in Europe; driving conservatives out of the mainstream and underground.
This is the same Antifa that has come to America. They're attracting large numbers of so-called progressives frustrated with President Trump and the Democratic leadership. It's even attracting school teachers.
Antifa offers frustrated liberals a radical solution, and its goal, according to one leader, is to "make America ungovernable."