Opinion No, they aren't terrorists, but stop appeasing antifa

05:50  07 september  2017
05:50  07 september  2017 Source:   MSN

The Establishment And Antifa Go Hand In Hand

  The Establishment And Antifa Go Hand In Hand They share the same enemy in President TrumpAntifa violence broke out once again in Berkeley, California, this weekend.

Maybe local police departments aren ' t up to the task of combating them , but we won't know until they stop appeasing them . Meanwhile, officially designating antifa a terrorist organization would most likely be opening a Pandora's box (for reasons my National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy

Maybe local police departments aren ’ t up to the task of combatting them , but we won’t know until they stop appeasing them . Meanwhile, officially designating antifa a terrorist organization would most likely be opening a Pandora’s box (for reasons my National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy

Protesters break windows during a Feb. 1, 2017 demonstration in Berkeley, California.© Getty Images Protesters break windows during a Feb. 1, 2017 demonstration in Berkeley, California.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The Obama Department of Homeland Security concluded that left-wing "antifa" forces were engaged in "domestic terrorist violence," according to documents obtained by Politico.

Who am I to argue with the fine men and women of former President Obama's DHS?

In fact, as someone who has been fighting with antifa defenders for a good while, I feel a bit like the defense lawyer in "Miracle on 34th Street" when the U.S. Post Office confirms that his client is actually Santa Claus: Hey, don't take my word for it; "terrorist violence" is the term chosen by professionals working for a Democratic White House.

Pelosi condemns 'anitfa' after Berkeley clashes

  Pelosi condemns 'anitfa' after Berkeley clashes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday condemned the 'antifa' protesters who clashed with President Trump supporters in Berkeley, Calif. Sunday. "Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts," Pelosi said in a statement. "The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted."Nancy Pelosi comes out condemning antifa after Sunday's Berkeley rally, saying it was a "sad event" and calling for arrests.

The Obama Department of Homeland Security concluded that left-wing " antifa " forces were engaged in "domestic terrorist violence," according to documents obtained by Politico.

Where does it all stop ? The way to stop Antifa is to have them labelled as what they are -- a domestic terrorist organization. We urge the governments of the united states, Canada, and the United Kingdom to do so and use their security forces to prosecute Antifa .

With this moral victory secured, let me now break with some of my friends on the right and say that I think it's a bad, or at least premature, idea to go all the way and label antifa an actual terrorist organization.

Before I explain why, we should spend a moment considering how we got here in the first place.

Many defenders of the antifa cause insist these loosely organized activists are simply anti-fascist, and that fighting fascism is some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for lawlessness, violence and intimidation. That's nonsense. The state has a monopoly on all violence save for self-defense. In a nation of laws, people cannot exempt themselves from the rules because they don't like someone's ideas.

Even if fighting fascists were a get-out-of-jail-free card, giving a bunch of adrenalized anarchists unilateral authority to designate fascists strikes me as an incandescently stupid idea. Antifa's understanding of what qualifies as fascist includes conservative campus speakers, defenders of free speech and even plain old Republicans.

Newt Gingrich: Why doesn't the media condemn leftwing violence?

  Newt Gingrich: Why doesn't the media condemn leftwing violence? On Inauguration Day, leftwing protesters took to the streets of the nation’s Capital. They burned cars, shattered store fronts, blocked off checkpoints leading to the Capitol grounds, pelted police officers with rocks, and harassed law-abiding Americans trying to watch our 45th President take his oath of office. Police in downtown Washington arrested 217 of these so-called Antifa militants during what CNN called “ugly street clashes.” On the same day, police arrested even more violent leftwing protestors in New York, Chicago, Portland, Dallas, and other cities across the nation.

Maybe local police departments aren ’ t up to the task of combating them , but we won’t know until they stop appeasing them . Meanwhile, officially designating Antifa a terrorist organization would most likely be opening a Pandora’s box (for reasons my National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy

Their misinformation and outright lying need to stop and it is on us to set the record straight. Pardon the language here but, this is what some people would call a “No Shit” comment. Thank you homeland security! This way we don’ t have these little AntiFa terrorists and others like them walking

And yet, college administrators, local politicians and police departments, particularly in places like Berkeley, have given antifa protesters a kind of benefit of the doubt. And so have some in the media who think there's something romantically heroic about direct action and, in the Trump era, resistance.

This isn't to say that there have been no arrests. But university officials and local politicians have been intimidated on numerous occasions. In Portland, a parade was canceled because an email threatened violence if Republicans were allowed to march in it. In Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged UC Berkeley to cancel "Free Speech Week" for fear of violence, giving antifa a heckler's veto. So much for the home of the free speech movement. Predictably, such responses have only emboldened the goon squads.

Still, the local authorities that are contributing to the problem are also the best solution for it. In fact, Arreguin has the right idea when he says antifa should be labeled a gang. Like many gangs, antifa is less of a sophisticated criminal enterprise and more of an excuse for hooligans to make trouble. Maybe local police departments aren't up to the task of combating them, but we won't know until they stop appeasing them.

Meet antifa’s self-appointed spokesperson

  Meet antifa’s self-appointed spokesperson “White supremacists are more afraid of us than we are of them.” “I want to force them out of the shadows.” That’s what Daryle Jenkins, a longtime activist and antifa member, told me in a recent interview. Antifa is a loose network of left-wing activists who physically confront and publicize the personal information ofpeople they consider fascists. “I want to force them out of the shadows.

A formal " terrorist " label for antifa blurs important, constitutional distinctions between foreign members of Islamic State and domestic criminals. Maybe local police departments aren ’ t up to the task of combating them , but we won’t know until they stop appeasing them .

Maybe police departments aren ' t up to the task of combating them , but we won't know until they stop appeasing them . Meanwhile, officially designating antifa a terrorist organization would most likely be opening a Pandora's box (for reasons my National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy recently

Meanwhile, officially designating antifa a terrorist organization would most likely be opening a Pandora's box (for reasons my National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy recently laid out in detail). There is a huge difference between countering foreign terrorists, who have no constitutional rights, and domestic ones. The federal government is constitutionally empowered to fight foreign threats. The states are supposed to fight crime, even domestic-terrorist violence.

The groundswell behind the label "terrorist" for antifa is a call to blur that distinction. Although treating American radicals and vigilantes the way we treat foreign members of the Islamic State or al-Qaida might play well in certain corners of the populist right these days, serious conservatives should be very skeptical about granting the federal government new police powers, which could be used to other ends in future administrations.

Elevating antifa to the category of terrorist organization would fuel the worst trends in our politics. It would entice President Trump to indulge his strongman shtick, and it would give antifa the stature it clearly craves. It would also likely accelerate vigilante violence among the white nationalists. Launching a federal crusade against domestic enemies would only fuel the fallacy that anyone antifa attacks is a fascist. We should fight crime, whatever guise it takes, on the local level -- as the founders intended.

(Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. You can write to him in care of this newspaper or by e-mail at goldbergcolumn@gmail.com, or via Twitter @JonahNRO.)

Antifa: Guardians against fascism or lawless thrill-seekers? .
Militant anti-fascists come from a variety of backgrounds but are united by the belief that free speech is secondary to squashing fascism before it takes root.In his Santa Rosa halfway house, Hines dressed in all black. He chugged an energy drink, popped some nicotine gum and climbed into a friend’s car that blasted German punk rock as it barreled toward Berkeley.

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