Counter protesting is ALSO protected speech.
Being angry at someone's genocidal BEHAVIOR is not the same thing as wanting whole demographics dead or forcibly deported based exclusively on the circumstances of their birth.
Right to free speech is not the same entitlement to venue.
We don't casually debate cannibalism or pedophilia in university settings, so there IS a water's edge of acceptable ideas and not everything has to be chin-strokingly considered.
The "uncomfortable topics" status quo defenders feel the "need to discuss"....endlessly....all the time...in any space.....ever.....predominantly involve the intellectual merits of granting other people their humanity, rather than–for example–their privilege or their own cultures' toxic entitlement.
Protecting oneself and peaceful protesters against an armed group of provocateurs that has demonstrated its willingness to commit aggravated assault and murder (and speaks casually of far worse) is not the same as encouraging people to preemptively harm "someone who disagrees."
Antifa means anti-fascist.
Being a pacifist is not the same as being silent in the face of systematic violence and the armed agents of the state who carry it out, but squeamish about seeing a punch thrown or property damaged––that's called being authoritarian.
Calling everyone you disagree with "Nazis" or "fascists" probably IS counter productive, but there are actual swastika-sporting, zeig-heiling, blood-and-soil-shouting, neo and literal NAZIS marching in the streets. Really. Plus these days they're joined by other white supremacists, ethno-stateists, bleeding edgelords who are so far into their privilege they think their words have no consequences, and a conservative party who doesn't give a shit if the leader of the Republican party eggs them on as long as there's the promise of a payoff (in the form of a better economy). So sometimes the rank and file progressives might use metonymy when we're not doing interviews for NPR or on the Oxford debate team. I sure hope to see all these pedant warriors the next time a 3% progressive tax increase on the richest 1% is called socialism because that shit gets said by national level politicians ON NPR all the goddamned time.
In this moment in history, only one "side" has a body count in the name of its ideology, and it's not the OPPONENTS of white supremacy.
Black bloc is a tactic to protect peaceful activists from being run off by genocidal bigots who have demonstrated their perfect willingness to be violent or threaten violence.
Someone in your personal space screaming at you that they want to murder you and yours while you get hit with eggs and bottles and the cops laugh from the sidelines is probably not as easy to pacifist one's way through as armchair criticism would have one believe.
Attempting to take over state power to deport people from their homes, incarcerate them into a modern version of slavery, and possibly murder them indiscriminately in a massive act of eugenics is not "equally bad" as discussing punching someone who speaks openly of their desire to do these things.
Law enforcement does not protect either group with identical diligence. Nor does the criminal justice system. Suggesting that all the enemies of bigotry have to do is NOTHING has not worked in modern times or in history. Ever.
I'm really just ten kinds of fucking tired of people thinking I endorse all manner of wildly uncontained extrajudicial violence because I hate fallacies of equivocation and see some nuance when literally armed Nazis march into town and get punched.