Antifa activists suspected of attacking GOP club in New York

December 7, 2020
By Eric Shawn | Fox News

Antifa activists are accused of not only attacking Republicans, but also Christmas and Hanukkah.

New York City's venerable Metropolitan Republican Club, a G.O.P. bastion on Manhattan's Upper East Side, was allegedly vandalized by activists targeting its support of President Trump and its holiday religious celebrations.

"I am deeply disturbed and disgusted at this attack," club president Ian Walsh Reilly told Fox News.

"Republicans are in a situation where we can come together under social guidelines and hold an election night party that went off flawlessly," he explained. "We were then having a celebration of religion, of Christianity and Judaism and their holidays, and that was the date they chose to attack the Met Club. It shows such intolerance from the very people who say they are anti-fascist."

The club held its annual "Christmas and Hanukkah Social" on the evening of December 3rd, announcing "Tis the Season to be of Good Cheer and gather with your fellow Republicans at the Met Club to Celebrate the Holidays Together!"

But when members showed up they were greeted by anarchist graffiti and Antifa symbols spray-painted in red across the elegant building's facade, and the words "You're Canceled" scrawled across the two heavy front doors. A circle with three arrows was spray painted on the sidewalk, a symbol often used by Antifa in protests that echoes the signs from the 1930's used by the German anti-fascist resistance movement. The letters "ACA B" were also spray painted on the building, a common anarchist phrase slamming police officers as “All Cops Are (epithet.)” Black bags symbolizing dead bodies of non-White victims of coronavirus were left on the sidewalk.

New York City police are investigating the crime, which Reilly claims was carried out by four men clad in black who used the cover of darkness to carry out their plot in the early morning hours. He said the actions are especially offensive because he believes the attackers targeted religious and not just political beliefs.

"We do openly put the words Christmas and Hanukkah in the title of the party, because we should be open and honest. This is a celebration of two wonderful religions, and as the club is the most visible symbol of the Republican party in New York City, a city that is becoming more and more intolerant of opposing opinions, I am afraid that is going to continue."

The club was founded in 1902 by Republican reformers who supported President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1930 the club constructed the elegant Federal-style townhouse to serve as its home and has had a long historic role in the city's political life. The club is where two storied Republican mayors announced their successful candidacies for City Hall, Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1989 and the legendary Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930's. Other Republican mayors and governors have also been among its members.

In 2018 anarchists were blamed for smashing some of the club's windows and spray painting graffiti including the letter "A" inside a circle, what is considered an anarchist symbol. Police said a note was left behind that warned "Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize."

In 2019 two members of the far-right "Proud Boys" were sentenced to four years in prison after a street fight near the club erupted between members of the group and Antifa following an appearance by “Proud Boys” founder Gavin McInnes at the club.

Reilly says he and the other club members will not let the latest defacing of their headquarters deter them.

"The members' reactions were disgust and horror, especially when they recognized what "ACAB" means," said Reilly. "People were just sad, but also defiant. They just wanted to come together and honor our traditions."

"We will not be intimidated, and if our vocal and unending support for the NYPD continues to bring this type of hatred upon us, we will not back down from it," he added.