Can the Justice Department do something about Antifa and Black Lives Matter and their assault on free speech?
At Whitehouse.org, there’s a petition with over 110,000 names demanding that the federal government declare Antifa to be a terrorist organization.
That’s not a terrible idea, of course; if you’ve followed the antics of Antifa and the rioting and violence they’ve involved themselves in, you might well think of the current definition of domestic terrorism in federal law. That is action which…
“(A) involve(s) acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear(s) to be intended — (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur(s) primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”
Rioting would certainly be dangerous to human life, particularly when it’s intended to intimidate the population into forgoing our right to free expression — look at the mob which showed up to riot not just against what looked like a gaggle of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville two weekends ago but the one which shut down a free speech rally featuring a pair of libertarian political candidates in Boston on Saturday.
They’re not exactly the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weathermen, the Klan or the Earth Liberation Front… yet. But wherever Antifa, and their Black Lives Matter pals, congregate it sure seems like beatings and property destruction are sure to follow, and it’s also notable that somebody else’s opinions which differ from the snowflake communism Antifa and Black Lives Matter have on offer — not just the white supremacist folks, but libertarians, classical liberals, old-school conservatives, traditionalist Americans, supporters of the police and practically anybody else they don’t like — seem to bring these people out of the woodwork if those opinions are to be aired in public.
What’s especially interesting is the reaction of Antifa to the neo-Nazi crowd given the similarity of the politics between the two sides. They’re both leftists fighting over the same market. No wonder the animus.
Charlottesville looked a lot like Weimar Germany. Boston looked more like the Paris Commune in 1871. “Counter-protesters” numbering some 40,000 arrived to attack a rally they believed would be a white supremacist affair because some minuscule outfit affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan said they’d attend. Speakers at the event were hardly what one might expect of neo-Nazis, though; when Shiva Ayyadurai, running as a Republican against Liz Warren for the U.S. Senate, is a featured speaker, it’s hard to make the event out as a white-power thing.
Finding no Nazis to bloody, the Antifa nuts turned on the police instead. Some 33 arrests were made following the melee between the agitators and the Boston cops. The media reported the affair as “mostly peaceful.” By Antifa’s standards that’s probably not untrue; they’ve done far worse and certainly will in the future.
Here’s the problem with going the terrorism route, though — while the Patriot Act provides a definition of it, there is no specific criminal charge for domestic terrorism in federal law. Defining Antifa as a terrorist organization doesn’t mean a whole lot. As such, there is a bit of a low-reward problem here; just Monday John Fund noted that despite all the bad behavior by these groups the U.S. Civil Rights Commission refused to denounce Antifa violence. What this means is that as Fund says, quoting the old Marxist maxim, there are “no enemies on the Left.”
The Democrats will protect Antifa and Black Lives Matter until and even after someone directly involved with them kills in their name. We know this. We know it because of the short shrift given to leftist violence in the wake of the James Hodgkinson attack on Steve Scalise and his GOP congressional colleagues, and we know it because of the kid gloves they’ve treated these people with as they’ve destroyed property and injured people in their previous rioting.
So to go after Antifa and Black Lives Matter as terrorist groups, or perhaps better to go after them under some more easily prosecutable legal strategy as their behavior worsens, will be an exercise in purely partisan law enforcement and result in ever more increasing howls from Democrats about the authoritarianism of the Trump administration. We know this; it can’t be avoided.
But here’s the thing — these people are going to kill someone, and soon. It’s inevitable. Black Lives Matter is at least indirectly responsible for the murders of eight law enforcement officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge last year, though the organization isn’t going to be held legally responsible for those. When organizations like these, made up of crazies as they are, are egged on by a mainstream media which lets them get away with the conceit that property destruction doesn’t constitute violence and that people have the right, or even the responsibility, to use violence against those they believe are Nazis after spending much time comparing Trump and other Republicans to Hitler, and led by a class of Democrat politicians who openly advocate the assassination of the president, are left unchecked, the violence will only grow.
But at what point does the violence become widespread and serious enough that Democrats stand aside and “allow” the Trump DOJ to treat Antifa and Black Lives Matter as what they are?
Do we ever get to that point? Or do we just devolve into a hot civil war from the cold civil war we’ve endured for the past decade?
This column’s advice is to ignore the Democrats and investigate these people right along with all the neo-Nazi and Klan groups the Justice Department is already scrutinizing — and when they break the law, give them no quarter.
We’re in a dangerous time in America. Half of the country’s political class is actively pushing civil strife because they can’t accept the results of an election, and far too many in the other half, like Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, are feckless and weak in standing for ordered liberty. Trump may have to go it alone in putting down both iterations of the leftist revolutionaries who turned Charlottesville bloody. Here’s hoping he and his Justice Department have the stones to do just that.
The All-Nite Images from NY, NY, USA/Creative Commons