White supremacists, Antifa: U of T experts on protesters in Charlottesville

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah and Alex Hanna
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 12:49pm
U of T News

The violence in Charlottesville, Va., and U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial comments have turned the spotlight on the emergence of emboldened white supremacists on the far right and the presence of some Antifa protesters on the far left.

U of T News spoke with two U of T Mississauga experts—Assistant Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, of the Department of Sociology, and Assistant Professor Alex Hanna, of the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology about the recent events.

Owusu-Bempah's work focuses on race, crime and criminal justice, about the prevalence of white nationalists in the U.S. and Canada. Owusu-Bempah, who returned to U of T in the fall of 2016, says that while he was teaching at Indiana University in Bloomington, the local Ku Klux Klan would hand out flyers, and the campus had white nationalist groups.

Hanna, who uses data collection to analyze protest movements, talked about Antifa, the counter protesters who surfaced in Charlottesville. Trump has also blamed them for the deadly violence, inciting criticism from politicians on both sides.  

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