Two Republican senators have introduced a resolution to “properly identify” Antifa as “domestic terrorists” who use violence against their opponents while being protected by “liberal privilege.”
The resolution, introduced on Thursday by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), cites numerous instances of intimidation and outright violence by left-wing radicals as the basis for their formal designation as domestic terrorists. In particular, it mentions recent clashes in Portland, Oregon, that saw far-left Rose City Antifa facing off with far-right Proud Boys and police.
The highlight of the late June skirmish was the assault on journalist Andy Ngo by Antifa protesters. The Quillette reporter was beaten and doused with milkshakes that, according to some accounts, contained quick-drying cement. Ngo also said his camera equipment was stolen.
The attack sparked a Twitter moment in support of the journalist and spawned a ‘Protect Andy Ngo Fund’ GoFundMe campaign that topped its stated goal of $50,000 four-fold.
Commenting on the proposed legislation, Cassidy described Antifa as “violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by liberal privilege.”
Apart from the incident with Ngo, the two senators cite reports of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers being doxxed and intimidated by left-wing protesters, including a reported incident with an ICE officer who “had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the ‘Gestapo’,” the notorious Nazi secret police.
While the resolution appears to refer to the Antifa movement in general, it specifically takes aim at the Oregon-based Rose City Antifa, which the authors state “explicitly rejects the authority of law enforcement officers in the United States, and Federal, State, and local governments.”
Any use of violence, including, against “individuals that the group labels as fascist” is inadmissible, the resolution argues. While denouncing the left-wing terrorism, Cruz and Cassidy also note the need to fight far-right violence, urging the federal government “to redouble its efforts, using all available and appropriate tools, to combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including White supremacist terrorism.”
Cruz and Cassidy’s attempt to put the ‘terrorist’ label on the Antifa movement would require changing or at least clarifying federal law. In response to an August 2017 petition to formally recognize Antifa as a terrorist entity, the White House said that “although Federal law provides a mechanism to designate and sanction foreign terrorist organizations and foreign state sponsors of terrorism, there is currently no analogous mechanism for formally designating domestic terrorist organizations.”
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