The far right accounted for 73% of 425 extremist murders in the U.S. between 2009 and 2018.
President Donald Trump warned Saturday that “consideration is being given” to declaring antifacist protesters — Antifa — a “terror” organization. He issued the threat even though Antifa followers haven’t been linked to a single killing, while the death toll of far-right extremists is surging.
Trump’s warning follows a nonbinding resolution introduced earlier this month by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) calling for the “designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.” Cruz later called on Attorney General William Barr to investigate Antifa. He attacked Antifa after conservative journalist Andy Ngo was bloodied in a clash last month with counterprotesters in Portland, Oregon.
Domestic extremists took the lives of at least 50 people in 2018 — up from 37 the previous year — and each of the killings “had a link to right-wing extremism.” It was the fourth-deadliest year for extremist attacks since 1970.
Lawbreakers driven by political ideology aren’t charged in the U.S. with domestic terrorism, but rather with offenses such as assault, hate crimes or homicide. But designating antifascist protesters as a terror organization would allow law enforcement more leeway to investigate participants, as well as their affiliations, according to Georgetown University law professor Neal Katyal, a former national security adviser to the Justice Department.
But targeting Antifa misses the source of deadly political violence in the nation. Just weeks ago, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan branded white supremacist violence a “huge issue” and an “increasingly concerning threat” in a Capitol Hill hearing. …
Sentencing Memo Provides A Revealing Glimpse Inside A Neo-Nazi Street-Brawling Gang
Oline conversations made clear that “the defendants’ primary regret about their time in Charlottesville was not having exacted enough violence.”
By David Neiwart
The Daily Kos (7/23/19)
For reasons that aren’t precisely clear, the media and a number of Republican officials have been loudly proclaiming the danger posed by radical far-left “antifa” protesters. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has even proposed legislation that would brand “antifa” a “terrorist organization” as well as a “hate group.”
Beyond even the cold reality that “antifa”—short for “antifascism”—is not an organization, but a loosely connected movement involving hundreds of smaller left-wing or anarchist groups, there’s an even more stark reality: Despite lots of headlines, talk segments, and podcasts about “violent leftists” surrounding a recent assault on a provocateur-cum-journalist in Portland, the levels of violence emanating from the radical right fundamentally dwarfs, like a tsunami to a swimming pool wave, whatever violence left-wing extremists have manifested.
Over the past three years, far-right killers have been responsible for over 100 murders around the world, including mass killings in Christchurch and Pittsburgh. There were at least 20 such murders in 2017; that number more than doubled, to 50, in 2018.
In that same period, the number of “antifa” killings has totaled exactly zero, as it does in most years.
Late last week, the Justice Department released the sentencing memorandum for the three young fascists from the neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement who traveled from California to Charlottesville, Virginia, on the weekend of the Unite the Right rally of Aug. 12, 2017, as the culmination of which a young white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a young woman named Heather Heyer and maiming 19 other people. The document offers some searing insights into the nature of these groups, and the kind of violence these new young radicals intend to inflict.
It also makes for a vivid reminder of just which sector is producing a serious and disturbing threat to American society: namely, the radical right.
The memorandum contains federal prosecutors’ reasoning for recommending long sentences for the three California men: Benjamin Daley, 26, of Hermosa Beach; Michael Miselis, 30, of Lawndale; and Tom Gillen, 25, of Torrance—sentences of 42, 30, and 46 months each, respectively.
The trio pleaded guilty in early May to multiple federal charges of conspiracy to riot and crossing state lines to riot. The sentencing recommendations are reflective of the plea deal prosecutors cut with the defendants.
Prosecutors explain in the memorandum that they are seeking hate-crimes enhancements to the men’s sentences, in no small part because all three men made their hatred of—and intent to target with violence—feminists and Jews explicit in their online writing, in their speech at the events, and in every aspect of Rise Above Movement organizing.
The group’s existence and its activities were first exposed in detail in a ProPublica investigative piece published in October 2017. Nearly a year later, federal prosecutors filed charges against the men and another Charlottesville participant, Cole Evan White. Four other RAM members, including co-founder Robert Rundo, were charged in October 2018 with conspiracy to riot as well; however, their convictions were overturned on appeal last month by a federal judge who deemed the law unconstitutionally overbroad.
Combat-ready, militant group
RAM, as the sentencing memo explains, “represented itself as a combat-ready, militant group of a new nationalist white supremacy and identity movement. RAM regularly held hand-to-hand and other combat training for its members and associates to prepare to engage in violent confrontations with protestors and other individuals at purported political rallies. All three of the defendants attended these trainings to prepare for their violence.”
Like most far-right street-brawling groups, their entire raison d’être was to provoke fights with far-left and anarchist groups, particularly those attached to various campuses in California and elsewhere. “RAM’s goal when they attended these rallies was simple: They sought to provoke physical conflict, or—even better—they looked for any reason to serve as an excuse which they believed would justify their use of violence against their ideological foes,” the memorandum notes.
And like similar white-fight groups, such as the Proud Boys, American Guard, and Patriot Prayer, it worked hard to present a kind of mainstream-friendly image that was a deliberate attempt to hide its hardcore white-supremacist ideology by eschewing typical fascist symbology and rhetoric, even as it embraced old-fashioned thuggish behavior. …
Right-Wing Violence Is On The Rise In US
By Wesley Lowery
The Washington Post (11/25/18)
As a Republican, Mitchell Adkins complained of feeling like an outcast at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. “Hardcore liberals” made fun of him, he wrote, and he faced “discrimination on a daily basis.” He soon dropped out and enrolled in trade school.
But his simmering rage led him back to campus one morning in April 2017, when Adkins pulled out a machete in the campus coffee shop, demanded that patrons state their political affiliation and began slashing at Democrats.
“There was never any ambiguity about why he did it,” said Tristan Reynolds, 22, a witness to the attack, which left two women injured.
Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism. While the data show a decades-long drop-off in violence by left-wing groups, violence by white supremacists and other far-right attackers has been on the rise since Barack Obama’s presidency — and has surged since President Trump took office. …
- Vanquisher Of Klansman David Duke Says Dem Candidates Who Ignore Trump Racism Are ‘bringing spreadsheets to a gun fight’ — Author Tim Wise argued that Democrats are “bringing spreadsheets to a gunfight” with Republicans and President Donald Trump. Wise, who was instrumental in thwarting former KKK leader David Duke, wrote last week that Trump’s opponents should not ignore his racism. “Trumpism did not gain steam based on policy,” Wise explained to MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Sunday. “People who voted for Donald Trump didn’t sit down and compare policy positions and 10-point plans. They were responding to the rage that Donald Trump was tapping into. He hates who they hate and that is why they’ve stuck with him — I’m talking about the hardcore base.” “So, you’re not going to win an election against an emotional movement by just talking about your wonderful plan for this or for that,” he continued. “Not that we don’t need good plans, but I think the entire campaign of any Democrats needs to be focused on the existential threat that Trumpism poses to the America we care about and the values that we believe in.” … Read the Rest