Yesterday, on January 5, 2021, the Trump regime issued a “memorandum” claiming immigrants “affiliated with antifa” should be deemed to be members of a terrorist organization and banned from immigrating into the United States.

This memo was issued at the same time the Trump administration fights backlash for trying to coerce Georgia election officials to “find” over 11,000 “lost” votes in GA and far-right groups including the Proud Boys descend on Washington D.C. to lend armed support to this pathetic attempt at a coup. As we write this, these far-right extremists are storming the capitol and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with police attempting to stop them from disrupting the electoral process.  

In the memorandum, Trump called antifa “domestic terrorists.” Meanwhile, right wing groups have conspired to kidnap the governor of Michigan, and barely two weeks ago, on Christmas Day, a white, male, self-avowed Trump supporter leveled a city block in Nashville with a bomb in an act of domestic terrorism that has gone unmentioned by the regime and largely ignored by the media. The Trump regime, though in its last gasps of power, has continued to gain support from these right-wing groups while promoting ideologies that are contrary to the rights of immigrants, people of color, and the left. In contrast, antifa, short for antifascist, has a long history of promoting democratic values, inclusivity, and the rights of minorities.

The pathetic:

  1. Presidential memoranda of this kind are not, themselves, law, but rather are directives to agencies within the executive branch. A presidential memorandum can be rescinded by a later memorandum or executive order, so the incoming president-elect has the power to immediately void yesterday’s memorandum. In the past, one of the first acts of an incoming president has been to revoke the prior president’s Executive Orders (EOs) and memoranda.
  2. The memo directs the Attorney General, the head of the State Department, and the head of the Department of Homeland Security to consult and then make a decision about whether to take action regarding ‘antifa.’ By itself, while outrageously undemocratic in its proclamation, this memorandum takes no action.
  3. There is currently no Attorney General.
  4. Nothing in this memorandum actually modifies the activities of any of these executive agencies; the language appears to be merely a combination of clearly false claims and a reminder to these agencies that they have the authority to take some sort of discretionary activity.
  5. ‘Antifa’ is simply a moniker for people to use to identify themselves as being anti-fascist. The fact that the current president and his cronies feel threatened by anyone identifying as being against fascism is a truly horrifying thought.

The worrisome:

  1. This memo is clearly designed to give cover to the hordes of white supremacist and fascist groups descending on D.C. today, not to mention the police. Given the history of these groups violently assaulting and killing counter-protestors, the timing of this memo suggests its real purpose is to act as a license to do so. The memo is an official use of the long-time fascist tactic of promoting violence while claiming self-defense.
  2. Fascist groups like the Proud Boys are already mobilizing, and are specifically organizing around bringing weapons into D.C. This did not work out so well for the chairman of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested for property destruction and found to be in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines, but it remains to be seen how many ordinary fascists have managed to bring illegal weapons into D.C.
  3. With this memo as backup, not only can any individual fascist claim that any act of violence committed against any person was driven by the fear/likelihood that that person was antifa, and therefore about to commit acts of domestic terrorism, but the police will also have even more legitimacy in their support for fascist groups.
  4. We have already seen that the police industry frequently supports and at times outwardly collaborates with these white supremacist groups. With the power of this presidential memo behind them, this tactic now need not be hidden – it has the legitimacy of a memorandum that some will believe to be “law.”

In conclusion, while this clearly fascist and discriminatory proclamation does not qualify as the rule of law, it can – and will – be taken as approval for far-right extremists to take violent action against those who dare to stand against the increasingly brazen racism and oppression of the failed Trump regime. It must be immediately and forcefully rejected.