It seems the new "Unmasking Antifa Act" has ruffled a few feathers among the alt-left.
Introduced in the House last month by Rep Dan Donovan (R-NY), H.R. 6054 is a response to a spate of violent attacks provoked by masked members of Antifa, and 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.
The law is effectively a modern take on anti-mask laws dating back to the mid-20th century in order to stop the violent activities of the Ku Klux Klan - and the left is predictably pissed.
New York City anarchist Carmichael Monaco of the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council told Vice on Tuesday:
"H.R. 6054 takes a pro-fascist stance in its very name, and doubtlessly in its enforcement. In the current political climate, antifascists who speak out against fascism, racism, xenophobia, etc. are routinely harassed, threatened, and attacked by the far right, often supported by the police, who are notably exempted here. Families and friends of antifascists also become targets of far right violence. The wearing of a mask is an act of self-defense often necessary to ensure one's right to free speech."
Alt-left Twitter denizens were none too pleased either:
Holy hell, is this real!?— #AbolishICE 🏴 (@TheAnarchoRaver) July 10, 2018
Comrades be ready as within our lifetime this will only get worse— Star of Sorrow 🏴☭ (@TerranSynthesis) July 10, 2018
I was arrested at a protest in Boston & the DA dropped all charges on myself and more than a dozen others.— Guerrilla Prophet (@jaykelly26) July 11, 2018
The "Unmasking Antifa Bill" would get me 15 years in the Feds for nothing but a tshirt & scrap of cloth. pic.twitter.com/iVup0hWpfn
(his pinned tweet)
Important tips for nazi punching pic.twitter.com/hbQcGeuuLA— Guerrilla Prophet (@jaykelly26) January 25, 2017
This legislation is a part of coordinated state efforts to criminalize, suppress, and deter political dissent & resistance, like the #OccupyICE movement across the country.— Occupy ICE SF (@occupyicesf) July 10, 2018
Of course, some on the alt-left are way ahead of the Unmask Antifa Act..
Problem with Antifa is this. They stick out like sore thumbs. I agree with the cause. I'd gladly join in on bashing fascists. However if you dress proper it confuses the shit out of the Nazis and Cops.— (((The Bear Jew))) (@InnerDaemons) July 11, 2018
By that I mean wearing a polo shit, a scarf, baseball cap, etc. Look as preppy as possible. You'd be surprised what we get away with in Florida by dressing Casual. No one expects a guy in a $200 Stone Island jumper to beat their fucking heads in.— (((The Bear Jew))) (@InnerDaemons) July 11, 2018
We've snuck past armed barriers before just because we just looked like some preppy frat boys. Then turned it around on the fascists. They let us through because we didn't look like trouble. No one took pictures causer they weren't sure who the fuck we were. No logos. No flags.— (((The Bear Jew))) (@InnerDaemons) July 11, 2018
That doesn't exactly obscure one's identity while "punching a Nazi" - while footage of a Proud Boy knocking out a preppy kid in a polo shirt would instantly go viral. We can only imagine.