First things first: How much attention do those White House petitions really get, even if they do garner enough signatures?
I imagine it depends on the administration and how closely aligned to the president’s ideology the petition fits.
With that in mind, there’s a new petition that hit the White House website this week, asking that the Trump administration officially designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.
The petition, which was posted on August 17 and must have 100,000 signatures by September 16, 2017 to earn a White House response reads:
Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. 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. 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 first complication with addressing Antifa is determining who they are.
Unlike ISIS, who have a specific identity, Antifa is a collection of groups, but with a unified goal of enforcing their will over the will of the communities where they congregate, intimidating motorists, destroying property, and raging against authority, such as law enforcement.
One thought they’re perfectly unified in is that destruction of property does not equal violence.
The group that destroyed a 100-year old Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina are one example. They were mainly made up of thugs with the Workers World Party. I’ve been mistakenly calling them “Socialists” because of their support of Venezuela’s oppressive Maduro regime.
I was mistaken. They’re a full-on Communist organization, active with Black Lives Matter and various pro-LGBT organizations, and state their goal as, “dedicated to organizing and fighting for a socialist revolution in the United States and around the world.”
As I said somewhere else, if your demonstrations are more than holding signs and featuring speakers to promote your cause, then you’ve lapsed your protections under the First Amendment.
Not to mention the fact that if they’re claiming protections under our government’s Constitution to overthrow our government, and authorities are allowing that to be a thing, then… something is wrong.
Law enforcement in Durham were told to stand down, in order to avoid another Charlottesville, with arrests taking place after the fact.
Given the 2015 law prohibiting the removal of historic monuments in North Carolina, the punishment for the lawless actions of WWP needs to be enough to send a message.
At the time of this writing, the White House petition had 14,060 signatures towards the 100,000 signature goal.
Now, the next question: If the petition reaches its goal, how should the White House respond, and how do communities combat a subversive element growing in our society, without stepping over a very fine line?