There are a long list of so-called Antifa groups that go by many names, but they have one thing in common. They claim to be "anti-Fascists," (ANTIFA) but they use fascist tactics to suppress the free speech of others if they disagree with it, by labeling their victims "fascists." Another commonality many of these groups have is they feel that violence is an acceptable tactic to prevent others from their constitutionally protected right of free speech.
For example the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), has had one of it's most prominent organizers Yvette Felarca, declare that violence against the far right is "not a crime." Felarca has been arrested and is faced charges of inciting a riot.
By Any Means Necessary, which has played a key role in riots in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere, has dozens of public school teachers among its members, including among its most prominent leaders.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began paying closer attention to Antifa groups in general after BAMN and other extremists started a riot and attacked marchers at a white nationalist rally in Sacramento last July, Politico reported on Friday. The Sacramento violence left at least 10 people hospitalized, several of whom had knife wounds.
One of BAMN’s most prominent organizers is Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher and pro-violence militant. Felarca currently faces charges of inciting a riot for her role in the Sacramento violence.
Another example if a group called "It's Going Down," who have openly called for violence against Trump supporters.
The protesters set fires and smashed windows on the UC Berkeley campus to disrupt a scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos, a far right writer. His sold-out appearance was canceled by the university over safety concerns. Some people who had planned to attend the speaking engagement were physically attacked.
When the protesters moved off campus into downtown Berkeley, in addition to smashing windows and spray painting graffiti on businesses, a Starbucks was looted.
John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, said that at least 10 businesses were damaged
According to witnesses, some of the black-clad protesters tried to intimidate bystanders who snapped photos of the destruction, slapping phones out of people's hands and pushing them away.
It is also noteworthy that the FBI and DHS, in private documents call Antifa activities "domestic terrorist activities," and have classified Antifa activities as such since 2016, according to Politico.
Here is some raw footage of an Antifa riot, deliberately organized and conducted to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at a scheduled and sold-out event on campus.
REPUBLICANS PROPOSE THE 'UNMASKING ANTIFA ACT OF 2018'
Now Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced the "Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018." The proposal was introduced by Rep. Dan Donovan (N.Y.) and is co-sponsored by GOP Reps. Pete King (N.Y.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and Ted Budd (N.C.).
According to the text provided by the Congress.gov website, this bill is to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide penalty enhancements for committing certain offenses while in disguise, and for other purposes.
SEC. 2. INTERFERENCE WITH PROTECTED RIGHTS WHILE IN DISGUISE.
(a) In General.--Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 249 the following:
``Sec. 250. Interference with protected rights while in disguise
``(a) In General.--Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
``(b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deter any law enforcement officer from lawfully carrying out the duties of his office; and no law enforcement officer shall be considered to be in violation of this section for lawfully carrying out the duties of his office or lawfully enforcing ordinances and laws of the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the several States, or any political subdivision of a State. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term `law enforcement officer' means any officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or political subdivision of a State, who is empowered by law to conduct investigations of, or make arrests because of, offenses against the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item related to section 249 the following:
``250. Interference with protected rights while in disguise.''.
SEC. 3. DESTROYING BUILDINGS OR PROPERTY WITHIN SPECIAL MARITIME AND TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION WHILE IN DISGUISE.
Section 1363 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Whoever, during the commission of an offense under this section, wears a disguise, including a mask, shall, in addition to any term of imprisonment otherwise imposed under this section, be imprisoned for 2 years.''
Anyone wearing a mask that violates another persons constitutional rights is subject to a fine and a maximum sentence of 15 years, and two years can be added to the sentence if they destroy property.
THE SPIN HAS ALREADY BEGUN
The media spin has already begun with Reason Magazine declaring "The "Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018" would basically make it a federal crime to protest while wearing a mask," while promoting their article which asserts "all sorts of acts of legal protest could be considered criminal if someone—be they with Antifa, the NRA, the KKK, or the saving kittens drive—throws on a tutu, tiara, fake mustache, mask, bandanna, or any other sort of costume element."
