Trump hits at Antifa, anarchist group labeled terror org
Over the weekend President Donald Trump said that he would designate Antifa a domestic terror organization.
The president’s announcement came as violence swelled in cities throughout the U.S. in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
The UK’s Telegraph reports that the violence had spread to over 30 cities. Historic landmarks like St John’s Church in DC, the Court House and Music City Center in Nashville suffered damage ranging from arson to petty vandalism.
Civil rights advocates say they doubt that the president has the legal authority to designate Antifa as a domestic a terror group.
“There currently exists no legal authority to designate domestic organizations as terror organizations, and any such designation would raise serious First Amendment concerns,” said Mary McCord a professor at Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection according to Politico.
Antifa, which stands for anti-fascist, is an anti-government, anarchist group. It has its roots in European socialism. Their protesters dress in black, with faces covered and operate in a “cell” organization used effectively by communists and Islamic terror organizations.
The administration seems determined to investigate the organization, regardless of its designation as a terror group, to understand if it has had a hand in turning peaceful protests into violence.
“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,” Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement. “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda. It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it.”
This isn’t the first time that the president has threatened action against Antifa.
“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others),” Trump tweeted last year. “Would make it easier for police to do their job!”
What’s most on conservative minds is why Antifa sprung up in the first place and who is giving them money and who is organizing them. The designation as a terror group might facilitate the financial investigation into the group.
Insiders say that Antifa is not so much as a reaction to Trump as a signal that the Democrat Party has failed to unify the left in the U.S.
“There’s a crisis among the left,” said one Antifa organizer in 2017. “And they’re looking for alternatives outside of party structures. The anarchist movement is one that’s working outside structures. … People are excited about that.”
Just don’t count on the excitement of the American people outside anarchists’ circles.
“Tearing up things, it’s not going to solve anything,” Quincy Mason Floyd, son of George Floyd said. “My dad is in peace and we have to be the ones to deal with all this stress. It’s going to be tough to get over this day by day.”
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