Antifa

Ted Cruz Wants Antifa Investigated by the FBI

This is a bad idea—and even the director of the FBI says so.

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For a few years now, "Antifa" activists have served as a good foil for their Trumpian counterparts and handy villains for Fox News segments. Now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) wants to up the stakes. On Tuesday, he urged the FBI to open an investigation into whether Antifa as a group is breaking federal law.

Nevermind that Antifa activists are no more a formal organization than your average group text or a gaggle of happy hour regulars—Cruz wants to treat them like an official criminal enterprise, chargeable under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. 

This should be worrying no matter how one feels about Antifa activists. 

The label Antifa—short for anti-fascist—has been around a while, and was adopted by disparate groups and individuals on the left in the wake of Trump's election. Some Antifa activists have engaged in unprovoked violence as a protest tactic; many more do not.

There is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members. While Antifa "chapters" have sprung up in some U.S. cities, these groups have different origin stories, tactics, and goals, and are not sanctioned by any central Antifa leadership. There is no central Antifa leadership, and anyone can start a protest group in their city and call it, and themselves, Antifa. 

Antifa is probably best described as a movement, in the same way that folks talk about "small-L libertarians" and the "liberty movement" to describe a branch of related activism and ideology independent from the Libertarian Party. 

Cruz did not suggest that the FBI look into particular criminal acts committed by particular criminal actors who identify as Antifa. Instead, he wants the FBI to define the whole movement as a criminal enterprise, making anyone who adopts the label potentially liable for anything anyone else using the label does. 

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Cruz mentioned a recent Portland protest where journalist Andy Ngo was beaten up by black-clad activists, and an attempted attack on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in Washington state. "I am concerned that these are not isolated instances but rather this is a pattern, an organization that is engaged in masked, anonymous, violent terrorism," Cruz said. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Cruz the agency is "absolutely concerned about violence committed on behalf of any ideology." But "the key there," said Wray, is that "the FBI doesn't investigate ideology, we investigate violent criminal activity." 

Wray continued, essentially telling Cruz that you can't just criminally investigate anyone associated with an ideological movement because a few proponents of that ideology have done bad things. The FBI definitely "considers Antifa more of an ideology than an organization," Wray said. 

The FBI has a history of investigating people based only on their ideology; readers can decide for themselves whether they want to accept its assurances that those days are in the past. It's heartening, at any rate, to hear the bureau's director at least pay lip service to the idea that law enforcement should focus on actual crimes rather than Wrongthink.

Cruz, however, isn't satisfied with that. Comparing Antifa to the Ku Klux Klan and the Mafia, he told Wray he would be sending him and the Department of Justice a letter asking for a RICO Act investigation.

Basically, the RICO Act enhances penalties for doing things that are already crimes if one does them as part of an organized criminal enterprise. 

Cruz's blatant political posturing about Antifa and RICO is especially concerning considering how Cruz talking points are prone to spreading across the GOP. None of us, no matter our ideologies, will be better off with more demands for corrupt and partisan investigations, nor from increasing pressure to make guilty-by-association the rule of law.

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  1. I always called them the Black Bloc.

    1. Black Bloc
      But they’re all lily white.

      Also; “There is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members”
      They don’t need them because the DNC tells them what to do and Soros funds them.
      Until the 1970’s the KKK were the Democrats paramilitary, and now they finally have a suitable replacement.

      1. +100

      2. And now Reason shills for the Democrats’ anti free speech street terror paramilitary.

        “Libertarian Moment”

        1. No kidding. Reason, defending a domestic terrorist group.

          For fuck’s sake, people. How much of a fucking wimp do you have to be to refuse to condemn Antifa walking up and assaulting strangers because they think they disagree with them?

          This bullshit belongs on DemocraticUnderground, not here.

        2. Right. And clearly author Elizabeth Nolan doesn’t even know that in 2016 DHS and FBI stated that Antifa is the primary instigator of violence at public rallies and have been closely monitoring Antifa, nor that ADL calls out Antifa for actively seeking physical confrontation.

          Nolan doesn’t even know Antifa’s history. It didn’t start because of Trump. One of the first groups, “Rose City Antifa”, formed in Portland OR in 2007!

          Just another Libertarian stick-their-heads in the sand event because, ya know, it’s all good, everything goes, everybody in, let’s party.

