What far-right violence? Ted Cruz wants to label antifa a terrorist group - 2019-07-23
Last week, Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a resolution to designate "antifa," which the Anti-Defamation League defines as "a loose collection of groups, networks, and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements," as a "domestic terrorist organization."
In fact, antifa is a constellation of many different activist groupings, with no official leader or clear hierarchy. As the New York Times has noted, its membership count is "impossible to know." That didn't stop the two Republican senators from claiming that "Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who 'fight fascism' with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege."
Antifa, short for "anti-fascist," traces its ideological roots to 1920s and 1930s Germany and supposes that if people had opposed the Nazi Party more aggressively, Adolf Hitler might never have come to power. The ADL reports that many people who act within antifa are anarchist or very left-wing, but that "since Trump's election, some people with more mainstream political backgrounds have also joined their ranks."