Sep 11 2020
On Thursday, US Representative Ken Buck and 49 other members of the Republican House wrote to US Attorney General William Barr imploring him to investigate “these attacks on our republic”, referring to the riots and destructive behavior that several cities have known in association with peaceful protests for racial justice. .
The “riots in Portland and other major US cities have revealed a targeted effort to destabilize our way of life,” lawmakers wrote. “It is evident that these individuals were equipped for war and were clearly part of a planned effort to infiltrate peaceful protests, provoke violence and further subvert our system of government.”
Buck, who is also chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, tweeted afterwards that “left anarchist groups” carried out “totalitarian attacks” and suggested the need to investigate the funding of such groups. The letter from the GOP representatives was addressed specifically to “ANTIFA”, which is the abbreviation of anti-fascist. The term indicates an ideology, rather than an organized group of members.
The letter referred to the August shooting of Aaron J. Danielson in Portland during a clash of protesters in the city. Lawmakers described Danielson as “a supporter of President Trump,” while the Washington Post reported he was a member of a right-wing group that Facebook has pulled from its platform as part of a crackdown on “violent social militias”. Police have since killed the man accused of Danielson’s murder.
Other reasons given by lawmakers for investigating the rioters included the burning of buildings, the “theft of livelihoods” and “the docking of a sitting US senator,” an allusion to protesters who followed the US Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky. after the Republican National Convention and drawing attention to the murder of Breonna Taylor in her home state.