A whitehouse.gov petition requesting that the federal government formerly recognize Antifa as a terrorist organization has reached the number of signatures necessary to require a response.
The petition, which passed the 100,000-signature mark on Sunday evening at about 8 p.m., was launched on Thursday, August 17, and had a month to reach the necessary threshold for a White House response. It did so in less than four days and now has over 150,000 signatures.
“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims,'” the petition begins. “This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States.”
“It is time for the pentagon [sic] to be consistent in its actions — and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group — on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety,” it said. The petition’s central assertion that Antifa fits the terror group definition of engaging in “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims” is demonstrably true.
On at least three separate occasions so far this year, Antifa militants instigated violent confrontations on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. The first episode occurred on February 1, when Antifa thugs rioted in response to a scheduled talk by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Rallies at Berkeley organized by supporters of President Donald Trump held on March 4 and April 15 were met with similar scenes of violence. Footage from the April incident shows Antifa militants throwing bricks and attacking people with metal poles and chains.
Self-identified Antifa militants also engaged in violence at the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12. Reports indicate that Antifa “protesters” threw bags or bottles of urine, feces, and unknown chemical agents at rally attendees. One attendee, a controversial Alt-Right figure known by the online pseudonym “Baked Alaska,” was nearly blinded by a chemical agent. Videos and photographs from that day also show Antifa thugs carrying a variety of blunt instruments and homemade weapons, including at least one flamethrower jury-rigged from an aerosol can.
Some Antifa activists have declared that violence is not a byproduct of the organization’s mission — it is its very purpose.
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“During the ’80s, neo-Nazis would roam the streets terrorizing the population. The anti-racist group Dumb Skater Boys (DSB) would fight them in the streets,” reads a post on the Antifa Dallas blog. “Their direct-action confrontational style is embodied in the current anti-racist struggles in Dallas.”
Torch Antifa, a U.S.-wide network of Antifa groups, makes no efforts to mask its violent intentions.
“The Torch Network is a network of Militant antifascists across (but not limited to) the united states [sic],” the group declares in the “About us” section of its website.
“We are dedicated to confronting fascism and other element of oppression. We believe in direct action,” it says.
Scenes of mayhem in cities across America make it clear just what Antifa means by direct action.
Last Wednesday, a Colorado man named Joshua Witt was stabbed repeatedly by a seemingly Antifa-inspired assailant because of his haircut — the undercut style popular with some on the far right.
Witt had just pulled into the parking lot of the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in Sheridan, Colorado, and was confronted upon opening his car door.
“All I hear is, ‘Are you one of them neo-Nazis?’ as this dude is swinging a knife up over my car door at me,” he told the New York Post. “I threw my hands up and once the knife kind of hit, I dived back into my car and shut the door and watched him run off,” said Witt. “The dude was actually aiming for my head,” he continued. “I was more in shock because I was just getting a milkshake.”
Witt is not a white nationalist, but reports indicate he is serving in the U.S. Navy.
The administration would have some precedent for designating Antifa a terrorist organization. Antifa is already listed as an anarchist extremist group and tagged under “counterterrorism,” by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Ben Schumin)