Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Trump claims ‘major consideration’ given to declaring Antifa a terrorist organization


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — As Antifa activists faced off with white nationalists at dueling rallies in Portland, Oregon Saturday, President Donald Trump announced his administration is considering formally labeling the far-left group a domestic terrorist organization, but some experts are skeptical such a designation would be legal or particularly helpful to law enforcement.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,’” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, stating the Portland protests were “being watched very closely.”

PPB and Mayor Ted Wheeler hold press conference after demonstrations

3 foiled mass shootings highlight the public’s role in preventing tragedies

Next Up: 3 foiled mass shootings highlight the public’s role in preventing tragedies

Live

00:00

00:00

00:00

Portland Police Bureau and Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference after dueling demonstrations took place in Portland on Aug. 17, 2019. KATU video{ }

Thousands of law enforcement officers from more than a dozen local, state, and federal agencies worked to keep the far-left and far-right demonstrators separated Saturday. They were mostly successful, though the situation did devolve into a civil disturbance later in the afternoon.

Police said 13 people were arrested during the protests, though they did not identify which side the suspects were on, and a half dozen people were treated for minor injuries. Antifa and the far-right Proud Boys both declared victory when it was all over, with organizer Joe Biggs citing Trump’s tweet as proof the event successfully called attention to Antifa violence.

It was not the first time the president has raised the issue. Last month, Trump claimed officials were considering whether to declare “the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats” a terrorist organization.

“Would make it easier for police to do their job!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s tweets join a growing chorus of Republicans fighting for Antifa to be treated as a terrorist organization. Last month, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced a resolution calling for “the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations.” The resolution also calls for the federal government to step up efforts to combat “all forms of domestic terrorism.”

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., made a similar demand in a letter to Attorney General William Barr after journalist Andy Ngo was attacked by masked protesters during an Antifa demonstration in Portland in June. He claimed designating Antifa a domestic terrorist organization would send a clear message that political violence is unacceptable and reassure journalists that their rights will be protected.

“Antifa’s use of violence as a means of furthering its political agenda represents a significant threat to public safety as well as the First Amendment rights of Americans everywhere,” Fitzpatrick wrote.

Terrorism experts find the push to designate Antifa a domestic terrorist organization puzzling, in part because no such formal designation exists under current law.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” said David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University.

When law enforcement designates a group an international terrorist organization, it can prosecute those who provide material support for that group, establish probable cause for surveillance, and pursue sanctions against financial institutions that do business with the organization.

“Under law, there really is no domestic terror statute,” said John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security who served under Republican and Democratic administrations. “While the federal government can designate certain international groups as terrorist organizations, there really isn’t a statutory mechanism to designate a domestic organization as a terror group in a way that would aid the prosecutorial process.”

The vast difference in the authority law enforcement is empowered with to investigate domestic terrorism in comparison to international terrorism has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks as authorities grapple with the growing threat of white nationalist violence. The man suspected of opening fire in an El Paso Walmart earlier this month was allegedly driven by anti-immigrant hatred.

Some law enforcement officials and experts argue domestic extremists should be subject to the same scrutiny as supporters of international terrorist groups. Others warn such powers could be abused by the government to imprison those engaged in speech those in power disagree with.

“If it’s a domestic organization, those organizations have a right to free speech and free association,” Schanzer said. “Al Qaeda doesn’t have those rights.”

In an August 1 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., acknowledged the FBI has no official list of domestic terrorist organizations, but he argued a category of “Anti-1st Amendment Extremists” that “properly encompasses Antifa’s political goals” should be added to the bureau’s public list of ideologies that often lead to domestic terrorism.

Antifa—short for anti-fascist—groups have been operating in the U.S. for years, but they made national headlines around the time of President Trump’s inauguration, when masked protesters destroyed property, scuffled with police, and set a limousine on fire in Washington, D.C. There have been several public confrontations between masked Antifa activists and Trump supporters, right-wing ideologues, and white supremacists across the country since then.

Antifa demonstrators have repeatedly clashed with far-right protesters in Portland over the last three years, including the June event where Ngo was attacked, which was billed as a “Community Self-Defense” rally against the Proud Boys and other far-right groups.

“They were beating me and all this time I could see the steps of the Justice Center,” Ngo told Sinclair Broadcast Group after the incident, during which he suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. His attackers have not been identified, but Portland officials say the investigation is ongoing.

