From the plethora of left-wing extremist groups that have recently come to the surface of American politics, none have been as outspoken, publicized, and overtly violent as the national “anti-fascist” organization known as Antifa. Spurred on by the election of President Donald Trump and the rise of populism on the American right, Antifa has steadily increased its anti-capitalist, anti-conservative, anti-American rhetoric and action—much of which has become violent.
From public demonstrations blocking active motorways to arson to frequent physical attacks and harassment of conservative figures, Antifa has become a major source of fear for many everyday Americans. Yet despite this tension, the organization has yet to be condemned by the majority of Democrat leaders.
However, two Republican senators have decided that tolerance for such a group has to end. U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have just introduced legislation officially labeling Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.
“Antifa is a terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence,” said Cruz in a statement. “Time and time again, their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views.”
Antifa has become notorious for violent demonstrations and physical attacks on both public property and innocent civilians. Notable incidents include when members of the group smashed cars and burned buildings at UC Berkeley to protest conservative speakers in 2017 and physically assaulted conservative students at a pro-Brett Kavanaugh rally at UT Austin in 2018.
Proud of @TexasYCT for standing strong against the unhinged liberal mob! #onward #txlege https://t.co/84O4RoSRq7
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) October 3, 2018
More recently, Antifa engaged in the harassment of conservative journalist Andy Ngo, leaving him bloodied and beaten after Ngo peacefully came into contact with the group.
Despite their frequent and unapologetic violence, however, many Democrat Party leaders still refuse to condemn the group and its actions—notably, members of Congress’ progressive “squad” such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Requests to disavow the violence have frequently been met by apathetic silence from the Democrat caucus, a trend echoed among many left-leaning media outlets, as well.
By labeling the group as domestic terrorists, Sens. Cruz and Cassidy hope to raise awareness about the increasing threat that the organization poses, both to the physical safety of citizens and their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights.
“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.”