A petition on the White House website asking that Antifa be labeled a terrorist group has gotten over 250,000 signatures, blowing past the required 100,000 necessary for a White House response.
Antifa stands for Anti-Facist, a group that has been counterprotesting at white supremacist rallies across the country. The petition was created on Aug. 17 by someone by the initials “M.A.” It has some grammatical errors and argues that “Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.’”
“AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States,” the whitehouse.gov petition reads. “It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
The White House must issue a formal response to the petition within 30 days because it passed the 100,000-signature threshold.
Antifa protesters were in Charlottesville demonstrating against the white supremacist rally that left one woman dead on Aug. 12. The group has been known to meet violence with violence during its demonstrations.
President Donald Trump, in his response to the violence, blamed members of “many sides” for letting the situation escalate. He has been widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans for seemingly drawing a moral equivalency between the neo-Nazi and KKK members who had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue and those counterdemonstrating against the hate groups.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups in the U.S., does not include anti-facism on the list of ideologies it tracks.