Issues & Insights

George Floyd, Antifa, And Terrorism

I&I Editorial

The Trump administration says it’s going to declare Antifa to be a terrorist organization. Though overdue, it’s a welcome development. But this doesn’t mean those who aren’t part of Antifa should be free to get away with blocking the free movement of people, property destruction, and violence. They should be prosecuted, too.

While the country was waking up Sunday morning to see how much damage “protesters” had racked up overnight, President Donald Trump tweeted that “the United States of America will be designating Antifa,” which is reportedly participating in the George Floyd riots, “as a terrorist organization.” According to the FBI, which could help itself by doing something productive rather than being involved in a coup to overthrow a legal presidential election, domestic terrorism is defined by:

“Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”

Antifa is all that.

Politico reported in 2017 that the Department of Homeland Security “classified their activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence.’” But an even more more official classification of Antifa as a domestic terrorist group “bestows a new class of investigatory powers on the Department of Justice,” says the Pacific Standard.

Because Antifa is leaderless, investigating and prosecuting its crimes is a tall hurdle for law enforcement because the focus has to be on individuals maiming and pillaging under the Antifa flag. However, if the group is considered a terrorist organization, federal agents can “investigate not only an individual suspect, but also any group the suspect may be affiliated with,” according to the Pacific Standard.

Novelist, lawyer, retired Army colonel, and columnist Kurt Schlicter has tweeted an open memo to the White House outlining how a terrorist designation for Antifa would work.

“The pressure point for the Antifa terrorists is federal law-enforcement. Federal law criminalizes their use of interstate organizational activities. … Fed (law enforcement) is not under the control of leftist DAs, police chiefs & mayors. For too long you had Democrat cities pulling back police & releasing rioters immediately w/o serious charges.

By reviewing arrest records, the FBI can determine potential candidates for federal charges. … 

What Antifa fears is federal prosecution.

When the first of these little trust fund sissies figures out he’s not walking out of his cell after 20 minutes with a $50 fine but looking at five years in Leavenworth on a Fed rap, he’ll squeal on his comrades. This is an opportunity to destroy Antifa root and branch, and to eliminate the armed wing of the Democrat party. Forever.

Too harsh? Not at all. While Anitifa sows fear, and has left a trail of injured Americans and damage property behind it, it also disrupts and divides. The group is anti-fascist in name only and has in fact adopted the Nazi strategy of brawling in the streets. It’s clear that Antifa members want to destroy civil society, to “smash the patriarchy” through violence, apparently believe it’s “time to start killing pigs,” and wish to tear apart the only nation that has ever been founded on the idea that men are free.

“A portion of Antifa movement members are willing to commit crimes to promote their beliefs,” says the Congressional Research Service, and have “a willingness to engage in criminality – taking the law into their own hands – when confronting their foes or expressing their own ideas.”

None of this is consistent with the American freedoms to assemble and protest.

One has to wonder how race-baiting Democrat Keith Ellison will fare after Trump’s decision. He not long ago tweeted a photo of himself holding an Antifa handbook, saying he had “just found the book that strike (sic) fear in the heart of” Trump.

Though he’s the state’s attorney general, he of course won’t be prosecuting the rioters who have torn Minnesota apart. He’s already compromised himself as the state’s top law enforcement official, and has risked his political future by aligning himself with a terrorist organization.

Let’s hope local prosecutors in Minnesota, and elsewhere, have the courage to arrest, try, and convict the guilty rioters and looters no matter their race, gender, or political or organizational affiliation. They need to be separated from the decent, peaceful people that most Americans are.

— Written by the Issues & Insights Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Antisocial people who are relentless in their hate and dishonesty need to be taken out of society as soon as possible; without setting boundaries and putting consequences into place, Antifa and their ilk are going to feel more empowered to destroy and kill.

    Unfortunately this is a little late, arresting and incarcerating should have been going on last week, not being addressed Monday, June 1.

    • The arrests should have happened when this first started. Letting it grow to this level is on all of those pusillanimous authorities, in name only, that let this escalate. Who didn’t see this coming? Same with the looters. If a few were shot dead in their tracks, you don’t think this would have ended a long time ago? The wrong signals have been sent for too long. They crack down on individuals simply wanting to get their lives back, but thuggery goes on, ad nauseum. This is on all of those Scot Petersons out there.

      • Agreed, I will blame this on binge watching Outlander and Last Kingdom, but after watching a video of somebody choking off oxygen for over 8 minutes, that cop should have been hung on a tree for all to see the next day. Same with those guys that hunted down the jogger in their pick-up truck. I normally give all law enforcement and military the extreme benefit, but that video was horrifying.

      • The arrest did not occur this time for the same reason they did not occur when these same skum disrupted the Trump rallies, and other true conservative speakers…the police were told to and were willing to stand down and let the violence and destruction occur. They did the same thing in LA with the King riots, and when the storm hit New Orleans. The police pull back and save their own hide while the public is left on their own, mostly unarmed and unprepared to defend them selves in what, for all practical purposes has become an urban battle ground.
        If the law abiding productive segment of society expects a riot, they will stay home. If caught unawares, they better be in condition yellow and able to make a stand. This as what happened recently in Charleston, SC, where a flash mob erupted and beat the stew out of a lot of tourists, the paper covered it up, but my info is from a friend in law enforcement who has contacts in Charleston.

        If the police continue standing down, somewhere, the law abiding are going to come out in force and solve the problem.


  • If the media would put down their cameras, all of the protesting and riots would end. If no one is watching, why protest?

  • One wonders how easily the trail of money will lead back to George Soros, and whether or not an already-corrupted FBI will bother to follow it.

  • The Democrats just changed the name. It used to be the KKK. Antifa sounds more benign because they are “against fascism” don’t you know.

  • While the general tone of the article is on point, it still perpetuates the myth that Antifa mimics Nazi tactics. Antifa was the militant arm of the Communists in Germany, formed even before the Nazis showed up. The SA arm (brownshirts) of the NSDAP was formed primarily as a defense against Antifa and their tactic of violence against all political rivals. The SA was quite successful in that role because sometimes you’ll have to fight fire with fire.

    • If your point is merely that the Antifa types – the commies did it first – well of course. But of course they are all cousins in the same ideological family.

  • This editorial is interesting, yet meaningless. Antifa fears nothing because Antifa isn’t an entity/ Antifa is a belief. A philosophy. In a very real sense, every American serviceman or woman who participated in any part of World War two was Antifa. Trying to arrest or prosecute Antifa is the illogical equivalent of lassoing the wind. Trying to make Antifa some kind of boogeyman is basically a pro-fascist position.

    • I seriously doubt that you could find a single veteran of WWII would ever want to be compared in any way whatsoever to those masked, rampaging, brutal Antifa thugs who target American citizens. You are welcome to try.

    • I couldn’t help but notice that the Antifa inspired protesters vandalized and defaced the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
      Antifa is anti-freedom and is a Marxist-Leninist based group who would turn the United States into a repressive, democidal, politically correct prison state like Venezuela or China with gansters siphoning off the profits.

    • Attacking a fascist group like Antifa is taking a pro-fascist position? I truly believe the lack of analytical thinking runs rampant among leftists.

  • Just like with everything else, follow the money. Antifa can’t exist if their followers need to get jobs to feed themselves.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!