Trump INFLAMES the Left, delights the Right with TERROR-list threat for Antifa
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump tweeted on Sunday, after militants associated with the left-wing group were accused of fomenting riots across the country.
Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors. These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
The tweet has triggered a seething discussion on whether Trump can actually live up to his promise. Though the president can, thanks to the post-9/11 Patriot Act, use counterterrorism laws against domestic groups, the Left immediately reminded him that Antifa is not an ‘organization’ as such, but “a bunch of lefty activist types who like to protest.”
LOL. Antifa isn't even an organization, just a blanket term for a bunch of lefty activist types who like to protest. The vast majority of people rioting in the streets aren't Antifa, they're just regular pissed-off American kids. https://t.co/QDHopyvTIe— #TestAndTrace Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) May 31, 2020
1) Amid ongoing riots, @realDonaldTrump designates Antifa as Terrorist Org. Disappointing that of all domestic threats, POTUS chooses Antifa, which isn't even an "organization," but a movement, making it hard to say what this designation will mean & how government will act on it. https://t.co/I7V7fVxcXk— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 31, 2020
"Antifa" is a principle, an "ideal". One we have used as the the "ideal" behind two world wars and countless conflicts around the globe. It is not a club or an org or an association. Banning an "ideal", HOWEVER BADLY it can be manifested, is akin to prosecuting thought crime.— Mark Sheppard (@Mark_Sheppard) May 31, 2020
However, despite their loose-knit structure, Antifa militants have been accused of attacking right-wing demonstrations, violently shutting down conservative events and speeches, and in recent days directing and instigating nationwide protests originally sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday.
To the Left, though, the group’s very name – shortened from ‘antifascist’ – excuses it from any wrongdoing. “Unless you’re a fascist, you’re now a designated terrorist,” one commenter warned.
Let's be crystal clear:1. #ANTIFA = Anti-fascist2. Domestic terrorism is overwhelmingly carried out by the RIGHT, not the left.— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) May 31, 2020
Still more expressed worry that, due to Antifa’s lack of a typical command structure, the designation would be used to target the very act of protest itself. “Make no mistake here, Trump is threatening the constitutional right of ‘freedom of assembly’ in his attempt to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization,” Democrat Russ Cirincione tweeted. “Trump will claim any opposition as “Antifa” to silence and strip rights away from protestors.”
Make no mistake here, Trump is threatening the constitutional right of “freedom of assembly” in his attempt to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. Trump will claim any opposition as “Antifa” to silence and strip rights away from protestors. https://t.co/XZV4KeQ0d4— Russ Cirincione for NJ-6🇺🇸🧢🌹 (@RussForUs2020) May 31, 2020
On the Right, the reaction couldn’t have been more different. Though Trump tweeted last year about designating Antifa an “organization of terror,” he didn’t follow through on the idea. Among the conservatives celebrating his announcement on Sunday were conservative provocateur Kaitlin Bennett and right-wing podcaster Stefan Molyneux, both of whom have had university appearances disrupted by the Left.
Gonna be really nice doing interviews on college campuses again once all of you thugs are in jail for domestic terrorism! 😂 https://t.co/A3UU4wv4Zk— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 31, 2020
That is a most welcome development.I miss giving speeches.Now we will find out how close ties are between Antifa and mainstream journalists, and whether they have been supporting and enabling terrorism. https://t.co/hG6X2Fi2q2— Stefan Molyneux, MA (@StefanMolyneux) May 31, 2020
Amid the right-wing optimism, some commenters were more cynical. Conservative pundit Mark Dice suggested that, terrorism declaration or not, Twitter most likely won’t ban Antifa accounts from its platform.
Once Antifa is officially classified a terrorist organization, @Jack Dorsey will not ban Antifa accounts. He will direct Twitter to allow the terrorist organization to continue to operate. You know he will. Just watch. It’s coming.— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 31, 2020
Whatever shape Trump’s declaration takes, his Justice Department has apparently started acting against Antifa already. Following Trump’s tweet, Attorney General William Barr announced that he would instruct the FBI’s regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces to investigate the masked militants.
“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,” a statement from Barr read.
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