The rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, involves left-wing militants from across the country. It is not simply local unrest over the police shooting of Michael Brown. Out-of-state anarchists, Communists, Occupy movement members and other agitators are exploiting the situation to create chaos. That is their method for trying to bring down the American way of life that they detest.
The federal Anti-Riot Act must be enforced immediately against those working across state lines to promote rioting in Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama should use the full force of law against these militants.
Instead of focusing solely on possible civil rights charges against local law enforcement, Holder and Obama are legally required to act against professional agitators who promote violence and confrontation. Until they do, we cannot expect peace to be restored. Yet their official comments focus solely on their racial agendas, showing a blindness toward domestic terrorists such as violent anarchists.
The town of Ferguson is being invaded and victimized by these organized groups. This week’s arrests in Ferguson include persons who rushed to Missouri from New York and California, the Los Angeles Times reported. It also includes others from Chicago and Detroit, The Washington Post said. CNN reported the outside agitators include anarchists, Communists and revolutionaries.
Federal law (18 U.S. Code § 2101) makes it a crime to travel or to use interstate communications (which includes social media) “(1) to incite a riot; or (2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or (3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or (4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.”
The law also mandates speedy action by the Attorney General and Department of Justice. The statute directs that “the Department shall proceed as speedily as possible with a prosecution of such person(s).” But there is no sign of that speedy action which is needed right now.
Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says provocateurs are a major problem and a source of firearms and Molotov cocktails aimed at Ferguson police: “These criminal acts came from a tiny minority of troublemakers. … Protesters are peaceful and respectful. They don’t clash with police. They don’t throw Molotov cocktails.” Capt. Johnson has urged that protests occur only in daylight so that the instigators cannot hide behind peaceful crowds.
Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat who represents Ferguson, told Fox News, “we have anarchists here” who are ginning up the violence.
The Post reported, “They are known here as ‘the militants’ — a faction inhabiting the hard-core end of a spectrum that includes online organizers and opportunistic looters — and their numbers have been growing with the severity of their tactics since the shooting.
“Some of the men are from the area — Ferguson or surrounding towns. … Many others … have arrived by bus and by car from Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn and elsewhere.”
Other reports confirm that these domestic terrorists are meeting surreptitiously in Ferguson and online through social media to stoke violence. They use the same means as the Occupy movement which rioted in Oakland, California, and plotted to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, Ohio, and as the anarchists who fomented riots in Seattle and Washington, D.C., during World Bank events.
Even beyond Ferguson, the mobile squads of anarchists and fellow travelers will continue to exploit and worsen civil unrest wherever and whenever they can. The Anti-Riot Act requires the Attorney General to act immediately against these agitators. That action by Eric Holder is already overdue.