  2. If Antifa wants Ted Cruz to back off, it need merely call Ted’s wife a hideous pig. Publicly. Repeatedly. With illustrations.

    Any member of Libertarians For Ted Cruz would know this.

    1. Hi, Kirkie! I heard you’re having a rough time at Harvard…

    2. Go fuck yourself with a running rusty chainsaw, “Reverend”.

  3. there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant”. And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a Movement.

    1. The kids prefer Adam Sandler, but this is my personal favorite Thanksgiving song.

      1. My favorite Thanxgiving song is the NFL on Fox theme.

        ne-ne-nee-ne-ne-nee-ne-nee-ner-neee

        1. And, man, do my lefty friends despise sports of any kind…..

          1. Sports imply competition. life’s losers hate competition.

        2. Did you mean to slip a “ner” in there or is that a typo?

          1. It’s a British “ner”.

  4. If you watch FOX News, and I occasionally do in 5-minute spurts, because what kind of insane moronic pod person could take any more of it, you’ll find that Antifa is sacking and burning our cities as we speak every time there’s a bad news cycle for Trump.

    1. Antifa ante portas! Antifa ante portas!

    2. And if you take hour head of of your ass for five minutes, which we all know is an impossibility for you, you’d know that AntiFa started up their anti-free speech violence to distract people from the fact that Hillary Clinton is too stupid, incompetent, hypocritical, dishonest, pathetic and unpopular to win an election she herself rigged.

      1. Poor Tony suffers from CRIS (Cranial-Rectal Inversion Syndrome).

    3. Do you watch CNN and MSNBC too, Tony? What are your opinions on them?
      How do they compare to… Fox (sotto voce)?

      1. More tilted toward Democrats but also more factual.

        1. Like you’d know a fact if it crawled up your ass and died.

    4. Naturally, Socialist Tony backs the latest Socialist street paramilitary thugs.

    5. You seem to be the only one on this board that actually watches it.

  5. Antifa is probably best described as a movement, in the same way that folks talk about “small-L libertarians” and the “liberty movement” to describe a branch of related activism and ideology independent from the Libertarian Party.

    Jesus Fucking Christ! Did it occur to you that, while Cruz may be wrong, adopting or parroting the FBI’s description isn’t any more libertarian and, moreover, that plenty of libertarians, and other people rightly wouldn’t want to be and shouldn’t be equated with Antifa?

    Fucking Christ what terrible journalism.

    1. equated

      Analogized… whatever. When small-L libertarians and the liberty movement are burning private property in Berkeley, they cease to be small-L libertarians and the liberty movement, but Antifa goes right along being Antifa.

    2. If you are upset by that comparison, you need to examine your RDS.
      The comparison was only on how they are (or aren’t) organized.

      1. It’s a shitty comparison.

        I had an English teacher who once described the Pope as being the Grand Wizard of the Catholic Church. It’s not wrong but it’s a shitty analogy/comparison.

        1. Yeah, because hanging niggers is so different from banging kids. I mean, Catholics vs Protestants, amirite?

          1. I don’t have all the facts and haven’t given you all the details but, take my advice and don’t back a horse in this race. There aren’t any winners.

            Suffice to say that she creeped out the majority of boys who took her class and it’s not entirely clear that her familiarity with the Klan wasn’t just passing.

          2. Sorry to shit on your edgelord narrative, but you don’t seem to realize a smaller percentage of Catholic priests are indicted pedophiles than are teachers, coaches, Scout leaders, bus drivers, policemen, politicians and members of the military.

            1. Does that mean that the Catholic Church is more effective at covering up their crimes?

    3. Cruz is absolutely wrong. He’s not wrong that the Antifa should be investigated and gone after, though.

      He’s wrong about using RICO.

      RICO is written to go after hierarchical organizations using violence to earn money. It’s inapplicable to Antifa, which is (At first glance, anyway!) a horizontal organization using violence to attack its ideological foes.

      The appropriate law in the case of Antifa is 18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights:

      “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate 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; or

      If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

      They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”

      That’s exactly Antifa. They go about masked for the explicit purpose of attacking people they don’t like for exercising civil liberties.

      Wray is right that they don’t investigate “ideologies”, they investigate criminal acts. And organizations engaged in criminal acts. They should definitely leave alone any communists who aren’t organized to attack people, but Antifa is.

