President Donald Trump on Sunday, following riots across several US cities, tweeted that far-left group Antifa would be designated as a terrorist organisation by his administration.
Antifa as a group is an epitome of everything the conservatives stand against and has earlier been criticised at several occasions. The group came into light in June last year when its members clashed with those of a far-right group called Proud Boys in Portland, Oregon. The clash led to members of both sides being injured including a journalist with a conservative-leaning ideology. So what actually is Antifa?
The word Antifa is short for Anti- Fascist. The word is borrowed from German word Antifa, short for antifaschistische anti-fascist, Antifaschistische Aktion (a multiparty front initiated by the German Communist Party in 1932 to counter Nazism). according to an Indian Express report.
The members generally take against actions they deem as authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic. Antifa is not associated with other movements on the left, its members sometimes coordinate tasks with other local activist cells that are vocal about the same issues, such as the Occupy movement or Black Lives Matter. There’s no consensus as to exactly how many members it has nor whether it is an organised structure or if it’s run by some particular people. The group has often been seen at the forefront of campaigns advocating rights for racial minorities, women, and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
Numerous members believe that using violence is justified because of their belief that if racist or fascist groups are allowed to exist freely, it will inevitably result in violence against marginalized communities, said Mr. Bray, a former lecturer at Dartmouth.
There was a surge in the membership of the group in the United States after the 2016 election of Mr. Trump, to stand firmly against the threats posed to their liberty by the alt-right apparently.
US Attorney General William Barr in his statement on Sunday accused “violent radical elements” of overtaking the voices of “peaceful and legitimate protests” that have sprung up across the US since the murder of an African- American, George Floyd by White Police officers. “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr said, sans any evidence.
Many constitutional experts, however, have argued that the act by President Trump is unconstitutional. Mary McCord, a former senior Justice Department official, said, “No current legal authority exists for designating domestic organisations as terrorist organisations.”Any attempt at such a designation would raise significant First Amendment concerns,” added McCord, previously a part of Trump administration.
Trump tweeting ferociously makes it seem as if the US President is bent upon shifting the blame on someone else and never him. There’s no doubt that it is the racist administration led by him that is the creator of all the ruckus happening in the country. November, when presidential elections take place, is near and the horizon doesn’t look all that bright for Mr. Trump.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera