Jesse Arreguin, the Mayor of Berkeley, CA, is calling for Antifa the so-called “anti-fascist” group that openly uses violence to silence views with which it does not agree, to be classified as a street gang by police.
Mayor Arreguin’s comments came after a horde of Antifa activists leaped police barricades on Sunday and assaulted right wing protesters, injuring at least five. National media generally reported that Antifa had initiated the violence, for once….
CBS affiliate in San Francisco reported:
“I think we should classify them as a gang,” said Arreguin. “They come dressed in uniforms. They have weapons, almost like a militia and I think we need to think about that in terms of our law enforcement approach.”
Arreguin said that while he does not support the far right, it was time to draw the line on the left as well, especially on the black-clad activists who showed up in force and took over both the protests and the park, and played a part in Sunday’s violent clashes.
The mayor said it was also time for the non-violent protesters to take a stand.
“We also need to hold accountable and encourage people not to associate with these extremists because it empowers them and gives them cover,” said Arreguin.
The mayor’s critical words of Antifa, however, was not to be mistaken for a defense of free speech.
The Berkeley mayor also called for a “Free Speech Week” scheduled by conservative students at the University of California Berkeley to be canceled, insinuating that the presence of conservative speakers provokes violence.
Earlier this year in February, Arreguin appeared to side with Antifa at UC Berkeley who shut down a planned speech by then-Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, tweeting that “Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community.” Arrenguin later smeared Yiannopoulos as a “white nationalist,” for which he later apologized.