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Politics As Trump blames antifa, protest records show scant evidence

02:47  07 june  2020
02:47  07 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

Andrew McCarthy: Laws against rioting and terrorism must be enforced against Antifa and other violent radicals

  Andrew McCarthy: Laws against rioting and terrorism must be enforced against Antifa and other violent radicals Antifa is a loosely-knit, interstate movement whose objective is to wage a terrorist war against the United States, using violence against the government and our civilian infrastructure. DUELING CLAIMS: TRUMP BLAMES ANTIFA FOR RIOTS, MINNESOTA OFFICIALS POINT FINGERS AT WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND CARTELS Equally salient is the attorney general’s assertion that the radical groups involved in the rioting are pursuing a specific, violent agenda. That obviously refers to the ongoing campaign to coerce acceptance by the country of these groups’ counter-constitutional totalitarianism.

There is scant evidence either is true. The Associated Press analyzed court records , employment histories, social media posts and other sources of AP filed public records requests seeking arrest reports and other documents that might show what evidence law enforcement officers have against

There is scant evidence either is true. The Associated Press analyzed court records , employment histories, social media posts and other sources of AP filed public records requests seeking arrest reports and other documents that might show what evidence law enforcement officers have against

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scott Nichols, a balloon artist, was riding home on his scooter from the protests engulfing Minneapolis last weekend when he was struck by a rubber bullet fired from a cluster of police officers in riot gear.

In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his backyard in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his backyard in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“I just pulled over and put my hands up, because I didn’t want to get killed,” said Nichols, 40. “Anybody that knows me knows I wasn’t out there to cause problems.”

Trump wants to designate the “Antifa” movement as a terrorist organization

 Trump wants to designate the “Antifa” movement as a terrorist organization © Copyright 2020, The Observations Donald Trump announced Sunday that his administration will include the far left movement “antifa” (antifascist) on its American list of organizations terrorists.

There is scant evidence either is true. The Associated Press analyzed court records , employment histories, social media posts and Trump tweeted last Sunday that he planned to designate antifa as a terrorist organization. `` These are acts of domestic terror,'' Trump said in a Rose Garden speech

The violent protests engulfing many US cities are being staged by Antifa and the radical left, US President Donald Trump has said, claiming “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” Trump insisted as he sent a barrage of tweets about the violent outbreaks across the country.

Nichols, who before the coronavirus pandemic made his living performing at children’s birthday parties under the stage name “Amazing Scott,” spent two days in jail before being released on criminal charges of riot and curfew violation.

President Donald Trump has characterized those clashing with law enforcement after George Floyd’s death as organized, radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism, an assertion repeated by Attorney General William Barr. Some Democrats, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, initially sought to blame out-of-state far-right infiltrators for the unrest before walking back those statements.

In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his balloon shop in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his balloon shop in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

There is scant evidence either is true.

White House press secretary pushes back on calls for Trump to address nation amid riots, protests

  White House press secretary pushes back on calls for Trump to address nation amid riots, protests White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday pushed back on calls for President Trump to address the nation amid the riots and protests that broke out across the country in response to Minneapolis man George Floyd’s death in police custody last week, maintaining that the president is committed to “action.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

On the tenth night of protests , a video showing police officers in Buffalo, New York, shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground went viral as aggressive police tactics nationwide come under increased scrutiny. Here's what we're watching this Friday morning. NYC protesters say they face two deadly pandemics

Antifa , short for " anti - fascist ," is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists. Antifa aims to "intimidate and dissuade racists," but its aggressive tactics including

The Associated Press analyzed court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia, two cities at the epicenter of the protests.

Rather than outside agitators, more than 85% of those arrested by police were local residents. Of those charged with such offenses as curfew violations, rioting and failure to obey law enforcement, only a handful appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups.

In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his balloon shop in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo taken Friday, June 5, 2020, Scott Nichols, aka Amazing Scott, a local balloon artist, poses for The Associated Press in his balloon shop in Minneapolis. Nichols doesn't consider himself very political, but when George Floyd died, he felt compelled to join the protests which happened to be a few blocks from his home. He was arrested during one of the protests and spent 48 hours in jail before he was released. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Those charged with more serious offenses related to looting and property destruction — such as arson, burglary and theft — often had past criminal records but were overwhelmingly local residents taking advantage of the chaos.

Bill Maher Mocks Republicans Tom Cotton and Matt Gaetz Over Antifa Hysteria

  Bill Maher Mocks Republicans Tom Cotton and Matt Gaetz Over Antifa Hysteria On Friday night, Bill Maher returned to his HBO show Real Time and offered solidarity with protesters during his monologue, conceding that the police had clearly gone too far not only when it comes to brutalizing black bodies but their aggressive, violent, escalatory tactics against protesters. Later, the political satirist took issue with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and his outrageous op-ed in The New York Times effectively calling for the president to declare war on protesting civilians by sending in the military to strike them down.

- And though this may be an uncomfortable conversation, for the benefit of the court and for the record , we're making it clear that this is not your quote. As Trump blames antifa , protest records show scant evidence .

The US president blames the anti - fascist group for fomenting violent unrest at George Floyd protests . The US will designate the anti - fascist group Antifa a terrorist organisation, President Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he had evidence that people from outside Minneapolis

Social media posts indicate few of those arrested are left-leaning activists, including a self-described anarchist. But others had indications of being on the political right, including some Trump supporters.