In addition to the assault on Ngo, Cruz and Cassidy’s resolution cites several incidents where “left-wing activists” have threatened, stalked, and doxxed Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and offices. An armed self-described Antifa member also set fire to a vehicle outside an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington last month before being killed by police.

Critics have complained local police in Portland and elsewhere have allowed Antifa activists to act with impunity, excusing their behavior because the people they are fighting are worse or because their masks make them difficult to identify. Last year, some House Republicans sought unsuccessfully to make it a federal crime for someone wearing a disguise to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate a person exercising their constitutional rights.

Former Antifa protester Gabriel Nadales told Sinclair last month that he supported the group as a teenager but now believes it is “just a violent organization filled with a bunch of thugs that need to be put in jail.”

“I left Antifa because I felt like I couldn’t have an original opinion. Anytime I would question some of the members about some of the things that we did, they would tell me to shut up or get out. So I did,” said Nadales, who is now a conservative activist.

3 foiled mass shootings highlight the public’s role in preventing tragedies

Next Up: 3 foiled mass shootings highlight the public’s role in preventing tragedies

Live

00:00

00:00

00:00

Antifa member-turned-conservative activist{ }Gabriel Nadales explains why he left the group. (SBG)

If Antifa or anyone else engages in violence, they should expect to be targeted by law enforcement, Cohen said, and it fair to question whether their disruptive and sometimes violent tactics are the best way to combat violent white nationalist extremism. He does not see that as fitting a traditional definition of terrorist activity, though.

“If Antifa was going out and beating up white people because they believed all white people were fascist, that would be one thing, but Antifa members are creating counter-protests and using violence to combat public displays or activities by white supremacists,” Cohen said.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Warrior Defense Project at St. Mary’s University School of Law, said many Antifa activities are peaceful and protected by the First Amendment, but others do engage in violence against those who disagree with them. Arresting those who do break the law at a given public event may be a less problematic solution than declaring them all to be terrorists.

“Labeling them as a terror group would have far-reaching legal implications, to include the Material Support Act for those that would provide support to Antifa,” Addicott said.

A further complication in the case of Antifa, Schanzer noted, is that it is more of an idea than an organization. There are some local groups that use the name, like Rose City Antifa in Portland, but there is no central leadership or command structure.

“The administration ran into this when they were considering whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization,” he said. There are many groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood around the world, some of which are legitimate political parties.

Wray made a similar point at a Senate hearing last month in response to a question from Cruz about Antifa violence, stating that Antifa is an ideology rather than an organization and the FBI does not investigate ideologies. When an ideology fuels violent criminal activity, the FBI can and does act.

“We have quite a number, though, I should tell you, of properly predicated investigations of what we categorize as ‘anarchist extremists,’ people who are trying to commit violent, criminal activity that violates federal law, and some of those people do subscribe to what we would describe as to what we would refer to as kind of an Antifa-like ideology,” Wray said.

If designating Antifa a terrorist organization is not a viable legal option, Republicans have sought other aggressive steps from law enforcement as well.

In a letter to Barr and Wray last month, Cruz argued the FBI and DOJ should “open an organized crime investigation” into Antifa and apply the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to prosecute individual members even if they have not engaged in specific criminal acts. Cruz also demanded a federal investigation of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for “official policies violating Oregonians’ civil rights,” equating his refusal to shut down left-wing protests to officials implicitly accepting violence by the Ku Klux Klan.

“Our Republic depends on free and open participation in the political process. These acts of brazen political violence and intimidation strike at the heart of that process. Given your commitment to the rule of law, I hope you will respond to Antifa’s organized criminal activity, and Mayor Ted Wheeler’s refusal to protect Portland’s citizens from that activity, with all speed and vigilance,” Cruz wrote.

Experts at the Heritage Foundation have also made a case for cracking down on Antifa using organized crime statutes.

“RICO makes it illegal for a person to participate in the affairs of an enterprise that engages in ‘racketeering activities.’ Racketeering activities include crimes like arson, robbery, fraud and money laundering,” Christina Eastman and GianCarlo Canaparo wrote in a FoxNews op-ed last month.

At a time when white supremacists are growing more violent, vandalizing places of worship, and plotting mass shootings, Cohen suggested a debate about Antifa is a distraction from more urgent threats. He argued the government’s time and resources might be better spent empowering law enforcement to go after organizations and individuals planning violent attacks, improving mental health services, and passing a national red flag law to keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk individuals.

