WASHINGTON – A petition created by M.A. on the White House’s website, requesting the federal government formally recognize AntiFa as a terrorist organization, began on Aug. 17 with a goal of 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
The petition states, “Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.’ This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the Pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and 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.”
While it’s only been a few days since the petition was posted, it has already long exceeded its goal with 253,870 signatures and growing by the minute, as of this writing.
A petition on Change.org by Mike Johnson to both the U.S. State Department and the FBI, asks that AntiFa be recognized as a domestic terrorist organization and states, “For years a far-left organization known as AntiFa (short for anti-fascist), a group active in both Europe and the United States, has caused violent riots during protest events. In the United States, AntiFa has made it one of their missions to use physical violence to silence and intimidate political detractors whom they label as “fascists” in order to justify their use of violence. They threaten and assault reporters as well as anyone who dares to film them in a public place, which is a violation of these individuals 1st amendment rights. They also make it no secret that they would like to cause instability in the United States. AntiFa is active on college campuses and is responsible for using violence and intimidation to silence conservative speakers, as we have seen them attempt recently at the University of Washington and accomplished recently at the University of California, Berkeley. This is a dangerous organization that acts with virtual impunity, as its members rarely face any consequences (they act in mobs and cover their faces) and they are becoming emboldened by the fact that because they operate in such large groups that it is unlikely anything will happen to them. We want this group to be recognized for what they are, a terrorist organization whose primary goal is to silence all detractors by force, to undermine our most fundamental liberties and to make supersizing first amendment rights subject to their approval. If left alone, this group will become more emboldened and will escalate their violent tactics, which will cause other extremists who are against AntiFa and what they stand for to take violent action as well.”
As of this writing, Johnson’s petition needed less than 50 signatures to meet its goal.
Meanwhile, Crowds on Demand, a Beverly Hills based public relations firm, was placing ads on Craigslist for “actors and photographers” to participate in “events.”
According to one of its ads, the events include everything from rallies to protests …”
The ad states, “Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.”
For prior relevant experience it asked for “as an actor performer, photographer, brand ambassador, political activist, etc,” and asked, “Are you OK with participating in peaceful protests (optional)?”
It asked for a resume but declared that optional as well.
Crowds on Demand’s website states it is the business of sourcing large crowds of people to “provide clients with protests, rallies, flash-mobs” all over the country and dedicates a page of its website to “Protests and Rallies.”
It states, “Whether your organization is lobbying to move forward a healthcare, financial or other social initiative, we can organize rallies and get media attention for your causes and candidates. We also assist individuals, companies and political organizations with protests and picketing campaigns. We’ve protested governments, corporations and everything in between.”
The website provided the following as an example of some of the things they do:
“A foreign government hired Crowds on Demand to help generate a positive reception for its newly elected leader during the UN General Assembly. The concern was ensuring that the leader was well received by a US audience and confident for his work at the UN. We created demonstrations of support with diverse crowds. We also used the media primarily local and national outlets to bring more attention to these demonstrations which led to a mostly positive portrayal. The crowds that we deployed drew in more supporters creating a strong presence for this leader at the UN and an improved perception of him by the American public.”
On the Who We Are page of the website it says, “Meet the Team” but only lists Adam Swart – CEO.
It states Swart, who founded Crowds on Demand in October 2012, “takes a ‘hands-on’ approach with all Crowds on Demand clients, helping them to advocate for important causes, build their businesses, settle disputes or amplify their message. Adam has a long track record of delivering major wins even on the toughest of campaigns.”
As a political organizer for campaigns, it states Swart was a political organizer for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s successful election in 2010.
Crowds on Demand claims it uses “top notch professional talent with significant acting experience for our crowds,” has over 500 actors across the nation and if someone needs an audience for a speech, they can “fill a room with a crowd that looks appropriate to the occasion.”
When asked if Crowds on Demand was involved with the recent events in the Charlottesville, Va., Swart issued the following statement: “We were not involved in any capacity with the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Va. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted by the violence.”