      This might be a can of worms Wray doesn’t want to open, but it’s still his job to open it. If he won’t, he should be replaced.

      1. +100

      2. “They should definitely leave alone any communists who aren’t organized to attack people”

        Communism, by definition, is political violence designed to start revolutions. It cannot be advocated peacefully.

        I want to see someone seriously enforce the Communist Control Act.

  6. This article perplexes me. WTF would antifa have to do to be qualified as a group. It blows my mind how unwilling people are to take a group at its word, “We are a group called Antifa,” “Yeah, but you’re not really a group, though, right? Right.” By this logic, all that is required to avoid FBI investigation is to operate in decentralized cells.

    1. “By this logic, all that is required to avoid FBI investigation is to operate in decentralized cells.”

      It seems to have worked for the Catholic Church, Operation Rescue, the Republican Party, and similar groups.

    2. Her assertions are utter garbage readily refuted by braver and more talented journalists.

    3. I think that the claim is that Antifa isn’t even organized to that extent. It’s just different groups using the same name. So to investigate one of the groups because another one is committing awful acts of violence would violate rights to free association and speech. I think that’s the idea.

      I have no idea if that’s really the right way to describe Antifa, but assuming it is, I don’t think it would be appropriate to let the FBI target any group calling themselves “Antifa”.

      1. That’s how I’ve always thought of them. Just a bunch of outraged youts letting off steam in a violent political way, but nothing organized like Nazis or Fascists a century ago.

        Could be wrong. Could be some mysterious hq somewhere. But from what I’ve seen of Antifa, they don’t appear to be that well organized or ept.

        1. Considering, at one point, the FBI was drawing off the SPLC and ADL’s domestic terrorism lists, which includes everything down to backwater rod and gun clubs, it doesn’t seem at all inept to have Antifa on a similar list.

          I certainly don’t want another Ruby Ridge, but if Waco’s any indication, the lettered-agencies are going to continue to induce similar fuckups. They might as well induce some of those fuckups against people who are going to burn private businesses and beat up journalists.

          1. inept

            out of place

            The FBI is generally inept so more names on the list would still seem inept.

          2. Well, Portland Antifa should probably be on such a list. And whatever others are committing semi-organized violence against people and property. But I’m still not convinced that any group calling itself “Antifa” should get the same treatment. People have a right to be shitty and wrong and jerk off thinking about revolution as long as they don’t turn to violence and destruction.

            1. I dont think anyone here is advocating police doing anything against peaceful protesters.

              The 1st Amendment does not protect unpeaceful assembly.

              Some Anti-fa members have been violent while others have aided and abetted that violence. These people need to be arrested for crimes.

              1. I agree with you there. I’m more concerned with the FBI trying to monitor and infiltrate the groups without specific information about the particular group just because they call themselves “Antifa”.

                1. How the fuck do you think “specific information about a particular group” is collected?

                  But I guess it would be wrong to investigate social clubs who label themselves the Ku Klux Klan or ISIS or Al Qaeda or the National Socialist Workers Party or Wearher Underground?

                  1. After all, they’re just names.
                    And names are chosen completely at random, with no symbolic or tangible meaning whatsoever

              2. I would further add that The Proud Boys rather overtly predicate their existence on Antifa’s violence and have been declared a hate group by the FBI, and police and other state employees have been raked over the coals for their association with groups like The Proud Boys. I certainly don’t want Sen. Cruz in charge of who gets hired and fired at places like Berkeley, but there is certainly a considerable disconnect and inequality before the law when police officers can be dismissed for alleged ties to The Proud Boys and administrators at Berkeley can overtly support Antifa’s violence and suffer little to no consequences.

                I agree that the FBI shouldn’t be infiltrating every group of three or more people that dislikes fascism. At the same time someone claiming to be a part of Antifa firebombed an ICE detention center and the FBI doesn’t appear to be investigating Antifa or warning people off Antifa the way they are with Anonymous, Stormfront, The Proud Boys, etc.

                1. And the antifa chapter he was apparently a member of posted a eulogy on Facebook calling him a martyr and urging others to emulate his deed with other plans for “direct action”

            2. “But I’m still not convinced that any group calling itself “Antifa” should get the same treatment. ”

              Would you still think the same if it were “Ku Klux Klan” instead of “Antifa”?

