The U.S. will designate the “Antifa” group as a terrorist organization, President Trump said Sunday, as his administration blames the leftist organization for much of the violence at police-brutality protests across the country.
Mr. Trump announced his plan in a series of tweets about the ongoing unrest in multiple cities in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Mr. Floyd, a black man, died after a white officer kneeled on his neck area for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis.
The president has blamed far-left “militants” for the violence, including looting and fires, at the resulting protests, while Democratic voices say more investigation into white nationalist intervenors is warranted.
Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union immediately questioned Mr. Trump’s intentions, saying the terror designation is reserved for foreign entities and the label may be stretched for nefarious purposes.
“As this tweet demonstrates, terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused. There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns,” ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi said.
Mr. Trump hasn’t delivered an address to the nation on the protests, though he did speak about the situation at length after the SpaceX launch in Florida on Saturday.