A call on the Donald Trump administration to officially classify the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization has reached the 100,000-signature threshold for a mandatory response from the White House.
The petition was launched on Thursday, August 17, and in just three days, by Sunday evening, topped the minimum of 100,000 signatures required to prompt a formal response from the White House.
The previous US administration had committed to respond within 30 days to any petition that gains over 100,000 signatures, and in some form, answered to over 300 of them since ‘We the People’ was launched in 2011. Donald Trump’s administration, however, has left almost a dozen petitions unanswered since he assumed office in February, and even considered closing the service down.
The Antifa movement is on the rise in the wake of Charlottesville tragedy earlier this month, where a man drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters at a “Unite the Right” rally, killing one person and injuring 19 others.
The suspect in the case, James Fields Jr. joined hundreds of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan who descended on Charlottesville on August 12 to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The issue of white supremacy and the historic importance of Confederate monuments has been a highly contentious issue ever since, sparking a number of demonstrations and counter-rallies across the nation.
The Antifa movement has been at the forefront in the fight against the white nationalism. However, expressing their civil position is often characterized by violence. Ever since Donald Trump won the election, Antifa supporters have repeatedly clashed with his supporters.
And the creator of the petition has argued exactly that, accusing Antifa of “violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States.”
He added that “terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims,” and urged the Pentagon to be “consistent in its actions.”
“Just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Antifa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety,” the the petition reads.
Amid the mass public rift and ongoing tensions within American society, president Trump on Saturday endorsed peaceful rallies as a means to unite the nation.
“Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!” he said on Twitter. “I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
Although it has already reached the necessary benchmark, way ahead of the 30-day expiration deadline, the petition continues to attract signatures of Americans who want the White House administration to classify the far-left Antifa political movement as a terrorist organization.