Jonathan Turley: 'Antifa and anarchists have hijacked Floyd protests but left won't admit it'

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A car explodes as firefighters attempt to douse the flames as protesters march through downtown during a third night of unrest Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a curfew for this evening. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


Liberal pundits have gone into overdrive trying to blame the violence which has swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death on white supremacist groups. On Saturday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey each managed to slip this into their public remarks. That same day, Attorney General William Barr issued told Americans, “in many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.” MSNBC’s Joy Reid was outraged over his comments because it was “already documented” that white supremacist groups were responsible.

Some, like Obama’s truth-challenged National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, believe that Russia is the culprit. On Sunday, Rice told CNN, “I’m not reading the intelligence today, or these days — but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook. But we cannot allow the extremists, the foreign actors, to distract from the real problems we have in this country.”

In the meantime, it’s become increasingly clear that Barr’s assessment is correct. CBS News came the closest. Over the weekend, they reported that white supremacist groups and far-left extremists are behind the violence.

George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley, a Democrat, injected some sanity into the debate in a Tuesday op-ed at The Hill. He wrote:


The problem is that the most obvious culprits are all too familiar. A movement of anarchist, antifascist, and extreme left wing groups has been building for years, with violence from Washington to Berkeley. The most prominent is antifa, but there are also groups like By All Means Necessary with similar histories.

Antifa, By All Means Necessary, and other militant or anarchist groups have disrupted universities across the country, including my own, for years. They have found many political and academic allies.

We first began hearing about Antifa in the aftermath of the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. It is a movement rather than a group. Antifa is a collection of activist groups and individuals whose mission is to achieve political goals through “direct action rather than through policy reform. Participants are generally anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian and support
a range of left-wing ideologies such as anarchism, communism, Marxism, social democracy and socialism.

What is meant by direct-action? Well, the very types of things we’ve witnessed over the past week. These agitators carry out protests which often turn violent. Participants damage property, they harass and cause physical harm to those who disagree with their ideology and they engage in digital activism.

And yet, Democratic politicians and members of the mainstream media rarely denounce their actions. Most refuse to condemn this movement. The group sees President Trump as their enemy. And the enemy of their enemy is their friend.


Some openly admit their support for Antifa. Turley notes that the current Minnesota state attorney general and former Congressman Keith Ellison “posed with the antifa handbook to show support at a Minneapolis bookshop and said it would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump.” Turley adds that Ellison faced criticism from the left for “telling protesters they should not attack the National Guard on the streets or “react to them the way you might react to the Minneapolis Police Department. Their job is to try to bring peace and calm back again.”

On Sunday, I posted that Ellison’s son, Jeremiah Ellison, who is a member of the Minneapolis City Council, had pledged his allegiance to Antifa. He tweeted, “I hereby declare, officially, my support for ANTIFA. Unless someone can prove to me ANTIFA is behind the burning of black and immigrant owned businesses in my ward, I’ll keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist THE [sic] ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!”

The left is lying to the American people. This isn’t about George Floyd and everyone knows that. His death was an excuse for the left to make yet another desperate attempt to prevent Trump’s reelection in November.

Turley makes the excellent point that “young people and others did not rush to the streets because they read a posting from some skinhead on the Stormfront website. Yet the references to white supremacists or Russians continued even as reports filtered in of antifa and anarchists being arrested in various cities.”


On his Monday podcast, Dan Bongino outlined the three groups who are attending the protests. The first includes those who are sincerely upset over George Floyd’s terrible death while in police custody. Next are those who see the opportunity for economic gain (looting). The third group are the anarchic and far-left extremist groups. They are working to sow chaos through “direct action.”

Professor Victor Davis Hanson joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to discuss the riots on Monday night. Hanson says he’s seen deadly riots and arson before, but he’s never seen a situation where “the authorities themselves tried to contextualize the violence, apologize, even approve it. We’ve seen that.” (I posted about Hanson’s remarks here.)

Read Turley’s op-ed here.


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