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‘Antifa’ leader charged with ‘ethnic intimidation’ in attack on 2 US Marines

Antifa demonstrators. (cantfightthetendies/Flickr)
January 30, 2019

A prominent figure in the self-described anti-fascist group “Antifa” has been charged for attacking Marines at a Philadelphia rally late last year.

Joseph Alcoff, a Washington D.C.-based leader of Antifa, is the third suspect to face charges in the Nov. 2018 attack on two U.S. Marines during an unrelated clash between Antifa and right-wing protesters, Philadelphia Magazine reported Tuesday.

Alcoff faces felony charges of aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and conspiracy, along with other charges. He was released on bail after pleading not guilty.

Previously, two Antifa members – Tom Keenan and Thomas Massey – were arrested for their role in the assault. U.S. Marine reservists Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres testified against them in a trial last month.

Keenan and Massey faced misdemeanor charges of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault, and reckless endangerment. Keenan also faced a felony charge of ethnic intimidation over the ethnic slurs.

Godinez and Torres were attacked by the Antifa members who mistook them for right-wing protesters, Fox News had reported in December.

Godinez and Torres were touring Philadelphia while in the city for a Marine ball when they unknowingly entered into the same vicinity as Antifa members.

Antifa members approached the Marines and asked if the two were members of the “Proud Boys” right-wing group. Torres responded that he didn’t know what “Proud Boys” was.

A short time later, approximately 10 Antifa members approached the two Marines and began their assault.

They punched and kicked the Marines, sprayed them with mace, and issued a slew of ethnic insults and slurs toward them over their Hispanic ethnicity. One of the Marine’s cell phones was also stolen.

The Antifa members called the two Marines “white supremacists” and other names, in addition to the ethnic slurs.

During his testimony in December, Godinez said he was shocked when he was accused of being a white supremacist during the attack, to which he told the attackers, “I’m Mexican.”

All of the assailants fled the scene, prompting Philadelphia Police to post a video and call on the public to help identify them.

Investigators confirmed that the three Antifa members were, in fact, linked to the activist group after considering their online activity, reports and court testimony.

After reading news stories related to the attacks, Torres came across a photo of Alcoff and identified him as a third assailant. He provided investigators with photos he took of the attackers, in which they confirmed Alcoff was one of the assailants pictured.

Alcoff and Keenan were arrested at the same event in 2011, and a video shows Alcoff at a protest several years earlier, in which he declared he was a communist.

Alcoff is scheduled to appear in Common Pleas Court on Feb. 11.