“I’m not saying Antifa should be able to do what they do,” Cohen stressed. He added there are already plenty of laws against the activities engaged in by some protesters that lawmakers say they are concerned about, and those laws should be enforced.

“If you destroy property, you should be arrested,” he said. “If you confront a public display of ideological belief, no matter how repugnant, if you use violence to combat that display, you should be arrested.”

If political leaders are agitating for those laws to be enforced consistently, that is one thing. If they are suggesting Antifa should be treated differently than neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, or other domestic extremists, Schanzer said that is wrong and likely unconstitutional.

“Any entity that both advocates for imminent violence in a way that violates the First Amendment standard or is planning, plotting, conspiring to engage in violence, we have a set of legal tools to address that conduct. That applies to Antifa and it applies to white supremacist organizations,” he said.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del #FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…

Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del #FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…


mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del #FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…

Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del #FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…


mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…

Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…


mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…

Gobernador reacciona a la oferta de “pon” de director del FBI metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…


mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Teachers Association demands DE for teacher career debt


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

The Governing Board of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) asked the Executive Director of PREPA, José Ortiz , on Wednesday for explanations about the contracts awarded.

“Given the information outlined, in several instances, the Executive Director of the Authority, Mr. José Ortiz, has been requested through telephone and verbal conversations to submit explanations to the Board regarding some details regarding some contracts.

Faced with this situation, during yesterday and today, information requirements were submitted by the Executive Committee of the Governing Board to submit in writing specific details related to the hiring and indications that have emerged during the past weeks and which include what is today a matter of discussion in the press.

Specifically, the Board required details regarding the need for services, assigned tasks and functions, reasonableness of the established fees, amount of payments, reason for extensions of any arising and any information pertinent to this evaluation.

Once the information is provided, it will be analyzed and evaluated by the Audit Committee of the Governing Board of the Electric Power Authority. They will proceed to give recommendations to the full Board and to the governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced , who has requested that the Authority operate with transparency and fiscal responsibility, ”the PREPA Government Board said in written communication.

The members of the Governing Board are: Elí Díaz Atienza , engineer Ralph Kreil Rivera , engineer Tomas Torres Placa , David Owens , Charles Bayless , Robert Poe , María Palou and Mr. Omar Marrero .

La controversia surgió luego que Ortiz, dijera a principios de semana que el contrato con la empresa Stantec ya no es necesario.

“El contrato ya no es necesario”, dijo Ortiz en rueda de prensa.

“A lo mejor esto motivó a FEMA porque es que, realmente este dinero se está solicitando desde febrero y el que todavía en el mes de agosto todavía no estuviera aprobado, un dinero que es principalmente un reembolso de contratistas que están dando el servicio pues, es mucho tiempo”, añadió.

La gobernadora Wanda Vázquez Garced informó el domingo que detuvo la firma del contrato entre la empresa Stantec y la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica para trabajos relacionados a la recuperación del sistema eléctrico tras el paso del huracán María, hasta tanto las circunstancias del mismo estén claras.

“La transparencia es un elemento vital para esta administración. He estado en comunicación con el director ejecutivo de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica, José Ortiz, y mañana sostendremos una reunión con el fin de conocer los pormenores y la necesidad de ese contrato, de modo que se pueda tomar una decisión responsable conforme al bienestar del pueblo de Puerto Rico.”, indicó la gobernadora em declaraciones escritas.

Te podría interesar:

El contrato de la empresa Stantec estipula un monto de 450 mil dólares con el fin de realizar trabajos de reconstrucción y fortalecimiento del sistema eléctrico de la isla. El mismo estaría a cargo del director de la Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de la AEE y encargado de las solicitudes de reembolso a FEMA, Arturo Deliz, junto al consultor estratega de la corporación pública, José Pérez Canabal. La idea es que a través de esta empresa se puedan trabajar los reembolsos de la agencia federal de Manejo de Emergencias, en vez de hacerlo a través de la Oficina Central de Recuperación, Reconstrucción y Resiliencia (COR3).

“We are evaluating all government contracts, without exception. In this administration there is no room for unreasonable expenses and we will ensure the fiscal health of our people,” said Vázquez Garced.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Divided the support of legislators to the governor | Government


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from www.elvocero.com – RSS Results in gobierno of type article.

Representatives of the New Progressive Party (PNP) praised and criticized yesterday the performance and permanence of Wanda Vázquez as governor, although they made a call to maintain communication with the Legislature at the time of making decisions and executing the government plan that drove the community.

