President Trump to Designate Antifa a Domestic Terrorist Organization For Inciting Riots & Hijacking Peaceful Protests
Do you agree with designating Antifa as a terrorist organization?
by Countable | 5.31.20
What’s the story?
- President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted that, “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”
- The announcement comes after Trump on Saturday condemned efforts by Antifa and other anarchist groups to hijack what were peaceful protests across the country against the killing of George Floyd and turn many of them into violent riots:
“The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists. The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses, and burning down buildings. The main victims of this horrible, horrible situation are the citizens who live in these once lovely communities. The mobs are devastating the life’s work of good people and destroying their dreams.”
- Attorney General William Barr expounded on the designation of Antifa’s activities as domestic terrorism in a statement:
“With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements… Federal law enforcement actions will be directed at apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law… The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
What is Antifa?
- Antifa is a loose organization of militant left-wing, anti-fascist demonstrators that engage in protest activities that often feature property damage, physical violence, and harassment at their opponents. There are Antifa-affiliated groups active in many U.S. cities and around the world.
- Antifa is often violent. The movement’s leaders admit a willingness to physically attack anyone who employs violence against them, or who they view as condoning racism — as long as force is used in the name of eradicating hatred, it’s considered within the bounds of the movement. Antifa members have also attacked journalists covering their activities during riots.
- When Antifa protesters congregate, they often wear all black and cover their faces with masks — a tactic known as “black bloc,” which aims to unify demonstrators’ efforts and hide their identities.
- In response to antifa, many jurisdictions across the country have begun enforcing laws that bar people from wearing masks during gatherings, if those laws are on the books.
What does a domestic terrorist designation mean?
- Under the PATRIOT Act, domestic terrorism is defined as acts that are dangerous to human life & violate federal and/or state criminal laws; appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence government policy, or affect the conduct of government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur within domestic U.S. territory.
- Numerous groups that have been associated with domestic terrorism over the years, including the Animal Liberation Front, Army of God, Aryan Nations, Earth Liberation Front, Ku Klux Klan, Symbionese Liberation Army, and the Weathermen.
- The federal government also identifies terroristic activities that are not affiliated with a group but motivated by similar extremist views as domestic terrorism. In October 2019, the Dept. of Homeland Security designated white supremacy as a domestic terrorism threat.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: cantfightthetendies via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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