The president has sought to paint the protesters and looters with broad brush as “radical-left, bad people,” ominously invoking the name “antifa,” an umbrella term for leftist militants bound more by belief than organizational structure, as the source of the trouble. Trump said he planned to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Barr, in charge of organizing the police and military response, echoed the president. “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 said.

There have been violent acts, including property destruction and theft. Police officers and protesters have been seriously injured and have been killed. But federal law enforcement officials have offered little evidence that antifa-aligned protesters are behind a nationwide protest movement.

Trump claims 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police could be part of 'set up'

  Trump claims 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police could be part of 'set up' President Trump on Tuesday shared an unfounded theory that an incident in which an elderly man was pushed to the ground by police in could be a "set up."The president appeared to cite right-wing One America News Network (OANN) in making the incendiary claim, which comes amid a national debate over police brutality.

Antifa , short for " anti - fascist ," is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists. Antifa aims to "intimidate and dissuade racists," but its aggressive tactics including

'Take a knee' protest held in Trafalgar Square. ITN. As Trump blames antifa , protest records show scant evidence .

The AP obtained copies of daily confidential “Intelligence Notes” distributed this past week to local enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security that repeat, without citing evidence, that “organized violent opportunists — including suspected anarchist extremists — could increasingly perpetrate nationwide targeting of law enforcement and critical infrastructure.”

But the note for Monday acknowledges that the department lacked “detailed reporting indicating the level of organization and planning by some violent opportunists and assess that most of the violence to date has been loosely organized."

FILE - In this Sunday, May 31, 2020, file photo, a police officer points a hand cannon at protesters who have been detained pending arrest on South Washington Street, in Minneapolis. President Donald Trump has characterized those clashing with law enforcement in the wake of George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer as radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism. The Associated Press has found that more than 85 percent of those charged by police were locals. Only a handful appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups involved in the protests. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sunday, May 31, 2020, file photo, a police officer points a hand cannon at protesters who have been detained pending arrest on South Washington Street, in Minneapolis. President Donald Trump has characterized those clashing with law enforcement in the wake of George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer as radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism. The Associated Press has found that more than 85 percent of those charged by police were locals. Only a handful appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups involved in the protests. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Nichols, the balloon artist, hardly fits the portrait of a radical. He laughed when asked if he had any ties to antifa or other militant groups. A white man, Nichols said protested to support of his neighbors, many of whom are black.

Trump speaks of "card game" after police attack on 75-year-olds

 Trump speaks of © Mike Desmond The police attack on a 75-year-old demonstrator in the US city of Buffalo caused outrage last week - now President Donald Trump has heard of a possible "card game" " spoken. The police attack on a 75-year-old protester in the US city of Buffalo caused outrage last week - now President Donald Trump has spoken of a possible "card game". The protester Martin Gugino could be an "antifa provocateur", Trump wrote on Tuesday in the short message service Twitter.

“The city was going crazy,” he said.

Lars Ortiz, a 35-year-old classical musician, said he was driving just blocks from his Minneapolis home on May 29 when officers pulled him out of his car at gunpoint, forcing him to wait on a bus for hours before police took them to jail.

“It was scary. It was confusing. I felt violated,” said Ortiz, a cellist who identifies as a biracial Mexican American.

The AP filed public records requests seeking arrest reports and other documents that might show what evidence law enforcement officers have against Nichols, Ortiz and others arrested in Minneapolis. Those records have not yet been provided.

In Washington, the D.C. Metropolitan Police arrested 81 people last weekend, some as young as 13. Most were charged with curfew violation and felony rioting.

Among the highest profile arrests made by federal authorities in the last week was Matthew Lee Rupert, a 28-year-old Illinois man. Prosecutors say traveled to Minneapolis to participate in riots and then posted videos on Facebook showing him looting stores and handing out explosives.

In one video, Rupert, a convicted felon, says: “We come to riot, boy!" There is no evidence cited in his indictment he is affiliated with any organized group. Among the few indicators of his political beliefs was a Facebook posts celebrating Trump’s 2017 inauguration. “Trump is my president but I’m not racist,” he wrote.

Michael German, a former FBI agent and fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said people often travel and cross state lines to participate in protests and that not all of them have peaceful intent. He said politicians and law enforcement often cite the presence of out-of-towners to justify greater police force.

University of Minnesota Law School student Santana Boulton, 23, said a police officer pepper-sprayed her in the face on May 28 before she was tear-gassed two days later and then arrested on Sunday, charged with unlawful assembly and violating a curfew.

“It was nothing like a riot. It was a sit-in,” she said.

Boulton, a white woman who moved to Minneapolis from Michigan to attend law school, was arrested and spent 16 hours in custody. She described herself as “philosophically an anarchist,” but “not a revolutionary.”

“Antifa isn’t even real,” Boulton said. “As an actual person who identifies with the political label of anarchist, the only thing anarchists do is have meetings where they argue for five hours and get nothing done.”

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Kunzelman reported from Silver Spring, Maryland, Bleiberg from Dallas and Durkin Richer from West Harwich, Massachusetts. Associated Press writer Brian Slodysko and Ashraf Khalil in Washington, Amanda Seitz and Don Babwin in Chicago, and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

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Follow Associated Press Investigative Reporter Michael Biesecker at http//:twitter.com/mbieseck

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Have a tip? Contact AP’s global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org

If you disagree with Donald Trump, you are Antifa .
Antifa has no identifiable leader or hierarchy. No headquarters. It's the perfect scapegoat for President Trump.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

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