      2. You mean like the KKK ??

      3. I think that the claim is that Antifa isn’t even organized to that extent.

        How does ENB know what organization a secret group has? All of this is wishcasting.

        1. I don’t know. But that’s the claim. And I think some positive evidence of organization is needed before any broad action regarding anyone calling themselves “Antifa” is taken. Doesn’t mean they can’t investigate the local groups who are actually committing violent crimes.

          1. I would assume that’s where the FBI would begin anyway.

            1. But shouldn’t that be a state matter? Unless, as someone suggested, it can be shown that the state isn’t providing equal protection.

              1. Seems pretty clear that in some of these cases people are not being protected, and plays other local governments are supporting this.

                1. Probable.

              2. Portland. It wasn’t a suggestion. The mayor wouldn’t let them defend a Fedral office, much less ordinary citizens driving thru their anarchy zones

      4. And that’s an easy claim to make when you refuse to investigate them.

        Maybe they’re just a distributed mob with no leadership at all. Who just by coincidence appear as specific times and places in a coordinated way.

        Or maybe they’re a very real organization which is run through a system of cutouts because the people leading it know what they’re doing, and know they’re in horrible legal jeopardy if they can be connected to Antifa.

        But you’re never going to know which if you don’t investigate.

    4. You have organized protests and organized crime at protests in various cities, coordinated through Twitter and other social media apps. There’s no formal leader but probably a few dozen pulling lots of strings.

      1. There was a nasty schism in the local anarchist scene (which was internationally influential) between the pro-gun and anti-gun forces.

  7. Seems like it would be more appropriate for the local police in places where Antifa is being violent to start throwing them in jail.

    If it can be shown that Antifa is some kind of national criminal conspiracy, then it may well be appropriate for the FBI to investigate. It certainly seems like someone should do something about the groups that are being violent or threatening.
    But if it really is so decentralized, then I’m not comfortable subjecting anyone to FBI investigation because their stupid club/gang has a particular name. I can’t say I know whether that’s the case or not.

    1. Seems like it would be more appropriate for the local police in places where Antifa is being violent to start throwing them in jail.

      I will agree that this is a significant part of the problem. It was pretty well established that the riots at Berkeley were in part facilitated and/or instigated by faculty members. None were fired. None were arrested. My understanding of things in Washington is that Antifa is pretty free to shut down intersections and harass commuters without facing any real legal consequence. If every time someone flew the Antifa banner and committed a crime they got swift and just punishment under the law, there would be less of an incentive to have or form a network and much more readily accessible evidence of any criminal network if one existed. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

    2. Would it be better if Cruz loudly demanded that police departments (not under his purview) follow the letter of the law when handling criminal elements of Antifa protests? Seems a little 6 vs. half-dozen to me.

      1. Well, I guess the question is whether it’s a local matter or an interstate matter. Ted Cruz, the constitutional lawyer should know that. Get some evidence that they are a nationally organized criminal group, then it’s no problem for the FBI to be involved (with valid warrants as appropriate).

        1. Considering that lots of groups antifa groups cite Post-WWII Europe as inspiration and there are rather overt ties between here and there, I’m not 100% sure Cruz is in the wrong.

          I agree with the warrants but, again, the FBI on a number of other fronts seems capable of declaring itself capable of investigating even Presidential campaigns on far less evidence of national and international collusion, overt political aspirations, and violence.

          1. Yeah, in the scheme of how they operate now, investigating Antifa wouldn’t be a stretch.
            I’m arguing more on the how things should be side.

            1. Yea, patterns of identifying symbolism and action should be ignored.
              Logical

              1. You today, me tomorrow.

          2. Given their history, maybe we should start calling them the Ante-Fa? For, “before fascism”?

            1. Ohh, that’s good

    3. But if it really is so decentralized, then I’m not comfortable subjecting anyone to FBI investigation because their stupid club/gang has a particular name. I can’t say I know whether that’s the case or not.

      It isn’t just a name. They publicize rules beforehand – I forget what they call them, a place name as if it was a treaty – which include that those who do not engage in violence are not to criticize or hinder those who do. This proves everyone who shows up in uniform supports violence despite ENB’s (and others’) wishcasting.

