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Donald Trump has threatened to label Antifa, a loosely-organised left-wing movement which pits itself against white supremacy, as a terrorist group for its supposed role in the violent George Floyd riots.
Antifa members discuss violent tactics and the art of blending in with the crowd during training, according to a new undercover video by Project Veritas.
A journalist from the conservative activist non-profit claims to have infiltrated Rose City Antifa, the oldest-known Antifa group in America, based in Portland, Oregon.
The man, who wears a mask and sunglasses to protect his identity, says he was “about halfway” through the prospecting process it takes to become a full-fledged member of the shadowy group.
He claimed that clandestine training was taking place before business hours in a feminist Portland bookstore called In Other Words, which was closed two years ago. It is unclear when the video was filmed; the speakers do not appear to refer to any current events.
An alleged undercover tape shows an Antifa activist identified as Nicholas Cifuni telling others, “Don’t be that f****ng guy with the goddamn spike brass knuckles getting photos taking of you. Police are going to be like ‘perfect we can prosecute these f*****s look how violent they are’ and not that we aren’t but we need to f*****g hide that s**t.”
He also appears to encourage members of the group to “practice things like an eye gouge. It takes very little pressure to injure someone’s eyes.”
“Consider like destroying your enemy, not like delivering a really awesome right hand, right eye, left eye blow you know,” he adds. “It’s not boxing, it’s not kickboxing, it’s like destroying your enemy.”
Another member is heard saying at a meeting, “The whole goal of this, right, is to get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible.”
The undercover journalist claimed that one Antifa tactic is dressing in “Black Block”, which he said is a way of dressing that helps conceal their identity.
“They do not hesitate to either push back or incite some kind of violence. In our classes and in our meetings, before we do any sort of demonstration or Black Block, we talk about weapons detail and what we carry and what we should have,” he recounted.
The journalist also claimed that Rose City Antifa was founded by Caroline Vicrorin (née Gauld), who has since moved to Sweden with her husband, a dual citizen.
Antifa, short for ‘anti-fascists’, is not a centralised group and is rather an umbrella for left-wing organisations that confront neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The Trump administration has singled out Antifa as being responsible for instigating violence at protests over the death of George Floyd.
Trump threatened, last summer and during the ongoing protests, to designate Antifa as a domestic terror group. The legal grounds for such a move remain dubious, as US security experts argue there is no legal process for labelling purely domestic groups as terrorist organisations. The claim made in the Project Veritas video that Antifa has a European connection could bolster Trump’s case.
Shortly after the release of the video, Attorney General William Barr claimed there was evidence that Antifa and “other similar extremist groups as well” were hijacking George Floyd protests and “instigating and participating in the violent activity”.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has likewise singled out Antifa among other radical groups, saying that the bureau had deployed 200 joint terrorism task forces to help local police arrest and prosecute “violent agitators”.