In turn, legislators distanced themselves from the controversy that began after the interim president of the PNP, Thomas Rivera Schatz, claimed that 95% of the leadership of the community closed ranks so that resident commissioner Jenniffer González would aspire to the post of secretary of State with a view to later occupying the governorate.

The vice president of the Chamber, José “Pichy” Torres Zamora, was satisfied with the execution of Vázquez as governor, who did not rule out declaring a state of emergency due to the rise in cases of gender-based violence and ordered the cancellation of a hazy contract in the Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

“I respect the succession order given by the Constitution of Puerto Rico and the fact that Wanda Vázquez is governor of Puerto Rico. So if the Constitution was good for a controversy to arise in the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and it was basically dictated that (Pedro) Pierluisi had no membership, he also has to (the Constitution) be good for Wanda to remain in the governorate ” I said

The legislator applauded that Vázquez is listening to the people. “The times deserve to listen to the people and all sectors, but obviously maintaining control of the government and the government plan of the PNP,” he said.

Also, Torres Zamora said that in December of this year – when the term for filing candidacies for the 2020 elections expires – Gonzalez can submit his as governor. “I respect and understand that many colleagues would like it to be Jenniffer, she has the carats and the temper, but I respect the Constitution and the sworn governor is Wanda Vázquez. She must complete the four year period, ”he said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the PNP delegation in the House, Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló, said that there should be a dialogue between Vázquez and the Legislative, although he did not make clear if that communication is taking place.

“The important thing is that she (Vázquez) works as a team and in coordination with the resident commissioner in the face of what we will be facing in Puerto Rico,” he said. Rodríguez Aguiló was one of the representatives who did not attend the meeting last Thursday that Rivera Schatz convened to propose González for the chair of the governor.

While the representative of the neo-progressive José Enrique “Quiquito” Meléndez said that there is no effective communication between the governor and the Legislature, while questioning that Vázquez now says as the first executive who will evaluate to declare a state of emergency for cases of gender violence .

La representante María “Tata” Milagros Charbonier también vio con buenos ojos el desempeño de Vázquez y apoyó su permanencia en la gobernación hasta las elecciones de 2020. “Esta situación de la revaluación de contratos que estaban en proceso me ha caído bien. Creo que va por el camino correcto si sigue así”, opinó.

Legislative minorities, on the other hand, see Vázquez’s permanence as a suspended governor. “I suspect that they will maintain a front against the governor, but I also do not rule out that they try overlapping strategies of discredit and of raising the areas of legitimate questioning again,” said the popular representative Luis Vega Ramos.

The independence representative Denis Márquez established that it remains to be seen if Vázquez ends the four-year term. “There is a kind of legislative lethargy in the House and I don’t know if they are still trying internal therapy to recover from the stress they suffered in July,” he said.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: DE sued to meet teacher salary increase | Education


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from www.elvocero.com – RSS Results in educacion of type article.

After the constant claims by the teachers for the Department of Education (DE) to pay for their teaching career, Aida Díaz, president of the Association of Teachers of Puerto Rico (AMPR) indicated that the lawsuit is already ongoing.

“We are aware that the fair thing is to be paid for the teaching career that has been paralyzed since Law 66-2014 and then by Law 3 as a result of the country’s fiscal situation. We understand that we are in bankruptcy, but the teachers did their part, while the DE refuses to recognize the activation, revision of level and corresponding salary increases depending on the level of studies reached according to the Law of Teaching Career ”, explained Díaz.

Díaz indicated that when Law 66-2014 entered into force, it paralyzed wage increases although an official memorandum was not issued. Then, Law 3 passed in this administration maintained the stoppage.

“No memo of this kind was ever issued, just arbitrarily ceased the teaching career procedures. This action stripped the teacher of the recognition of level and corresponding salary increase which were the result of years of university studies and deprived them of their acquired rights, ”he added.

For his part, Grichelle Toledo, General Secretary of the Local Trade Union, added that everyone knows that the salary of Puerto Rican educators is well below teachers in the United States and that it is time to recognize that this is one of the reasons main reasons why the escape of teachers has not been stopped.

“Our teachers are far behind in terms of salary. After that, they are deprived of professional growth and materials. On many occasions they work with a number of limitations that the mass exodus to the United States of trained and certified teachers has caused. We have to stop this escape because we are losing our best talent. ”

Toledo said that there are more or less 2,200 teachers who are waiting for the payment of the Teaching Career.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