Montana lawmakers are discussing a bill that would mark Antifa as domestic terrorists.
Antifa often organize violent street actions in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, and other American cities in the name of racial justice. Now, lawmakers in Montana are considering legislation that would designate them as terrorists.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on the development:
The intent of the measure is to “send a message that we as a state won’t tolerate a group like this coming into our state,” bill sponsor Rep. Braxton Mitchell, R-Columbia Falls, told members of the Montana House Judiciary Committee during a Tuesday hearing.
Opponents of the bill said during the hearing that it would be inappropriate to designate antifa as a domestic terrorism group while ignoring other groups accused of domestic violence. Those include groups that participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol last month.
Mitchell said the intention of the measure is to target antifa, but the bill also calls on the U.S. President, the U.S. Congress and the Montana governor “to combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including white supremacist terrorism.”
Mitchell said Montana’s designation could allow law enforcement to “look into” Antifa affiliates suspected of violent activities.
The AP characterized Antifa members as being against fascism and only participating in counter demonstrations opposite “neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”
Former President Donald Trump considered a similar federal designation for Antifa, but experts said the “decentralized” nature of the movement would made it difficult and was eventually abandoned.