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