A White House petition calling for the far-left Antifa group to be officially designated a terrorist organization is underway and has already surpassed its target. Launched on the 17th, in just four days it has received almost 150,000 signatures (the initial target was 100,000). The petition states:
“Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. Antifa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the Pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Antifa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
Antifa has been involved in violence, criminal damage and vandalism not only across the United States, but in many European nations, too. They are characterized by masks and black clothes, and by their ability to quickly organize and show up at events almost anywhere.
President Trump has weighed in on the Antifa violence:
“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” he told reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday. “What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. That was a horrible, horrible day.”
The president’s response has been widely condemned as being “sympathetic to white supremacists”, despite the fact that similar sentiments have been stated by more Liberal politicians. Canada’s Justin Trudeau Tweeted: “We know Canada isn’t immune to racist violence & hate. We condemn it in all its forms & send support to the victims in Charlottesville.” Leading many on Social Media to question why it is acceptable for one elected leader to call out violence from all fronts and not another; pundits are calling it “hypocrisy in the American Media.”
Antifa is not an American phenomenon, and, in fact, operates in countries all over the world: “(Antifa) is a far-left, extra-parliamentary, anti-fascist network in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States of America whose stated goal is to ‘smash fascism in all its forms’.” They have been linked to assaults, attacks, and even murders.