Antifa networks and ideologically affiliated groups have conducted violent street protests and riots in a number of cities over the past several years, including in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, and elsewhere.
Montana state Rep. Braxton Mitchell, a Republican representing Columbia Falls, told the Montana House Judiciary Committee during a Tuesday hearing that the bill is being considered.
The move would “send a message that we as a state won’t tolerate a group like this coming into our state,” he said, reported The Associated Press.
Opponents of the measure said that such a bill should be opposed if it does not also classify other groups accused of violent acts, including groups that partook in the U.S. Capitol breach in January.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Mitchell’s office for comment.
Some officials, including FBI Director Chris Wray, have said that Antifa is more of an ideology rather than a group. He described Antifa as a decentralized movement.
However, independent journalist Andy Ngo—who has been chronicling Antifa and other black bloc-style groups—told The Epoch Times it is “more than an idea” and is “also a movement” that appears to be organized.
Antifa is short for “anti-fascist,” but Ngo noted that “fascist” doesn’t necessarily refer to the Nazis or white supremacists, adding that the group often calls people fascists that are “in opposition to the far-left political agenda.” The United States itself, according to Ngo, is defined as “fascist” by most Antifa adherents, Ngo added.
And black bloc attacks in Portland appeared to be indiscriminate and didn’t target alleged white supremacists, Ngo added.
“What I was witnessing on the ground in my home city—Portland, the epicenter of American Antifa—that they were carrying out indiscriminate acts of violence, not just against property but against people. And they kept continuing to escalate and escalate,” he told NTD.
The ultimate agenda of Antifa is to abolish nation-states all around the world and to create anarchist, communist communes, Ngo remarked.
“They believe that they can actually organize society without a government,” he said, adding that adherents often believe that nobody should own private property.
Elaborating further, Ngo dispelled the idea that far-left groups would stop rioting and demonstrating after President Joe Biden took office.
“They rioted in Portland, for example, on the fourth of November. There’s been around a dozen riots in Portland and Seattle since then,” he said. “On the day that Biden was inaugurated, importantly, they actually destroyed the headquarters of the Oregon Democratic Party. And in Seattle there were some riots as well.”