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Should rallies by neo-Nazis and white supremacists be met with violence?A woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 people injured when James Fields, a white nationalist, drove his car at high speed into a crowd of counterprotesters.At a subsequent news conference, President Donald Trump said that "both sides" were to blame for what happened. Trump's apparent equation of racists and opponents of racism was condemned in the strongest terms, even by some leading Republicans.Rather than putting the racists and anti-racists on the same footing, Trump was saying that both sides were to blame for the violence that broke out.The Times also spoke to anti-racist activists who disavow violence.It remains true that in the United States, and other countries where elections are the path to power, the far-right can achieve its goals only by winning over middle-of-the-road voters. Even if many of these voters are also not completely rational – few people are – they are not likely to be won over to the anti-racist cause by seeing footage of anti-racists hitting racists with clubs or throwing urine-filled water bottles.If the antifa activists are going to match the racists in violence, will it be possible to hold the line at clubs?To antifa activists who see violence as the answer to the far right, it should not be.
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