U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, has released a statement denouncing the radical-left activist group known as Antifa after last weekend’s violent protests in Berkeley, California.
According to the Washington Post, Antifa members attacked peaceful right-wing demonstrators at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on Sunday.
In her statement, the liberal politician and former House speaker from 2007 to 2011 expressed these sentiments.
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts. The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted…”
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin now says that Antifa should be classified as a gang because the black-clad, often-masked activists wear “uniforms” and bring weapons to rallies, the CBS San Francisco affiliate reported.
President Trump ignited a massive backlash after Charlottesville, Virginia, when he essentially condemned violence from both the far right and the far left, with many across the political spectrum accusing him of being soft on the white supremacists and other extremists who held a “Unite the Right” rally to contest the the removal of Confederate statues in which a counter-protester tragically was killed. A suspect now faces a second-degree murder charge after plowing into the crowd with his car, allegedly resulting in the woman’s death. LifeZette reports that earlier this week, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, also seemed to denounce violence on all sides in the Charlottesville incident, but without much media notice.
Controversial journalist and filmmaker Mike Cernovich claims that Pelosi’s statement is a victory for the new media because the mainstream media has been reluctant to cover Antifa-initiated violence against Trump supporters that has occurred around the country. With that in mind, some conservatives maintain that “reporters had failed to aggressively press Democratic lawmakers to disavow antifa in the same fashion they pressed Trump and GOP lawmakers to condemn white nationalists and neo-Nazis,” The Hill explained in describing the movement as comprised of communists, socialists, and anarchists.
Far-left groups were also accused of being responsible for the violent protests against a planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley in February, with demonstrators/anarchists throwing rocks, commercial-grade fireworks, and Molotov cocktails at police. Parenthetically, Mayor Arreguin has called upon Milo to cancel the Free Speech Week that is scheduled at Berkeley next month because of the potential for civil unrest.
Black-clad antifa attack peaceful right wing demonstrators in Berkeley https://t.co/M5OxN2vaBR— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 28, 2017
Although GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan himself has not made a pronouncement similar to that of Pelosi’s about Antifa, a spokeswoman issued the following statement to the Daily Caller.
“Speaker Ryan believes, as is obvious, these individuals are left-wing thugs, and those who are committing violence need to be arrested and prosecuted. Antifa is a scourge on our country.”
A White House petition calling for Antifa to be formally classified as a terrorist organization now has 330,000-plus signatures, some 200,000 more than necessary to prompt an official response from the Trump administration.
An essay in The Guardian published today suggests that political violence by Antifa undermines the progressive resistance to the Trump administration.
In 2016, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security described Antifa’s activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to confidential documents just obtained by Politico.
[Featured Image by Richard Vogel/AP Images]