Criminalizing Dissent: “Unmasking Antifa” Bill Introduced

By BRRN Social Media Team

In a move to expand the atmosphere of repression against the left, a bill specifically targeting anti-fascist or “Antifa” protesters was introduced to the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives in June. Titled the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” the bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Daniel Donovan of New York (@RepDanDonovan) and calls for fines and prison up to 15 years for anyone who “injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person” while wearing a mask or disguise. Police and law enforcement are, of course, exempted.

“Mass surveillance provides the state with opportunities for unprecedented repression. This bill clearly attempts to eradicate blind spots in the state’s vision so that anonymous resistance is impossible,” says Mark Bray, author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and a member of Black Rose / Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation.

“I think it is worth addressing because it seems to be a way to prepare for the next J20-style repression to actually work,” noted Bray referring to the now-failed charges against more than 200 protesters arrested during President Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. The charges were ultimately dismissed for lack of evidence and misconduct by the prosecution but was seen by many as an effort to criminalize dissent by the Trump administration.

For more on Anti-Fascism we recommend “Interview: Antifa Means No Free Speech for Fascism” with Mark Bray. For more on anarchism generally we recommend listening to Mark Bray’s interview on Revolutionary Left Radio.