Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a new bill this week that calls on the U.S. government to officially designate the left-wing anarchists known as Antifa a domestic terrorist organization. The bill, which comes in the wake of two disturbing outbreaks of violence emanating from the group, also condemns the radical destruction that Antifa has embraced.
“Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege,” said Cassidy. “Bullies get their way until someone says no. Elected officials must have courage, not cowardice, to prevent terror.”
“Antifa is a terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence,” said Cruz. “Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views. Like any terrorist organization they choose to pursue their political ends through violence, fear and intimidation. They must be stopped. I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Cassidy to properly identify what Antifa are: domestic terrorists.”
Earlier this month, independent journalist Andy Ngo, whose writings have been critical of Antifa, was brutally assaulted while covering a protest march/riot in Portland, Oregon. The group was captured on video throwing milkshakes at Ngo, punching him, and ultimately sending him to the hospital with a head injury. No one can watch the video of a masked, black-clad violently attacking a minority and come away thinking that Antifa has anything but hatred and destruction as motivating forces.
Only a week or two later, an Antifa soldier named Willem Van Spronsen launched an attack on an ICE detention facility in Washington state, throwing incendiary devices and putting agents in harm’s way before he was ultimately killed by police. In a manifesto that was released after his death, Van Spronsen left no doubt as to where his allegiances lied: “I am Antifa,” he wrote.
In their resolution, Cruz and Cassidy wrote:
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Senate:
(1) calls for the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations;
(2) unequivocally condemns the violent actions of Antifa groups as unacceptable acts for anyone in the United States;
(3) expresses the need for the peaceful communication of varied ideas in the United States;
(4) urges any group or organizations in the United States to voice its opinions without using violence or threatening the health, safety, or well-being of any other persons, groups, or law enforcement officers in the United States; and
(5) calls upon the Federal Government to redouble its efforts, using all available and appropriate tools, to combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including White supremacist terrorism.
That last bit was a particularly clever way to get Democrats to support the resolution, but we wonder if it will make any difference. When the head of the DNC has been photographed perusing Antifa literature and when multiple Democratic Party lawmakers have refused to condemn this violent group, we’re not holding out much hope for them to suddenly wake up and realize what it is they’ve wrought. To them, these are just harmless mischief-makers who are nonetheless on the right side of history. To them, these degenerates are proof that their over-the-top “Trump is a Nazi” rhetoric is working. To them, Antifa represents the best of their base.
Condemn them? They’d have to start with themselves.