Conservative blogger Andy Ngo tells Congress that Antifa aims 'to bring down the republic'
Ngo, who has been attacked by Antifa members, said such violence will persist until the government takes action
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Conservative blogger Andy Ngo told Congress on Tuesday that the violence by the anarchist groups that have infiltrated peaceful demonstrations like those in Portland, Oregon, will continue unless the government takes action to stop them.
"Unless we take action, what is happening in Portland today, will soon be happening in cities across the country," Ngo told a Senate subcommittee hold a hearing on violence and criminal behavior tied to the radical group Antifa. "Antifa's goal is not only to abolish the criminal justice system it is to bring down the republic itself."
Subcommittee Chairman Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz said before the start of the hearing – titled "The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence" – that Antifa is "fundamentally against free speech and is using peaceful protests as a cover and an excuse to engage in violence and other criminal actions."
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli in testimony drew a distinction between rioters and protesters while delivering testimony.
"Rioters are not protesters and protesters are not rioters," he declared. "To confuse the two does a grave disservice to the critical place for peaceful protest in our country."
Cuccinelli discussed the violence that has occurred in Portland, to which federal agent were sent to protect a U.S. courthouse and other federal property.
"For more than 60 days the situation in Portland has devolved into nothing more than continuous nightly riots and life-threatening violence targeting federal law enforcement and the institutions they diligently defend under the mandate given to them by Congress," he said. "These rioters have assaulted federal property, federal officers, local law enforcement personnel and facilities with hammers, lasers, baseball bats, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, chemicals and other weapons."
He also noted that the use of unmarked vehicles is a safety precaution because marked vehicles are sometimes targeted by the perpetrators of violence.
"DHS law enforcement officers who interact with crowds are all identifiable by their law enforcement agency and individually. The use of unmarked vehicles by law enforcement is common to avoid potential attacks by criminals on a nightly basis. Violent extremists across the country have intentionally attacked marked police vehicles and attempted to set them on fire, including with officers in them," he said.
Cruz also focused on Portland where Antifa rioters have for the past several weeks attempting to infiltrate and burn down the city's federal courthouse.
Cruz also played a video montage highlighting the destruction and chaos brought to American cities by rioters.
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, the subcommittee's top Democrat, also played a video, emphasizing the presence of law enforcement around the country, in place to combat the violence brought about by civil unrest. Her opening statement focused on the accusation that unmarked law enforcement officers have been "kidnapping" peaceful protestors across American cities.
Following Hirono's opening statement, Cruz pointed out that his colleague failed to condemn the violence he had pointed out, noting – as Attorney General Barr did during his congressional hearing last week – that he has not heard very many, if any, Democrat leaders condemn the violence around the country. Rather, he said they merely say they "don't condone" it.
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