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Issue #1918      June 8, 2020

Trump says US will label Antifa as a terrorist organisation

Without evidence, Trump and several top officials from his administration have blamed Antifa and groups it describes as “agitators.”

United States President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the US will go ahead and label Antifa as a “terrorist organisation,” raising serious concerns about the unconstitutionality of such a threat if carried out.

“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organisation,” Trump said, as protests over the murder of the black man, George Floyd, continued in at least thirty cities in the United States on Sunday [31st May], with Minneapolis as the epicentre.

Without evidence, Trump and several top officials from his administration, including US Attorney General William Barr, have blamed Antifa and groups it describes as “agitators” for taking over the protests in US cities.

“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,” Barr said in a statement on Sunday following the president’s tweet.

The movement itself, short for “anti-fascists,” is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning groups with no designated leadership that is opposed to far-right ideologies; with many in recent years directly confronting white nationalists and Trump-supporters.

Yet for many experts, the worrying fact is the intention of Trump to designate a domestic group in the same way it does foreign entities as he has no legal authority.

“As this tweet demonstrates, terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused. There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns,” the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi said.

In stark contrast to the spotlight on left-leaning groups, the rise of the far-right and neo-nazis have been ignored by the Trump administration despite warnings from social movements and lawmakers.

Even FBI Director Christopher Wray has raised concerns about the increase of white supremacist activity driving the domestic terror threat, in some cases surpassing that from foreign terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive night from the city of Los Angeles to Chicago, through Cleveland, Washington DC and New York, scenes of wide-spread protests and riots continue, forcing local authorities to announce curfews and to call up to 5,000 troops from the National Guard.


Next article – Nationwide uprising against racist police violence

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