Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have introduced a nonbinding resolution that would label antifascist activists known as antifa as “domestic terrorists,” according to the Washington Post.
“Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Bullies get their way until someone says no. Elected officials must have courage, not cowardice, to prevent terror.”
While there is no specific crime called “domestic terrorism,” applying such a designation allows law enforcement to look into a suspect’s known associates and affiliations.
While conservatives and centrists have long blasted antifa activists, who have been involved in street brawls with right-wing groups and left conservative journalist Andy Ngo bloodied in Portland, Ore., last month, critics of the measure have cited antifa’s lack of a formal organizational structure and said this could open the door to overly-broad enforcement, according to the Post.
“It is dangerous and overly broad to use labels that are disconnected [from] actual individual conduct,” Hina Shamsi, director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Washington Post. “And as we’ve seen how ‘terrorism’ has been used already in this country, any such scheme raises significant due process, equal protection and First Amendment constitutional concerns.”
The Anti-Defamation League added that antifa’s unstructured, leaderless nature could create an opening to apply the label to anyone demonstrating against the far right or white supremacists, adding that while the group opposes antifa violence, the activists have not been linked to any killings compared to hundreds of killings by far-right extremists in the past decade.
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