Following a spate of violent attacks by masked members of Antifa, four GOP members of Congress are taking matters into their own hands.
A measure introduced last month in the House would punish anyone wearing a mask who "injures, oppresses, threatens or intimidates" a person "in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege" with a fine and up to 15 years in prison.
Introduced to the House Judiciary Committee by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) and co-sponsored by Peter King (R-NY), Ted Budd (R-NC) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ). H.R. 6054, the "Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018" states:
Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
The bill also includes 2 years of jail time for "Destroying buildings or property" while wearing a mask or disguise.
One of the more notable incidents of Antifa violence was an assault on a Trump supporter by Bay Area professor and anarchist, Eric Clanton, who was "unmasked" by users of popular internet forums and arrested and charged with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Clanton remains free on bail, while his trial has been postponed several times.
Meanwhile, a large skirmish broke out at a Portland conservative rally between masked members of Antifa and conservatives - which led to a viral video of a Proud Boy known as "Rufio" knocking out an Antifa member. (Knockout at 7:35)
With the new House Resolution, looks like these guys are out of luck:
Predictably, the left has called the bill dystopian, while those on the right are urging people to call their representatives in congress.
The "Unmasking Antifa Act" is very concerning and reflects a willful misunderstanding of what "Antifa" is, but I have also been saying that the risks of fascism are not just in the streets.— Emily G kmii (@EmilyGorcenski) July 10, 2018
On the contrary. If history is any guide, nipping political violence in the bud should be among Congress' highest priorities.@RepDanDonovan's Unmasking Antifa Act should get bipartisan support. Will it? https://t.co/HSdEhJ1Wkr— Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@willchamberlain) July 10, 2018
Attendees at @Cernovich's Night for Freedom were faced with *in-person* death threats by masked Antifa members.— Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@willchamberlain) July 10, 2018
You want people to be able to anonymously make death threats at protests because...otherwise they might receive death threats themselves? https://t.co/9DoE2UrnSb
Call the United States Capitol switchboard— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) July 10, 2018
- (202) 224-3121
Let them know what you think about the Unmasking Antifa Act, which would hold far left wing terrorist groups to the same standards as the KKK and other groups.
- Call (202) 224-3121 https://t.co/Qq8FIMw8NN
Read the resolution below: