by WorldTribune Staff, June 4, 2020
In a June 3 op-ed for The New York Times, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas called for sending in U.S. troops to quell the rioting taking place in America’s cities which has been tied to the well-funded international Antifa network.
Cotton called for “an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.”
Outraged employees at the Times protested on social media saying “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger” and “Running this puts Black people, including Black @nytimes staff, in danger.” In doing so, they violated Times policy that forbids staffers from “taking sides” on social media.
Several Times employees took sick days Thursday to protest Cotton’s op-ed.
Times management defended running the senator’s column: “I believe in the principle of openness to a range of opinions, even those we may disagree with, and this piece was published in that spirit,” Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote in a memo to staff on Thursday.
Times opinion editor James Bennet tweeted: “Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments.”
Cotton said he was pleased the Times stood by the editorial “in the face of a woke mob in their own newsroom.”
“New York City suffered the worst of the riots Monday night, as Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by while Midtown Manhattan descended into lawlessness. Bands of looters roved the streets, smashing and emptying hundreds of businesses. Some even drove exotic cars; the riots were carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements,” Cotton wrote in the June 3 op-ed.
Among those “criminal elements” the senator called out its role in the riots is Antifa. President Donald Trump said he would declare the anarchist group a terrorist organization.
Bernard B. Kerik, former police commissioner of the New York City Police Department, said Antifa “100 percent exploited these protests,” noting that their various websites control and dictate where protests start.
“It’s in 40 different states and 60 cities; it would be impossible for somebody outside of Antifa to fund this,” Kerik told The Epoch Times. “It’s a radical, leftist, socialist attempt at revolution.”
Operations including coordination, equipment, and travel costs would likely cost “tens of millions of dollars,” Kerik said. Kerik said an FBI agent friend told him she was at Newark airport on May 29 where she observed “probably 25 of these Antifa kids walking in through the airport.”
“They’re coming from other cities,” Kerik said. “That cost money. They didn’t do this on their own. Somebody’s paying for this.”
“What Antifa is doing is they’re basically hijacking the black community as their army,” Kerik said. “They instigate, they antagonize, they get these young black men and women to go out there and do stupid things, and then they disappear off into the sunset.”
Photos later pulled offline appeared to show protesters with military-grade communications radios and earpieces, Kerik said, noting: “They have to be talking to somebody at a central command center with a repeater. Where do those radios go to?”
Andy Ngo, a journalist who has covered Antifa extensively, said the group is organized in “multiple units” with scouts that monitor the perimeter of an area, providing live audio or text updates. Others carry out violent missions with weapons and firebombs.
The extremist group is “horizontally” organized; it doesn’t have a public leader, since it’s part of their ideology that there should be no authority, Ngo said.
An undercover video released Thursday by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows an instructor for Antifa teaching newcomers how to injure people.
“The whole goal of this, right, it to get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible,” says the instructor. “Practice things like an eye gouge. It takes very little pressure to injure someone’s eyes.”
In the video, the unidentified Project Veritas undercover journalist says Antifa members “do not hesitate to either push back or incite some kind of violence. In our classes and in our meetings, before we do any sort of demonstration or Black Bloc, we talk about weapons detail and what we carry and what we should have.”
O’Keefe said it’s a “sad time in our nation’s history with Antifa activists hijacking #blacklivesmatter protests in cities across the country, attacking the police and engaging in violence. In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized & driven by anarchic left extremist groups — far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.”