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Antifa may be branded ‘organization of terror,’ Trump warns, ahead of Portland right-left showdown

Trump on Saturday warned that “major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.”

Trump also expressed hope that Portland mayor Ted Wheeler would be able to “properly do his job” and prevent outbreaks of violence at the upcoming gathering.

That hasn’t always worked out for the mayor in the past, with Portland repeatedly becoming the scene of brutal clashes between hardliners from the left and the right in the past few years.

The latest skirmishes took place in the city during a rally in June as the Rose City Antifa faced off against the Proud Boys. The down point of the scuffles was Antifa (from Anti-Fascist) attacking journalist Andy Ngo, who was beaten up, doused with milkshakes –which reportedly contained quick-drying cement– and deprived of his equipment.

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In the wake of those events, Republican senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy introduced a resolution to “properly identify” Antifa as “domestic terrorists” over numerous instances of intimidation and violence, which they were said to have committed under the protection of so-called “liberal privilege.”

It wasn’t the first attempt to put a terrorist label on the Antifa; a similar petition was launched in 2017. But it was turned down, with the White House clarifying that there was no legal mechanism to formally designate domestic terrorist groups, only foreign ones.

Saturday’s rally is also staged under the “End Domestic Terrorism” slogan, coined to denounce attacks by ant-fascist groups. Proud Boys, 3 Percenters, American Guard and other right-wing organizations have confirmed their planned participation in the event.

Meanwhile, Rose City Antifa has urged “the community to defend itself” and “tell these far-Right and neo-Nazi groups that they are not welcome in Portland.”

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Many shops in downtown Portland remained closed on the day in anticipation of the turmoil. The FBI and Oregon State Police will be helping Portland law enforcers to maintain order in the city, with Mayor Wheeler saying that the National Guard may also be deployed.

Earlier this week, five men affiliated with right-wing groups were arrested and are facing criminal charges over an attack in early May on Cider Riot bar, which is popular with Oregon’s left.

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