Violent clashes between far left Antifa activists and anyone who disagrees with them are convincing lawmakers and public officials to consider all options, from designating the group a terrorist organization to bans on masks used by members to hide their identity.
“A lot of people are emboldened because they know they can’t be identified,” Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw recently told the Wall Street Journal.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is reportedly considering a ban on face masks after Antifa members pummeled conservative journalist Andy Ngo on June 29 as police failed to intervene, an ordeal that left Ngo with a brain hemorrhage in the hospital.
Ngo, battered and bruised, appeared on cable news and wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal to detail the harrowing encounter.
“I was set upon by a mob, some wearing fiberglass-hardened gloves as well as masks. The pummeled me in the face and the back of the head until I let go of my camera, which somebody snatched,” he wrote. “I raised my arms in surrender, but the mob took that as a signal to become more aggressive. Next rained a hail of milkshakes, eggs, rocks, silly string and possibly pepper spray.
“The mob hollered and laughed as I stumbled away,” Ngo wrote.
The conservative journalist told the media he thought police would intervene to save him from the masked thugs but they never did.
The culprits have not been identified or arrested, because of the masks.
The clash is only the most recent between Antifa and those who disagree with the group’s far-left agenda. Factions have mauled conservative protestors or journalists in Oregon, California, New York, Charlottesville, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Washington state and numerous other places.
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz leveraged his position on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to urge the FBI and Attorney General William Barr to launch a corruption and racketeering investigation into Antifa, as well as Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for failing to protect his constituents from the group’s violent attacks.
“I write to urge you to open an organized crime investigation into Antifa, a left-wing anarchist terrorist organization that routinely relies on violence to intimidate and punish its political opponents,” Cruz wrote to Barr.
“Our Republic depends on free and open participation in the political process. These acts of brazen political violence and intimidation strike at the heart of that process. Given your commitment to the rule of law, I hope you will respond to Antifa’s organized criminal activity, and Mayor Ted Wheeler’s refusal to protect Portland’s citizens from that activity, with all speed and vigilance.”
The Ngo attack is not the first time the city’s police failed to keep residents safe from the masked leftist thugs. Cruz cited an incident last year, when Antifa trapped federal employees inside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement building.
“When those employees called Portland police, Mayor Wheeler prohibited a police response,” Cruz wrote. “In his capacity as Police Commissioner, Wheeler announced why: he did not want to be ‘engaged’ in ‘a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that (he) believe(d)’ to be ‘on the wrong track.’”
President Trump also weighed on Saturday.
Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 and others),” Trump tweeted.
Joey Gibson, member of the Patriot Prayer Group that’s frequently clashed with Antifa thugs, told the Wall Street Journal that unmasking the group would be a good start, and a simple way for Wheeler to avoid continued headaches from the group.
“The second the masks come off, they even act police,” Gibson said. “If Ted Wheeler is tired of the national attention, all they have to do is enforce a no-mask law.”
Wheeler spokeswoman Eileen Park told the news site her boss hasn’t yet come to a decision about banning masks in Portland because he “wants to weigh his options thoroughly and hear concerns from community leaders” before taking action.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union is working to protect Antifa terrorists and their alleged First Amendment right to hide their identity like cowards.
“A policy that prohibits wearing a mask to a protest not only risks chilling First Amendment-protected activities, particularly for those who wear ‘masks’ for political and religious reasons, it misses the issue entirely,” spokeswoman Sarah Armstrong said. “Behavior is the issue, not the mask.”