Decision: States should enact laws to support first responders and peace officers and to provide new enforcement provisions to address the tactics used by Antifa and other revolutionary insurrectionists in America.
Reason: While Attorney General Bill Barr and the Trump administration have called for aggressive federal investigations into the organizers of these interstate riots, Washington remains mired in gridlock. Elements within the Department of Justice and the FBI have been resistant to the Trump Administration’s efforts. Meanwhile, the leadership of the US House of Representatives and Senate minority continue to stymie efforts to target the domestic terrorist group Antifa, with many politicians tacitly endorsing Antifa rhetoric or refusing to admit Antifa exists.
This means that state legislatures, governors and attorneys general must seize the initiative in developing new capabilities to restore America to the tranquility that existed before this Marxist insurrection began.
Background: Some locales -including those dubbed “anarchic jurisdictions” by President Trump- have permitted rioters to run rampant for over four months. But in other key states there has been no confusion about the threat posed by riots and violent protests. These law & order states are setting an important example to follow in the effort to quell Antifa violence, bring terrorists to justice, and bring an end to what amounts to a low-intensity insurgency.
The following states, in various ways, have taken steps to propose and pass new laws, or properly employ current laws to wage campaigns to bring lawlessness to an end:
- In Georgia, the legislature and the governor teamed up to protect first responders and law enforcement personnel with a police protection bill. The new law creates a civil cause of action empowering peace officers to bring lawsuits against anyone knowingly filing a false complaint against an officer. In addition, the law makes it a crime to intimidate, harass or terrorize a first responder in an attempt to harm a first responder or damage the first responder’s property.
- In Tennessee, the legislature and the governor took aim at rioters and violent demonstrators by passing a sweeping law that amends and revises existing statutes concerning vandalism, assault, disorderly conduct, rioting, obstructing traffic and camping on state property. The measures in the Tennessee bill were crafted in direct response to tactics and methods used by insurrectionists in Nashville.
- In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed a battery of provisions that should serve as a model for all states, addressing virtually every aspect of the violent protests and rioting that we have seen in our streets. Of particular importance is a provision to bring the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act to bear against those who fund and organize riots.
- In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has announced legislative proposals similar to those that Governor DeSantis proposed in Florida, along with provisions involving the illegal use of fireworks and blockading of hospital entrances, as occurred in California after two peace officers were ambushed and rushed to the hospital. Again, Governor Abbott’s proposal is especially noteworthy in that it would make it a felony to fund or aid the organization of a riot.
- In Oklahoma, local District Attorney David Prater utilized pre-existing state terrorism laws to properly charge rioting members of Antifa. State terrorism laws exist in many states, and other states are considering creating or expanding terrorism laws to address Antifa violence.
Other states must follow these examples to protect law enforcement personnel, provide for public safety and ensure that our constitutional republic form of government continues to function, particularly during election seasons and in the transition period in their aftermath.
Pushback: in some states those groups known for routinely opposing pro-policing measures are already lining up in opposition. In Georgia, the ACLU has moved to condemn the law protecting first responders from malicious false reports. In Florida, the HAMAS-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has come out aggressively against De Santis’ proposals as unconstitutional, despite the fact that the legislative language has not yet been formalized. State governors and legislators should expect similar highly politicized resistance.
The Bottom Line: Four major states have either acted or are proposing action to combat the on-going Marxist insurrection in America. The rest of the states need to study these legislative initiatives and adopt similar initiatives of their own so that Antifa and it’s revolutionary allies are confronted with a “full-court press” to deter rioting and restore the rule of law.