      1. Look, just because you call your social club the Aryan Nation doesn’t mean your group has anything to do with the crime syndicate of the same name.

    4. They would not even dare try that kind of Portland bullshit in Georgia as Anti-fa gets the same protection from police as Neo-Nazis do.
      Anti-fascists protest neo-Nazi rally in Georgia, leading to 10 arrests but no injuries

    5. Groups going by the name of antifa, all dressed alike, commit acts of violence and rioting in DC, Berkeley, LA, Charlottesville, Portland, and Boston (just off the top of my head) – but these groups with the same name, same uniforms, same m.o., and same political positions/goals are obviously unrelated

    6. Antifa is *international* terrorism.

  8. There is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members. While Antifa “chapters” have sprung up in some U.S. cities, these groups have different origin stories, tactics, and goals, and are not sanctioned by any central Antifa leadership.

    Without commenting on whether or not the FBI has grounds to investigate Antifa, the FBI investigates groups like this all the time.

    For instance, if you think the FBI hasn’t spent any energy on Anonymous who is structurally the same as Antifa (arguably) you’d be very mistaken.

  9. I am concerned that these are not isolated instances but rather this is a pattern, an organization that is engaged in masked, anonymous, violent terrorism I’m not being seen enough on TV so I’m going to blow a lot of hot air in this committee meeting and then demand that something completely meaningless and futile be done

    There. FTFY Little Teddy

  10. “”Ted Cruz Wants Antifa Investigated by the FBI””

    They probably are infiltrated by the FBI already.

    1. +100

    2. They probably are infiltrated by the FBI already.

      And just as with white nationalism, who’s doing the staring and who’s the abyss?

  11. Some Antifa activists have engaged in unprovoked violence as a protest tactic; many more do not.

    Right. The ones who do not verbally confront their opponents while those who do hit them from behind with a bike lock. Then they surround anyone who tries to apprehend or identify the attacker so he can escape. How dare you lump these people in with those who support violence!

    1. The black bloc is as terrorist tactic. If you’re wearing it, you’re part of the violence.

    2. And they all show up dressed the same with masks, so that the ones who do commit the violence can disappear into the crowd, and then the legal system can’t prosecute them because it can’t prove which particular people commited the violence.

      Which is exactly the reason “18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights”, the anti-Klan act, was passed: So you could go after groups of people using that tactic.

  12. Actually, if people are out there conspiring across state lines to deprive people of their First Amendment rights, etc.–and have a track record of doing so–then that might be a perfectly responsible use of the FBI.

    If government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights. If the FBI has any legitimate purpose at all, it’s to protect our rights from those who are acting to violate them.

    Let’s not fall prey to the slippery slope fallacy. Because the FBI could misuse its power to go after protesters is not a good reason to believe that it will necessarily do so. I don’t think anybody’s saying that the FBI shouldn’t have to convict violent antifa people in court. They should get all the opportunities to defend themselves in court using reason and logic and the law–even if they gave their victims no such opportunity.

    1. Ken, if the DOJ has evidence that Anti-fa are violating someone’s federal civil rights, that is enough to trigger violations of federal law.

      FBI goes after non-violent protesters all the time, like the Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Some Anti-fa people are committing violence and more seem to be trying to intimidate people. That would seem to be enough probable cause to investigate.

      1. Honestly, I would rather see the FBI investigate the Portland police and local government for conspiracy to violate the federal rights of Americans. Most other jurisdictions would have sent in the police to bash these Anti-fa criminals. The fact that police are letting Anti-fa commit crimes against people in the area, tells me something is up between the local government and Lefty organizers.

        1. Yeah, this. The fact that the Portland police haven’t locked these fuckers up yet is the big scandal in my mind. They are seriously assaulting people on the street in broad daylight. If the police wanted to do something about it, they certainly could.

        2. There you go – investigate local governments for equal protection violations. There’s precedents (in case it’s not obvious) that the government standing by with arms folded while their political allies commit violent crimes is a violation of the victims’ right to equal protection of the law.

          I think a federal investigation would probably show that the offenders are the *leaders* of Portland’s finest, not the rank-and-file cops.

          1. Yeah this.

        3. +1000

          The serious criminals here are the Leftist government officials coordinating Antifa’s terrorism through their control of the police, having them protect Antifa but stand down when Antifa attacks.

