The US government has always sought to avoid the inclusion of any American group within the country on the terrorist organizations list, based on the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech – until the day when Donald Trump declared the Antifa movement terrorists, writes CNN. According to the channel, despite such an extraordinary decision, Trump is not going to do the same with right-wing organizations – although they kill more people.
The statement by US President Donald Trump that his administration will declare the Antifa movement a terrorist organization is without any doubt unconstitutional, since such a decision outlaws membership in an American ideological group, CNN writes.
In a historical perspective, the US government has always avoided declaring various American groups of both left and right views to be terrorists. According to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, membership in such an organization is regarded as the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of speech – regardless of whether you are a supporter of the superiority of the white race or an eco-activist.
Of course, the channel makes a reservation, if an American citizen, driven by his extremist convictions, commits an offense, then he can be prosecuted. Nevertheless, he cannot be formally charged with only being a member of an American organization.
At the same time, the USA takes a completely different approach to foreign terrorist groups. If you look at the list of terrorist groups compiled by the National Anti-Terrorism Center, you can see that all the associations included in it are based outside the United States.
Joining such groups does not fall under the First Amendment and is considered a crime. For example, in recent years, dozens of Americans have been convicted of membership in IG * or an attempt to join it. In the USA, such an offense is fraught with imprisonment for up to 20 years.
If Trump declares Antifa a terrorist group, this will make it possible to accuse American citizens of a crime only because they have beliefs – even if they are radical and sometimes militant.
In addition, CNN continues, the question arises: why did the Trump administration not do the same with similar extremist right-wing groups, given that their members kill far more people in the US than left-wing terrorists. According to the New America Research Institute, starting September 11, 2001, right-wing terrorists in the United States killed 110 for political reasons, while members of Antif did not commit a single politically motivated murder. At the same time, supporters of the ideology of black nationalism killed 12 people.
In other words, the channel believes that the threat posed by right-wing terrorists is almost 10 times greater than the threat posed by left-wing terrorists. Nevertheless, the Trump administration should still pay tribute to the fact that not so long ago it included the Russian Imperial Movement, a group of supporters of the white race, based in Russia, in the list of terrorist organizations.
“However, there is no indication that the Trump administration will indeed outlaw membership in American right-wing extremist organizations. And there is a good reason: first of all, the First Amendment, which allows Americans to adhere to a variety of extremist beliefs without fear of persecution, and this also applies to supporters of Antifa“Sums up CNN.
* “Islamic State” (IG) – the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.