I have emerged from bar study to write a quick post inspired by a bit of legislative news my boyfriend sent me. This dispatch from hell world, called the Unmasking Antifa Act, may at first seem an incredibly alarming setback after the J20 victory. But while the bluster of this Act may turn into something truly horrifying deep in the recesses of the House Judiciary Committee (I highly doubt it given all the other contentious issues), at this point it is a bit of a chuckle in an otherwise dismal news cycle. The reason is pretty straightforward: it is mindbogglingly unconstitutional. Totally unconstitutional. So incredibly unconstitutional that even in the age of President Swiss Cheese Brain it is impossible to take seriously. Let’s dive in.
Alfred “Skip” Robinson was part of the United League in Mississippi, one of the organizations of armed Black resistance to white supremacy detailed vividly in the book We Will Shoot Back. Others have already made important connections between the anti-fascist (antifa) struggle against Donald Trump and a newly mobilized far right with the historic struggles against white supremacy. I leave that agitation to the organizers who are doing a fantastic job at it.
One of United League’s important partners in their struggles against racism in Mississippi was the Northern Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS). Lawyers from NMRLS were known for both defending United League members from the sort of criminal proceedings that can arise from armed clashes with white supremacists as well as injunctions against government attempts to shut down their marches and rallies. As we approach the Republican National Convention starting July 18th, the National Lawyers Guild is mobilizing to provide those same kinds of services for the inevitable clashes between the white supremacists, protesters, and the police. You can find out how to get involved here.