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Top 10: Memes of 2018, #2: Antifascist Gritty

In this top 10, our writer breaks down their favourite memes that came out of 2018. Pray for them and their sanity.

After the co-optation of Pepe the Frog by a bunch of alt-right, white nationalist, anarchocapitalist edgelords, the left needed an answer.

Enter Gritty, mascot of the Philadelphia Fliers and now antifascist icon.

Before we get into the whole radical left politics thing, let’s talk about Gritty himself. He’s a big orange oaf with a mischievous streak. His googly eyes lack remorse. They call out for blood. He can shoot steam out of his ears. He’s creepy as all hell.

All of these things started getting Gritty huge press coverage. He got spots on late night talk TV, confused sports journalists with his antics, and made people lose their minds with his impeccable Twitter account.

Soon after his introduction, Gritty was co-opted by local protestors demonstrating against Trump’s visit to Philadelphia. He appeared all over protest signs alongside anti-fascist and anarchist iconography. This spread like wildfire online, with other online leftists taking on Gritty as their own rallying icon. Now, Gritty is regularly associated with fighting fascism, unionization, revolution, and class solidarity.


With the advent of social media and political organizing online, culture, and more specifically memes, have become central to political struggles both online and offline. For so long the left had been accused of being unable to meme, for having weak propaganda and lacking effective tools for communicating their political messages in an entertaining way.

With the acquisition of Gritty, the left has seized important ground in the online culture war. Given the shitpost-y nature of Gritty’s persona, he could’ve easily fallen into the hands of the alt-right. Thank god that didn’t happen. Now we can all stand together with Comrade Gritty, ready to stamp out the evils of capitalism and Nazis wherever they lurk.

Richard Bagan

Big ups to my man Gritty. Gritty is a worker, and he will never cease to be one.

Andrew McWhinney

Andrew McWhinney is a fifth-year English and political science combined honors student, as well as The Gateway's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. He was previously The Gateway's 2018-19 Opinion Editor. An aspiring journalist with too many opinions, he's a big fan of political theory, hip-hop, and being alive.

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