Washington, D.C. – On August 4, 2020, Center expert Kyle Shideler testified before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, chaired by Senator Ted Cruz.
The hearing was titled “The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” Other witnesses included Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, journalist Andy Ngo and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, among others.
Shideler, the Director of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the Center, testified about the structure and origin of Antifa.
“Antifa is an anarcho-communist movement, whose goal is to use physical violence and intimidation to terrorize American citizens into disengaging from the political process. While they do this under the cover of ‘anti-fascism’ the reality is that Antifa define the entire American political system -regardless of party affiliation- as ‘fascist,” Shideler said during his testimony.
Shideler detailed the non-hierarchical structure, funding and support Antifa receives from radical left groups like the International Workers of the World and the National Lawyers Guild.
“Law enforcement has largely failed to understand the nature of this threat. Seeking a rigidly hierarchical organization some analysts have concluded, against all evidence, that Antifa does not exist in any meaningful sense,” Shideler said.
“Far from non-existent, Antifa possesses as elaborate a structure as any criminal conspiracy or terror group,” Shideler continued.
Shideler predicted more attacks and escalating violence, like in Portland and Seattle, unless Antifa is checked by law enforcement.