Radical Antifa groups are up in arms over a new bill sponsored by Rep. Dan Donovan (R.-N.Y.), along with fellow Republican Reps. Peter King (N.Y.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and Ted Budd (N.C.).
If passed, H.R. 6054, introduced in House of Representatives last month, would dole out harsher penalties to masked rioters engaging in criminal behavior.
The bill is called the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018. And the anarchists don’t like it one bit.
A section of the bill reads: “Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.”
Several Antifa organizations have smeared the lawmakers responsible for the measure, as Campus Reform noted, and criticized the legislation on social media, including this threatening remark from Antifa USA, an activist group based in Arizona: “I don’t think the #Fascists & their collaborators comprehend the gravity of the situation, our resources, nor dedication to #Antifascism.”
“Americans have the natural right to speak and protest freely; it is not a right to throw Molotov cocktails and beat people who assemble peacefully while hiding behind a mask.”
Antifa stands for anti-fascist — yet the actions of these individuals are anything but.
Who can forget the horrifying incident in the winter of 2017 when dozens of black-clad agitators caused $100,000 worth of damage after smashing through Berkeley, California? They were protesting a University of California at Berkeley speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, as The Washington Post and others noted.
That incident was one of many. Antifa uses a by-any-means-necessary approach.
“Americans have the natural right to speak and protest freely; it is not a right to throw Molotov cocktails and beat people who assemble peacefully while hiding behind a mask. My bill adds a penalty for doing so to the decades-old civil rights statutes,” said the bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Donovan of New York.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.