PREZ Trump threatens to designate Antifa as “terrorist” outfit, cries foul over violence ahead of the election

FOLLOWING violent reaction by the African American community to the custodial death of a black person in Minnesota on May 25, US President Donald Trump says his administration will designate the “far-left extremist group” Antifa as a terrorist organisation in view of its role in violence across the country. He cries foul over the unprecedented violence ahead of the presidential election slated for November 3  amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The Trump administration alleges that it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state, to promote the violence. The black person George Floyd was allegedly mercilessly killed by a white police officer while in custody for committing an offence. Antifa, regarded as a militant, left-wing, anti-fascist political activist movement in the US, comprises autonomous activist groups that aim to achieve their political objectives through the use of direct action rather than through policy reforms. The United States of America will be designating Antifa as a terrorist organisation, Trump said in a tweet. The Trump administration is faulting the far-left extremist group for the sudden spike in violent protests across the country after the brutal killing of Floyd. “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly”, said Attorney General William P Barr in a statement. “To identify criminal organisers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using the existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF)”, the Attorney General said. With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent and extremist agenda. The Attorney General said “It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it. The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens’’. The police fired tear gas near the White House on Sunday night to dissuade protesters who had smashed the windows of prominent buildings, overturned cars and set fires, with smoke seen rising from near the Washington Monument, says The New York Times. The White House went dark, turning off almost all of its external lights, as protesters seethed in dozens of cities, again defying curfews to demonstrate against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in police custody. It was the sixth day of nationwide unrest since the death of  Floyd, 46, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene. Last week in Minneapolis. Mayors imposed curfews and several governors mobilized the National Guard, but that did not quell widespread protests in cities across the country, some of them marked by violence and looting. (edited by PK Chakravarty with the picture courtesy The NY  Times)

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