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How do we think about the George Floyd murder?
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The response to George Floyd's murder has increased surveillance

President Trump's intentions to label Antifa an official terrorist group is a dangerous move towards a heavy-handed surveillance state. The group has neither leadership nor ideology, and organises itself informally. To outlaw, it would effectively sanction arbitrary policing.
George Floyd

The Argument

President Donald Trump has said he wishes to ban Antifa because it is a terrorist organization which has created serious civil unrest during the George Floyd protests. He is using the confusion created by a complicated issue to enact authoritarian policies and shift blame. Although some people using the label 'Antifa' have been violent, they are not masterminding widespread anarchy.[1] Critics have claimed that an organized attempt is being made by a structured terrorist organization to create chaos. Antifa is not an organization at all; it is an umbrella term for people who hold anti-fascist views. There is no way to join Antifa officially, and groups are locally organized wherever far-right groups gather. Although the right-wing press seeks to give Antifa a concrete political label, people using its symbols do not hold one particular political viewpoint.[2] It is dangerous to outlaw a group which is not a real organization, but a loose collective of people with different political ideas. Banning them is a serious infringement on civil liberties. Anybody protesting against what they view as authoritarian, whether peacefully or not, could be arrested under counter-terrorism laws.[3]

Counter arguments

President Trump's decision to brand Antifa terrorists is wholly justified. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed that Trump is right to ban Antifa because they are an organization linked to Kurdish militants in Turkey. The Turkish government has stated that they have evidence that terrorists in Northern Syria have trained members of antifa.[4] The US Attorney General and President Trump have claimed the police and the FBI know that there are organized groups of Antifa protestors being flown around the US to cause trouble at protests.[5] William Barr has asserted that police chiefs have informed him that Antifa was the main cause of the violence in every city where rioting has taken place. The group is causing widespread violence, which demands a controlled response. Those who break the law must face the rule of law and held to account.[6]



[P1] The President has not addressed the true causes of the riots but instead has used antifa as a scapegoat. [P2] Antifa is not a structured organization and banning it is an easy excuse to make arbitrary arrests. [C] The President is trying to prohibit protests and infringe on free speech.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Antifa has been causing violence at every major riot according to some sources.


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 22:45 UTC

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