      2. “FBI goes after non-violent protesters all the time, like the Oregon Wildlife Refuge. “

        Does the term “tu quoque” not mean anything to you?

        1. I didnt mean that the FBI SHOULD be going after non-violent protesters.

          I meant to relay that FBI wastes resources on non-violent groups when the should be going after groups that clearly are covering for violent members of the group.

          I apologize for the wording and youre right to call out the fallacy based on that.

        2. Sorry, in practical consideration it really DOES matter if, on the one hand, Antifa is given a pass because “not ALL masked rioters are violent”, and “Oh, they’re technically not ORGANIZED enough”, when on the other we have organizations debanking, deplatforming and disemploying people based on the say-so of the fucking SPLC.

          “Oh, but that’s not the same as formal FBI investigations!” As if that’s the only thing wrong with the scenario. (And we DO have the FBI investigating people who have done considerably less than Antifa.)

          The FBI uses SPLC definitions and recommendations when it’s actually an organization whose objectivity and judgement should be investigated instead of accepted as unquestionable truth. Yeah, it’s a little apples v. oranges, but this is not a case of making a point of formal logic, it’s a case where the hypocrisy of Reason and ENB should be called out.

    2. There is more than 1 Steele Dossier’s worth of evidence in the public domain that Antifa is a conspiracy to deprive Americans across the country of our 1A rights.

      I admit this empirical unit is rife for abuse.

      1. rife for abuse

        I’m usually pretty good about not mixing metaphors, idioms, or euphemisms. My wife, however, is terrible about it. ‘Rife for abuse’ sounds exactly like me toeing her lion.

        1. toeing her lion

          Whatever you’re into, man.

      2. “I admit this empirical unit is rife for abuse.”

        Exactly, and there’s no reason not to treat it like any other federal crime.

        The FBI should identify the culprits, collect evidence, get a warrant, search their hard drives if necessary, gather testimony, and the U.S. Attorney’s office should decide whether to prosecute and for what crimes. This is the way justice works.

        All legitimate acts of law enforcement are ripe for abuse, but that doesn’t mean the FBI shouldn’t protect people’s rights from abuse by criminals with clear mens rea. If the FBI isn’t there to protect our rights from criminals operating across state lines, then they have no legitimate purpose whatsoever.

        1. Federal criminal intervention does not always require crossing state lines.

        2. Antifa are no different from the Klan and should be treated in the same manner

  13. If they lose the masks, Antifa will fall apart.

    1. When they’re confronted with testosterone they tend to fall apart.

    2. Is the idea that if they don’t have masks they will be easier to identify and arrest?

      If laws against whomping people with bike chains don’t stop them from doing that, how would laws against masks stop them from wearing masks while whomping people with bike chains?

      1. They will be much less likely to assault people if they aren’t cloaked. If they do assault people then ID them and arrest them.

      2. Ugh, don’t you get it, Zeb? Once Daddy Trump is finished using Men With Guns(TM) to smite the enemies of the state, all the freedoms that got taken away in the process will be brought back, good as new.

        Remember George W. Bush and the Patriot Act? How that served it’s purpose and was quickly dismantled? It’s the same thing!

        1. Esmeralda: Klan supporter

      3. You don’t get it, do you? The reason they run in groups wearing masks, is because that way the guys who DO commit the crimes can’t be identified and prosecuted. It’s a tactic the Klan used, that’s why they wore those robes.

        That’s why basically everybody in the Antifa riot at Trump’s inauguration got off: They couldn’t prove which specific people set cars on fire and busted windows, because everybody was dressed the same and wearing masks.

        So, yeah, if they can’t wear the masks they absolutely WILL have to be more circumspect.

        1. No, you miss my point. I’m saying they will ignore the mask law just like they ignore laws against battery and vandalism.
          It will make it easier for police to make arrests if they can arrest anyone with a mask. But the police actually have to do that. And if they aren’t enforcing laws against assault or blocking streets in threatening ways, do you think they will really enforce a mask law.

