Antifa activists in Boston
Antifa activists in Boston Reuters

A petition calling on President Trump to recognize the radical far-left group 'Antifa' as a terrorist organization has hit the 100,000 signature threshold it needs to receive an official response from the White House.

The petition said: "Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim. Antifa has demonstrated time and time again that they're more than willing and able to fill these criteria."

"We're asking that the president formally declare Antifa a domestic terror organization.

The Obama administration had obligated itself to respond to any petition that received more than 100,000 signatures on its 'We the People' website, and sent out an official response to 321 out of 323 petitions that reached the threshold. The Trump administration has been more reticent, and has reportedly been considering shutting the website down, citing high maintenance costs.

Antifa, short for 'anti-fascist', is a group of loosely affiliated anarchists and extreme leftists who contend that they are waging violent warfare against right wing extremists, but promote violence against others as well. Antifa has in the past rioted against conservative speakers on college campuses, and fought against policemen at Black Lives Matter protests.

Experts say the movement has boomed since Trump’s election. Mark Bray, a lecturer on human rights and politics at Dartmouth College, told JTA that he estimates there are several hundred Antifa chapters of varying sizes and levels of activity across the country.

“The threat posed by the ‘alt-right’ in the context of empowerment through Trump made a lot of people concerned about fascist, neo-Nazi, white supremacist violence,” said Bray, author of the forthcoming book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. “They turned to the Antifa model as one option to resist it. The option of physically confronting these groups has spread among the left and been normalized.”

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us