Trump's tweets about Antifa show his ignorance of US law

On Sunday, May 31st, 2020, President Donald Trump tweeted that Antifa would be officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US government.

Despite his position in the highest seat of national power, Trump's tweets are (fortunately) not legally-binding. And even if they were, it wouldn't matter — the United States has no official statute for designating domestic terrorists, a fact which has ironically served to benefit homegrown mass murderers acting on white supremacist agendas. There's also the fact that Antifa is … not a formal organization. There is no hierarchy, no centralized leadership — it's just individuals, occasionally clustering together, engaging in direct action. Even if you could legally designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization, it would be impossible to develop any sort of criteria to decide who or what qualifies as "Antifa."

This is, unfortunately, the likely aim of Trump's provoke tweet: to invoke the chillingly Orwellian logic that "anti-fascist action equals terrorism."

Most of the criticism of "Antifa" is actually aimed at people employing Black Bloc tactics. Many of them are probably anarchists; many are probably not, and may just have legitimate reasons for protecting their identities. There are valid complaints about the effectiveness of these methods; there are also valid arguments that they ultimately work. But one thing is certain: no one in America has been killed by "Antifa" or Black Bloc tactics. I suppose one could argue that there is an intimidation factor to Black Bloc tactics, but it's hardly organized in the deliberate sense of most terrorism. Read the rest

White nationalists planned to murder cops and pro-gun protesters in Virginia

From the bail hearings of three men arrested on gun charges, whom police claim were members of the white nationalist group The Base: the men planned on using the gun rally in Virginia to start a civil war by gunning down their fellow pro-gun demonstrators, and they discussed murdering police officers in order to obtain arms and tactical equipment. Read the rest

The DHS classes nonviolent environmental activists in the same "domestic terrorist" category as Dylan Roof and James Fields

Property of the People (previously) used Freedom of Information Act requests to force the Department of Homeland Security to reveal that it tracks members of the Valve Turners -- a nonviolent environmental group that practices civil disobedience against oil pipelines -- alongside of white nationalist mass-murderers and killers like Dylan Roof (the mass murderer behind the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston) and James Fields, who murdered Heather Heyer when he drove his car into an anti-Nazi counterprotest in Charlottesvilla. Read the rest

The FBI keeps boasting about all its "domestic terror" arrests, but it can't name a single one

In late July, FBI director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that his bureau had made 100 domestic terror arrests; later, an FBI spokesperson reduced that claim to 90 arrests -- but when Propublica called the FBI for a list of domestic terror addresses, the Feebs couldn't name one single instance in which they'd made a domestic terror arrest. Read the rest