          1. Just make wearing a mask at violent protest a forfeiture of civil/human rights.
            Thus, mask wearers at such events can be shot with impunity

    3. If they lose the masks, Antifa will fall apart.

      Don’t force them to take the masks off in advance. Let them have their protest and then arrest them and release their mugshots. We’ll learn 2/3 of them are employed (or quasi employed) in the education system and the other third in activist NGOs. Then approach their employers and ask why they employ those who support violence. When they mumble something about free speech (because even lefties who don’t personally support violence don’t actively oppose left wingers using it – no enemies to the left) we then attack their funding and leadership.

  14. There is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members.

    And yet, journalists specifically identify people in crowds as “Antifa Members” and “White Supremacists”

    1. Agency

      @AnarchistAgency
      7.07
      Още
      В отговор до @ChuckModi1
      Thanks for all your good reporting. Might we suggest refraining from calling someone an “Antifa member” in this context? What we see is a person on a bench was attacked. Antifa is a tactic and a organizational model. Identifying as such may unintentionally assist with prosecution

      *Ignoring the indications of origin by the Cyrillic reply*

      Rather overtly stating that, despite ENBs overtures, Antifa isn’t a movement as much as a tactic and organizational model and suggesting that the moniker be used and dropped selectively or, in the case of someone being arrested, advantageously. Very much akin to ENB saying it’s selectively not Antifa or not subject to FBI investigation because selective reasoning.

  15. “For a few years now, “Antifa” activists have served as a good foil for their Trumpian counterparts and handy villains for Fox News segments.”

    Who exactly are the Trumpian counterparts?

    In any case, is there any cause for concern about antifa other than Fox News using it to make the Left look bad?

    1. There aren’t any Trumpian counterparts of course.

      Just as there were no counterparts on the right to all the “occupy” groups that trashed every place they went.

  16. This article would have been a good occasion to mention that the states bear primary responsibility for law and order, subject to the requirement of equal protection.

    For street violence, the feds’ role should usually be only to step in if – to give a hypothetical example – a local government chooses not to protect victims from assaults by the local governments’ political allies. Hypothetically.

    1. Like the Freedom Riders in the early 60s

      Portland is the new Birmingham. They have turned the streets over to masked vigilantes to beat the innocent with no repercussions.

    2. “Hypothetically.”

      I think that’s spelled “Portland”.

  17. I just assume the government super secret men in black are investigating and monitoring everyone including those of us posting here.

  18. “ handy villains for Fox News segments. Now”

    Oh, okay. I mean, AntiFa WERE a group of violent Communist psychopaths that were hospitalizing people and staging lots of anti-free speech riots in service of their DNC leash-holders, but then Elizabeth Nolan Brown invoked the Fox News circumstantial ad hominem and reminded us that they can’t be violent and dangerous because they named themselves Team Good Guys, and everything magically changed.

    1. +1, Super Sarker

  19. Comparing Antifa to the Ku Klux Klan and the Mafia

    Well?

    While things were different in the past, there is no official Klan leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members. While Klan “chapters” have sprung up in some U.S. cities, these groups have different origin stories, tactics, and goals, and are not sanctioned by any central Klan leadership. There is no central Klan leadership, and anyone can start a protest group in their city and call it, and themselves, the Klan.

    Similarly, there is no official Mafia leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members. While Mafia “families” have sprung up in some U.S. cities, these groups have different origin stories, tactics, and goals, and are not sanctioned by any central Mafia leadership. There is no central Mafia leadership, and anyone can start a criminal syndicate in their city and call it, and themselves, the Mafia.

    1. It just so happens too that the KKK was started by Democrats, many Democrat unions are run by mafioso, and the Antifa are run by Democrats.

    2. I’ve actually read the “uncoordinated local groups” defense of the original (Reconstruction) Klan – you see, anyone can put on disguises and go out and kill or assault black people or white Republicans, and, darn it, you can’t just blame a generic “Klan” for a bunch of unrelated crimes by local opportunists who give the whole movement a bad name.

      I think it was Claude Bowers (among others) who put forth this line of thought.

      1. “I’ve actually read the “uncoordinated local groups” defense of the original (Reconstruction) Klan – you see, anyone can put on disguises and go out and kill or assault black people or white Republicans, and, darn it, you can’t just blame a generic “Klan” for a bunch of unrelated crimes by local opportunists who give the whole movement a bad name.”

