Photo Credit: Rhododendrites / Wikimedia
George Floyd "rally" in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza near the Brooklyn Museum

President Donald Trump announced Sunday afternoon the United States will designate ANTIFA as a domestic terrorist organization. The announcement came in a one-line statement on Twitter.

The “antifa” movement is an anarchist political organization comprised of autonomous activist groups aiming to achieve political objectives through property damage, physical violence and harassment of those they consider to be fascist, racist or on the far right.

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“Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” Trump said in a separate tweet, praising the National Guard for their efforts in response to ongoing violence following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in custody of Minneapolis Police.

“The ANTIFA-led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!” Trump added.

Attorney General William Barr released a statement shortly after Trump’s tweet, saying, “With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda. It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it.

“The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr added.

The riots began after a Minneapolis police officer place a knee on Floyd’s neck while holding him in custody during an arrest operation which was filmed by a bystander, as Floyd pleaded with the officer, telling him he could not breathe. Eventually he stopped speaking and lost consciousness; Floyd was taken to a hospital by ambulance, but could not be revived.

Protests over police brutality that began in Minneapolis instantly ignited a firestorm across the nation that led to massive rioting in at least 75 cities from coast to coast.

‘NYPD Under Extreme Pressure’
In New York City, the protests that were allegedly over the death of George Floyd popped up in several places, and most quickly morphed into violent riots. At a “rally” near the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza during the day on Saturday, a crowd waved picket signs that read:

  • A riot in the language of the unheard. George Floyd.
  • Black Lives Matter.
  • Being Black or Brown Is Not a Crime.
  • Alton Sterling.
  • Stop Killing Black People.
  • Stop Killing Us.

Crown Height Shmira advised the Jewish community members in the neighborhood to “avoid going out necessarily and if you have to go out please try and be in groups and use common sense to keep safe and be vigilant to avoid contact with rowdy groups.

“If you plan on leaving the Crown Heights area be aware that there are ongoing violent demonstrations all over the five Boroughs, you should follow traffic advisories as there are some very violent demonstrations taking place…

“Please understand that the NYPD is under extreme pressure and stretched thin… so please avoid going to any hot areas.” (Ed. note:The SHMIRA Hotline is: 718-221-0303)

In the Union Square section of downtown Manhattan on Saturday evening, the “protests” quickly morphed into violence that included torching trash cans and smashing police vehicles.

Black Lives Matter Has Gone International
The Black Lives Matter movement has also managed to develop international ties, with “BLM” supporters organizing solidarity events in other countries as well to express their outrage, ostensibly over the death of George Floyd.

A “Solidarity Protest Against Anti-Black Violence in the US and EU” is set to be held in The Netherlands at 5:00 pm on Monday, June 1 in Dam Square, under the auspices of #BlackLivesMatter.

Solidarity Protest Against Anti-Black Violence in the US and EU under #BlackLivesMatter
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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.