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July 12, 2018

CHANGE? Antifa Activists Are Freaking Out About a Proposed ‘Unmasking’ Law.

“H.R. 6054 takes a pro-fascist stance in its very name, and doubtlessly in its enforcement,” Carmichael Monaco, a member of the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council, a New York City-based activist group, told me Tuesday. “In the current political climate, antifascists who speak out against fascism, racism, xenophobia, etc. are routinely harassed, threatened, and attacked by the far right, often supported by the police, who are notably exempted here. Families and friends of antifascists also become targets of far right violence. The wearing of a mask is an act of self-defense often necessary to ensure one’s right to free speech.”

The new and worrying trend here for people like Monaco is the strategy of repurposing a tactic meant to fight racists for the arrest of people on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum. This isn’t just speculation: In August 2017, an Arizona lawmaker said he wanted to use unmasking laws to go after Antifa protestors by explicitly comparing them to the KKK.

What was good enough for the Democrats’ old shock troops in the KKK must be good enough for their new shock troops in Antifa.