Who is the real anarchist? In an effort by the Trump administration to punish cities where Black Lives Matter protests have taken place, the Justice Department has designated New York, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, as anarchist jurisdictions. The move was met with mockery and disbelief, but the stakes are high, as these cities stand to lose billions of dollars in federal funding at a time when Covid-19 has hit local budgets hard.
And although they have been singled out for allegedly enabling anarchist violence, they are not the only ones facing a financial threat over the issue of police brutality. Republicans at all levels of government have dangled the possibility of withholding funds from cities trying to curb their local law enforcement — from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has threatened to freeze property taxes for any cities that fund police departments, to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who promised that any attempt to cut local police budgets would result in the loss of state funding. But there’s a twist, writes Kriston Capps: “It’s the Republicans in the Senate who are making these cuts more likely, by refusing to pass another coronavirus relief bill.” Today on CityLab: Republicans step up rhetoric against ‘anarchist jurisdictions’