Over 160,000 Sign White House Petition Demanding Antifa Be Labeled a Terrorist Group

An anti-fascist protester marches during competing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, U.S. June 4, 2017. | (Photo: REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition on the White House petition website calling for the federal government to officially designate the activist group Antifa as a terrorist organization.

"AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States," reads the petition.

"It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety."

First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally. | (Photo: REUTERS/Justin Ide)

If a petition on the site "We the People," which was created during the previous administration, gets at least 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House promises an official response.

The Antifa petition was posted on Aug. 17 and has received approximately 162,000 signatures as of Monday morning.

Short for "Antifascist," according to historian Mark Bray, Antifa is not a centralized organization but rather a collection of various leftwing groups and activists bent on stopping far right ideology.

"Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy," noted Bray in a recent Washington Post column.

"Antifascists argue that after the horrors of chattel slavery and the Holocaust, physical violence against white supremacists is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective. We should not, they argue, abstractly assess the ethical status of violence in the absence of the values and context behind it."

Antifa garnered headlines earlier this month when they were involved in the violent protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the city's Robert E. Lee statue.

On that day, a "Unite the Right" rally comprised of white nationalists took place at the statue. At one point, a Neo-Nazi drove a car into counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring over a dozen others.

President Donald Trump said at a press conference in New York City that "both sides" were to blame for the violence and that there were decent people among the "Unite the Right" demonstrators.

"Racism is evil — and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," stated President Trump.

"Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch."

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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