Can Donald Trump actually label ANTIFA as a terrorist organisation?

New Delhi IndiaEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jun 02, 2020, 07:19 AM IST

File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Trump wants to declare ANTIFA (the anti-fascist movement) a terrorist movement

The United States is currently dealing with two crises: the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 100,000 in the country, and protests against racism and police brutality .

The protests began in the United States after a black man, George Floyd was knelt on and killed by a policeman in Minneapolis, a city in the US state of Minnesota. The man died on May 25, raising concerns of race-oriented state brutality in the country.

This is the election year in the US. However, when American cities were burning, the President - Donald Trump in Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of the SpaceX-NASA flight to the International Space Station.

Protests in the United States | AFP

While speaking at the facility, he declared - “mobs won’t call the shots”. He blamed "the radical left" ---for the violence.

However, the protests did not simmer. In fact, right outside his residence - the White House, protesters were seen clashing with the secret service.

After three years in power, Donald Trump is facing a pandemic, a protest, and an election.

"When the looting starts, the shooting starts"

On Friday, he called the protesters "thugs". Then he tweeted: when the looting starts, the shooting starts. These are the words of a former Miami police chief in the 1960s which spurred race riots in that decade.

On Saturday - he wanted to unleash "the most vicious dogs, the most ominous weapons" on the protesters. He was talking about the crowd that had gathered outside the White House.

Additionally, Trump wants to declare ANTIFA (the anti-fascist movement) a terrorist movement. However, the group doesn't have a leader, or a defined structure or any membership roles.

It represents activists - who share similar philosophy and tactics and are usually far left and anti-fascist.

The President, however, cannot officially designate the ANTIFA as terrorists.

Firstly, it is impossible to know exactly how many people identify themselves as part of the “ANTIFA. Secondly, the United States does not have a domestic terrorism law.

The law, as it exists right now - applies to foreign entities, and not domestic groups.

Nonetheless, the President has made the pronouncements on Twitter.

According to a report, Trump's own advisers are worried about his tweets, for they feel his content is “pouring fuel on an already incendiary situation".

The Democrats have latched onto this. Joe Biden, his co-contender in the upcoming elections, is taking on Trump for these remarks.