If the definition of a terror group is an organization that uses or threatens violence against civilians to achieve religious or political goals, then it’s time consider giving Antifa, the Klu Klux Klan and Back Lives Matter that status.
Under the USA Patriot Act, domestic terrorists undertake actions that are “dangerous to human life” in an effort to “intimidate or coerce the civilian population” or “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” Based on this legal criteria, do these organizations warrant terror classification and prosecution?
Does Antifa Use Violence?
Although a Left-leaning media darling, this group has garnered widespread attention for violence against civilians, police and the destruction of private and public property. They dress in an all black uniform and mask their faces to avoid criminal prosecution. Across the country, Antifa members have been documented carrying clubs, throwing bricks at police and burning cars and buildings. Law enforcement has recovered weapons that include illegal knives and brass knuckles. The use of violence is not in dispute.
Does Antifa Attempt to Intimidate?
The U.C. Berkley riots are a prime example of the alt-Left’s focus on intimidating civilians. Conservative speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, was met with extreme violence that went as far as an attempt to set fire to the building. The use of violence caused the speech to be cancelled and another speaker, Ann Coulter, would later be forced to cancel as well. Peaceful protestors are met with violent Antifa actions all meant to stifle the exercise of free speech. Intent to intimidate, check!
Does Antifa Attempt to Coerce the Government?
Again, the Berkeley riots were tremendously effective in government coercion. The liberal police chief actually ordered law enforcement to stand down and allow Antifa intimidation and violence to commence. That’s something you expect in a Third World country. Nationally, Democrats are silent on the violence and it appears Antifa are the extreme-left’s funding and voting block keeping Dems afloat. House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, has been compromised and backs shutting down Conservative speech to appease Antifa. Government coercion, check.
The Klu Klux Klan
It may not be necessary to go into the same level of detail to outline the most notorious racists group ever formed in the United States. The well-known lynchings of African-Americans, cross burnings, passing of Jim Crow Laws and marches through minority neighborhoods is engrained in the collective minds of all Americans. The socio-political goal is White Supremacy and segregation of minorities, LGBTQ citizens and Jews. The ranks and activity of the hate group have swelled since 2006. Despite legislation such as the Patriot Act, the KKK is not listed as a domestic terror organization. Why?
Does Black Lives Matter Use Violence?
In many ways, BLM has evolved into a type of tweener group. Some protests escalate into violent confrontations with police. Of course, the social justice organization is protesting the actions of the very police they encounter. BLM affiliates are widely seen joining in a variety of other protests and counter-protests. Unlike Antifa and the KKK, armed marches are not generally part of the movement. However, the group’s hateful and racist message toward Whites and police has even spurred the murder of law enforcement officials. The individuals have been prosecuted and BLM organizers face civil lawsuits. Rogue elements have used violence.
Does BLM Attempt to Intimidate?
From officer-involved shootings of African-Americans to the NFL not signing QB Colin Kaepernick, BLM shows up and attempts to strike fear into citizens. The intimidation tends to be slanted toward embarrassment, disorder and economic losses.
Unfortunately for BLM, NFL players protesting the national anthem backfired. Fans turned away, ratings dipped and allowing BLM-associated protest has cost the pro sports organization millions.
Does BLM Attempt to Coerce the Government?
While the answer is a resounding “Yes,” the majority of BLM associates utilize lawful means to petition the government. Stopping traffic, holding loud rallies and generally disturbing the peace are tools that harken back the Civil Rights Movement and Anti-War Movement of the 1960s. The coercion appears consistent with vital free speech vehicles used by traditional non-hate groups. BLM definitely has some racist and violent followers, but you will find a bad apple in every barrel. BLM doesn’t collectively meet the legal standard of a domestic terror group.