        ENB seems quite certain that Antifa is nothing like the Klan, making various claims to show it isn’t. Without one cite in the lot; pathetic.
        Back up your goddam claims. You think you’re trueman who seems to think a statement is enough to establish certainty? Bullshit; put up or shut up.
        Not yet convinced that the feds should be involved, but if the locals won’t someone should.

  20. Lyin’ Ted versus the commie anarchist econazis! Izzis a B-movie or UFC match? I can’t think of any disgusting scoundrels better suited to mutually self-destruct and thereby make the world a better place. No holds barred, gouging optional, let the match begin!

  21. Black shirts in Antifa are the Black shirts of Mussolini’s Socialist Italy.

    Its all the same Socialism just slightly different ways to get there.

  22. Not sure I would compare Antifa to the mob, or that RICO is the best way to bring them down. There are laws to prosecute organized violence against political opponents (see Klan Act) and this is exactly what Antifa does.

  23. There is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members.

    How do you know?

    But I guess if there really isn’t, then Antifa-violence must be A-OK according to Reason!

    1. This blew me away. They even compare them to libertarians!

      It’s just a movement bro, a movement about bashing people’s heads in with bike locks, just like the liberty movement. It’s tight bro don’t worry.

      1. Reason:
        Progress uber alles

    2. “How do you know?”

      Because an ‘un-appointed,’ ‘unauthorized,’ and ‘unsubstantiated’ non-spokespersyn assured her it was so.

      And that’s the sort of hard hitting journolistism we expect here.

  24. Certain cells of Antifa have official twitter accounts, logos and merch. If they’re bringing in revenue and using that revenue to engage in violence, they’re a criminal organization regardless of the lack of a hierarchy.

    I think Brett Bellmore up above is right. Go after them under 18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights.

    1. +100. Fox also reported earlier this year that the FBI was aware that some Antifa cells were gearing up with guns and explosives via the cartels…

      I’m sure nothings gonna come of that.

  25. I have to disagree. When you have multiple attacks that are arguably terroristic in nature carried out by people claiming to be of a certain group, it is very much the FBI’s place to investigate. If it turns out that they are simply standalones with no coordination, then that is good. However, we cannot reasonably determine this without investigating first.

  26. Black mask=guilty

    Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

  27. Geez, almost wish I hadn’t ended my Reason subscription back every third article was a Dalmatia open borders screed. Coz this is awful.

    1. “WHEN”…

  28. This is a bad idea

    No it isn’t. They consistently commit acts of violence towards political ends. They are terrorists.

  29. “Nevermind that Antifa activists are no more a formal organization than your average group text or a gaggle of happy hour regulars.”

    Great, now we have Antifa apologists lying about the very structure of their organization.

  30. Antifa uses a common logo, common uniform and common Tactics. They may have begun as a disorganized group of leftist radicals but they are now clearly organized, have a common ideology and objectives. The show on CNN where various members were interviewed shows they all see violence and terrorism as a valid means for achieving their goals. Even those in the media, like Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon have attempted to justify their use of violence. Having them investigated by the FBI will only prove what they are is either a criminal enterprise as Cruz claims or not as the author claims. If the group was an overtly white supremacist group in the same position as Antifa, Reason would have no problem with them being investigated.

  31. It’s good to see that Ted Cruz is capable of coming up with his own stupid ideas instead of just regurgitating Trump’s.

  32. The author obviously is flying away from common sense to be defend a group who wears disguises, thrives in the shelter of police inactivity, and attacks unarmed and out-numbered civilians, and must think herself clairvoyant to claim “there is no official Antifa leadership, no formal party structures, no central planning board, no members.”. She has absolutely no way of knowing this and seeks no way to prove it.

    One notes the anti-war movement in the 60’s, as well as the Black Panthers, had leaders, had organizations. But unlike today’s oxymoronically named “antifa”, no one wore masks, except against tear gas, and fought it out with agents of the State, who were better armed and far meaner than some random journalist or passer-by wearing a MAGA hat.
    There may be no there there, but we have a legitimate right to know who the hell these people are.

  33. ‘But “the key there,” said Wray, is that “the FBI doesn’t investigate ideology, we investigate violent criminal activity.”

    They commit violence at most all their protests. Wray is an asshat whose strings are being pulled by a higher up puppet master and is told to leave them alone.

    A few hot lead injections and their violence would come to a screeching halt.

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