Other Group

Youth Liberation Front

The Youth Liberation Front (YLF) is a network of extreme-left anarchist groups that recruit young people to engage in violence against law enforcement authorities and the United States government. The Front claims to have chapters in Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, New York, and Washington, DC, as well as in Canada. [1] Critics, most prominently the right-of-center Center for Security Policy (CSP), have accused YLF of being involved with the left-wing extremist movement known as Antifa. [2]

The Front’s Pacific Northwest chapter appeared on social media in May 2018. [3] Other chapters established an online presence in the summer of 2020 during the anti-police protests and riots which took place across the country. [4][5]

Chapters

The Pacific Northwest YLF chapter has the largest social media presence, with more than 36,000 followers on Twitter. This chapter promotes planned and past riots in the United States and in other nations with large far-left anarchist movements. The chapter’s Twitter feed is a mix of event announcements, propaganda material, and commentary such as “no gods no masters no bedtimes” and “youth liberation is when there are more children mugging people.” [6]

The Eugene, Oregon YLF chapter operates similarly to the Pacific Northwest chapter, and issues statements such as “f*** school” and “f*** every cop that ever did their job” on Twitter. The chapter claims to be operating from “Kalapuya Land” – a practice by far-left groups that refuse to recognize the United States because it is allegedly located on “stolen” Native American territory. [7][8] The Southwest and Washington, D.C., YLF chapters mostly promote events on Twitter, encouraging supporters to “stay dangerous” at rallies. [9][10] The Washington, D.C., chapter’s Twitter profile also links to a donation page requesting funds to purchase riot equipment such as gas masks, radios, and pepper spray. [11]

Infrastructure

In addition to Twitter, YLF maintains a website using a publishing platform called NoBlogs. [12] This platform caters to far-left causes, stating that it exists for the purpose of “connecting radical people.” [13] Some chapters of the Front use the crowdfunding platform GiveButter to collect donations. [14]

The Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think-tank, alleged that left-wing extremist organizations like YLF break down into smaller “affinity groups” at the local level. These groups participate in sabotage, vandalism, and other violent acts, which they call “direct actions.” CSP cites the far-left organizing site CrimethInc, which describes affinity groups as the “essential building block” of an anarchist organization. [15]

Other Antifa-affiliated groups claim they are not connected to YLF. In June 2020, a spokesman for the Portland Antifa chapter denied any collaboration with YLF in a statement to OregonLive. However, other left-wing extremist groups have shared the Front’s propaganda on social media, and YLF shares their propaganda and event announcements in turn. [16][17]

Activity

YLF explicitly discourages peaceful protest. In June 2020, the Front advised protesters that they “can never be peaceful” if it means complying with police demands. [18] YLF also told its members “if you see someone smashing windows, shut the f*** up.” [19] Journalist Andy Ngo, who reports on left-wing extremist activity, has alleged that the Front “openly advocate[s] for violent uprisings.” In his testimony to Congress in August 2020, he identified YLF as the organizers of riots in Portland and other cities during the summer of 2020. [20]

In November 2020, Center for Security Policy alleged that YLF had instructed rioters in Portland to target private property and called for “death to America.” CSP said that multiple store fronts and a Catholic church were vandalized in riot that followed the Front’s statements. [21] The same month, the Pacific Northwest YLF Twitter account appeared to celebrate an arson incident targeting the home of an Oregon law enforcement officer. The account shared an article about the incident with the comment “this is so cool.” A Twitter spokesperson said the tweet did not violate the site’s rules, which prohibit the glorification of violence. [22]

In December 2020, CSP reported that YLF militants in Portland, Oregon had clashed with members of another far-left group during a demonstration outside the so-called “Red House,” a building whose residents had failed to make loan payments and were due for eviction. The Front accused “a group of mostly white cis men” of forcibly removing three of their members after one of them allegedly assaulted a nearby individual who was live-streaming the demonstration. [23]