Side Note- I find it very interesting that the Reason writer attempts to associate the NRA with Antifa or the KKK. When was the last time anyone saw an NRA protest, or an NRA event where members were wearing masks? Can anyone provide an example of an NRA protest that resulted in rioting, violence, destruction of property? Or even provide a single instance where an NRA event encouraged anyone to violate someone elses constitutional rights?
The problem with Reason's line of thinking is neither the NRA nor the save kittens drive "injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege," and neither is as extreme as the KKK, who, for the record, there are "masking" laws already on the books to protect people from.
For example, as explained by Vice, "Unmasking laws are not a recent invention, and in fact, it's technically been illegal to wear a mask in Donavan's home state of New York alongside at least one other mask-wearer since 1845. That's when tenant farmers donned calico gowns and feather masks in an uprising against their landlords who were trying to evict them. According to the Wall Street Journal, these rebels tarred and feathered people and even murdered a sheriff. Later, unmasking laws would be used to combat the Ku Klux Klan in states like Alabama, where it's been illegal to wear a mask outside of certain holidays since 1949. Georgia also has an anti-masking law designed to protect against the Klan."
The Daily Beast follows the "preferred narrative" of liberals by claiming "the bill could imprison masked protesters for up to 15 years," in their subheader, despite the fact that they acknowledge the legislation is against those that "“injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person” while wearing a mask or disguise.."
Huffington Post also converges on the "preferred narrative" of liberals, stating "The extreme vagueness of “oppresses” and “intimidates” raises concerns that anyone who simply shows up at a protest in a mask could be put away for a very long time if the bill becomes law....." That writer goes to declare "People should not go to prison for attending protests. That is why there is an amendment to the Constitution protecting the right to free assembly..."
These are intellectually dishonest arguments because the bill does not criminalize "protesters" wearing masks, just those that are violating another persons constitutional rights, and/or destroying property. Another bit of dishonesty, by omission, is the Constitution protects the right to "peaceably" assemble," which the writer surely knows.
The liberals over at Splinter are claiming that Antifa, which has a long history of rioting, destroying property, attacking peaceful rallies, injuring and acting brutally violent against anyone that disagrees with them, are simply "expressing" their "right to free speech under the First Amendment."
So setting aside the insanity of such a draconian punishment—a maximum possible penalty of 15 years in prison and/or an unspecified fine for wearing “a mask” while expressing your right to free speech under the First Amendment—the language of the bill is also ludicrously broad. How can you begin to cleanly define what qualifies as an act that “oppresses” or “intimidates” ANY PERSON AT ALL, even among people who are counter-protesting, say, a literal Nazi march? Aren’t those people we should feel comfortable challenging, particularly when they deign to step out in public? And what exactly qualifies as a “mask”?
Again, attacking people with wooden poles with nails attached, or attacking people with bike locks to the head, or burning buildings like they did in Berkeley, is NOT "expressing your right to free speech," yet the liberal media wishes to conflate simply protesting in a non-violent manner, with what Antifa groups engage in.
LIBERALS UP IN ARMS OVER PROPOSED BILL
A quick search on social media for "Unmaksing Antifa Act," shows liberals, seemingly just fine with violence perpetrated against Trump supporters, which they label "neo-Nazis" and White Supremacists," are outraged (yes, again) over the "Unmasking Antica Act of 2018" proposal.
Other liberals are spewing outrage by claiming "..."in case there was any confusion that this is a bill explicitly targeting their political opponents while trashing the Constitution, it's called the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018..."
Then we see other liberals jumping on the "federal crime to protest while wearing a mask," bandwagon, completely ignoring the actual terminology in the proposal about penalizing those wearing a mask while violating other peoples rights.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of comments in that search term at Twitter, many in support of criminalizing terrorist behavior and violence, in contrast to the liberals of Twitter again melting down, over the bill.
BOTTOM LINE - 'PEACEFULLY ASSEMBLE'
The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Keyword: Peaceably. Nowhere in there, despite the liberal media's claims, guarantees the right to "violently" assemble, hiding behind masks like cowards in order to attack others, destroy buildings and property, or riot.
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