- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Massachusetts state senator said this week he will be advocating for a bill that will ban groups such as antifa from wearing face covers during public demonstrations and events.

“It is time, federal, state, and local to make it illegal to cover your faces in public events and demonstrations. A danger to public safety and our police officers. No one or group is above the law,” Republican Sen. Dean Tran tweeted Monday.

Mr. Tran’s calls come after four police officers were injured and 36 people were arrested Saturday, many associated with the left-leaning group antifa and wearing face covers while protesting a straight pride parade in Boston.

A majority of those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, but nine were charged with assault and battery of a police officer. However, some advocacy groups claimed police officers started altercations with the protesters and have submitted video evidence.

Mr. Tran told the State House News Service that he is a “big supporter” of the constitutional right to assemble, but it should not give “you the right to disguise yourself” and harm someone.

“I’ve seen actions that have been taken by antifa, and I compare those actions to the same actions as groups like the KKK,” Mr. Tran said, referring to the Ku Klux Klan. “We’re in a different era; back then the KKK did not agree with other races and they used violence to convey their messages. Now we’re seeing groups similar to that, and that is the antifa, now they use the same tactics but against people who don’t share the same beliefs and views.”

Mr. Tran said his staff is currently workshopping a bill to ban facial covers and making sure it doesn’t infringe on any other liberties.

“We are in the process of devising the correct language to file our bill. We want to make sure we will not infringe upon people’s rights to assemble and their rights to express themselves,” Mr. Tran said. “We want to make sure the public safety is secured and provided.”

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