In February 2021, CSP reported that a YLF affiliate called the “Queer Insurrectionary Anarchists Youth Liberation Front Affinity Group” appeared to call for violent demonstrations on March 6th, 2021, and that the Front had appeared to endorse the message. The report noted that the group told rioters not to use non-violent protest methods such as “placards and speeches” and instructed them to “target the state.” [24]

References

  1.        Youth Liberation Front. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://youthliberation.noblogs.org/ ^
  2.           Kyle Shideler. “Situation Report: Antifa Group Calls for March 6th Direct Action Campaign.” Center for Security Policy. February 9, 2021. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2021/02/09/situation-report-antifa-group-calls-for-march-6th-direct-action-campaign/ ^
  3.         PNW Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/PNWYLF ^
  4.   SW YLF. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/sw_ylf   ^
  5.        DC Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/dcylf   ^
  6.   PNW Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/PNWYLF ^
  7.             Tyler O’Neil. “This Activist’s Marxist Brainwashing Explains Why Antifa Has Terrorized Portland for 51 Nights.” PJ Media. July 19, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://pjmedia.com/culture/tyler-o-neil/2020/07/19/portland-afro-indigenous-non-binary-protester-calls-for-abolition-of-the-united-states-as-we-know-it-n662241 ^
  8.        Eugene Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/EugYLF ^
  9.    SW YLF. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/sw_ylf ^
  10.        DC Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021.https://twitter.com/dcylf ^
  11.   Support DCYLF. GiveButter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://givebutter.com/supportdcylf ^
  12.            Youth Liberation Front. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://youthliberation.noblogs.org/ ^
  13.             NoBlogs. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://noblogs.org/   ^
  14.        Support DCYLF. GiveButter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://givebutter.com/supportdcylf ^
  15.            Kyle Shideler. “Situation Report: Antifa Group Calls for March 6th Direct Action Campaign.” Center for Security Policy. February 9, 2021. Accessed March 11, 2021.

    Situation Report: Antifa Group Calls for March 6th Direct Action Campaign

    ^

  16.      K. Rambo. “Who is the PNW Youth Liberation Front at the center of recent Portland protests.” OregonLive. June 2, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/06/who-is-the-pnw-youth-liberation-front-at-the-center-of-recent-portland-protests.html ^
  17.        PNW Youth Liberation Front. Twitter. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://twitter.com/PNWYLF ^
  18.             K. Rambo. “Who is the PNW Youth Liberation Front at the center of recent Portland protests.” OregonLive. June 2, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/06/who-is-the-pnw-youth-liberation-front-at-the-center-of-recent-portland-protests.html ^
  19.        Hal Bernton. “Meet the Youth Liberation Front behind a militant marathon of Portland protests.” Seattle Times. July 12, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/meet-the-youth-liberation-front-the-militant-group-promoting-a-marathon-of-angry-portland-protests/ ^
  20.       “Senate Hearing Transcript August 4: Protecting Free Speech Amid Protests.” Rev.com. August 4, 2020. https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/senate-hearing-transcript-august-4-protecting-free-speech-amid-protests ^
  21.             Kyle Shideler. “Situation Report: Destructive Antifa-led Protests in Major Progressive Cities, Portland Calls in National Guard.” Center for Security Policy. November 5, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/11/05/situation-report-destructive-antifa-led-protests-in-major-progressive-cities-portland-calls-in-national-guard/ ^
  22.             Sam Dorman. “Twitter says Antifa-aligned group cheering alleged arson at police officer’s home is allowed.” Fox News. November 17, 2021. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/us/twitter-antifa-post-arson-allowed ^
  23.        Kyle Shideler. “Situation Report: Portland Mayor Negotiates, BLM/Antifa In-fighting at Red House, 4 Stabbed in D.C.” Center for Security Policy. December 14, 2020. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/12/14/situation-report-portland-mayor-negotiates-blm-antifa-in-fighting-at-red-house-4-stabbed-in-d-c/ ^
  24.         Kyle Shideler. “Situation Report: Antifa Group Calls for March 6th Direct Action Campaign.” Center for Security Policy. February 9, 2021. Accessed March 11, 2021. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2021/02/09/situation-report-antifa-group-calls-for-march-6th-direct-action-campaign/  ^
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