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Congress to Hold Hearing on ‘Antifa’ Violence

Rioters in Portland, Ore., July 26, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a congressional hearing Tuesday on violence and criminal acts tied to Antifa. 

The committee, chaired by Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), will hold a hearing titled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.”  

“Americans have a constitutional right to gather, protest, and otherwise have their voices heard, but they must do so peacefully,” Cruz said in a statement. “Antifa is fundamentally against free-speech and is using peaceful protests as a cover and an excuse to engage in violence and other criminal actions.”

Cruz pointed to Portland, where he said self-proclaimed anti-fascist “criminals are trying to burn down the federal courthouse.”  

“The hearing will highlight how Antifa and other anarchists are hijacking peaceful protests and engaging in political violence that is not only criminal, but antithetical to the First Amendment,” he added.

The hearing will reportedly detail Antifa’s role in riots and feature witnesses including Department of Homeland Security acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas and co-head of the Department of Justice Task Force on Violent Anti-Government Extremists Erin Nealy Cox, journalist Andy Ngo and others, the Daily Caller reported.

 

Federal agents were deployed to Portland and a number of other cities in the wake of nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd that has seen federal buildings, police offices and statues vandalized by rioters. Rioters in Portland injured a number of federal agents after launching fireworks at them and shining lasers at their eyes.

While many lawmakers have denounced violence caused by Antifa, others, like Representative Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) have called it “a myth.”

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