Antifa-linked Shutdown D.C. Targets Republican Senator

Antifa members trespassed, vandalized, and harassed the family of a Republican Senator earlier this week in a deliberate intimidation attempt prior to the meeting of a joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election.

According to a claim by the Antifa-aligned group Shutdown D.C., a dozen or so activists staged a protest outside the Virginia home of Senator Josh Hawley, targeting the Senator for leading GOP senators in a call to reject certification of electors from states tainted by substantive evidence of voter fraud.

According to Senator Hawley, Antifa protestors terrified his wife and children, who were home at the time, by “screaming threats through bullhorns, vandalizing property, pounding on the doors of homes and terrorizing innocent people and children.” Despite this, most media outlets followed the script of Shutdown D.C.’s announcement, describing the vandals as holding a “vigil” outside Hawley’s home.

The deliberate targeting of key opposition leaders and influencers has been a long-planned element of a post-election plan, which began before the November 3rd election. Shutdown D.C. prepared maps of key target locations, including the homes of elected officials, allowing them to swiftly designate targets and organize direct action activities at significant locations.

The ability to have prepared target lists and actions in advance only to execute them months later as needed is a sign of clear sophistication and notable organization.

Shutdown D.C. is a coalition of hard-left direct action groups, sponsored by the D.C. Antifa group All Out D.C. and originally formulated to advance a Green New Deal and climate change agenda by utilizing direct action methods to harass and target opponents. The group’s leadership are professional direct-action organizers and public relations professionals on the payroll of notable unions and environmental non-profit groups. As Center senior fellow Dave Reaboi and I previously documented in a piece called “the Antifa Industry at Work”:

…the Antifa industry [is] staffed with professionals preparing to engage in profoundly illegitimate revolutionary street politics. Their radicalization long precedes the politics of 2020; at the leadership level, maybe all have considered the American system “fascist” for decades before the candidacy of Donald Trump. They are veterans of countless far-left radical causes, protest events, and political warfare communications efforts. And they’re good at what they do.

Regardless of the outcome of the January 6th joint session, we should expect that direct action tactics to intimidate and harass elected officials by Antifa-aligned groups will continue absent any concentrated effort to address the use of these illegitimate tactics.

Senators and Congressmen and state legislators concerned about the use of these tactics should consider demanding that unions and non-profit groups which make up the hard left’s direct-action ecosystem be required to testify about their role in supporting such groups and their intimidation tactics in public hearings.

About Kyle Shideler

Kyle Shideler is the Director and Senior Analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Shideler specializes in Islamist groups operating in the United States, having spent over a decade researching and writing on their history, doctrine, and impact. Read his complete bio here. Follow Shideler on Twitter at @ShidelerK.