Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna


Two weeks after the Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to condemn racism, violence and intolerance following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, a top Republican is asking his colleagues to denounce violence committed by anti-fascist — or antifa — protesters in Berkeley over the weekend.

"Today I call on my colleagues to again stand together to denounce violence, this time perpetrated by antifa," tweeted Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, on Wednesday.

Steineke has introduced a resolution that would "condemn the violence perpetuated by members of the group calling itself antifa, as well as groups that use similar means to achieve an end."

Anarchists and antifa protesters interrupted a peaceful "anti-hate" rally in Berkeley on Sunday, injuring six people in attacks that resulted in 13 arrests, the Associated Press reported.

The incident came weeks after a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to three deaths and dozens of injuries. 

Days later, members of the state Assembly voted unanimously to condemn both the violence and "the racist, intolerable views that caused that deeply tragic day." The resolution condemned, by name, "white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and all those who rely on violence and hatred to advance their cause."

As Madison as it gets: Get Cap Times' highlights sent daily to your inbox

The resolution introduced on Wednesday specifically references the Berkeley incident, described as "yet another disturbing, sad event in a disturbing trend of violence perpetuated by both the far-right and the far-left."

Steineke tweeted on Monday asking if "any WI Democrat" would condemn the violence in Berkeley. Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee, replied, "If people are engaging in violence to hurt innocent people I sure as hell condemn it."

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.