Ilhan Omar: We Must ‘Reject Any Attempt to Criminalize Peaceful Protest’

People walk past a dumpster fire in front of the Hampton Inn on west 35th street during a rally in response to the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 31, 2020 in New York City. Protesters demonstrated for the fourth straight night after video emerged …
Justin Heiman/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Sunday celebrated the news of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who once expressed support for Antifa, leading the George Floyd case. She added that Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) administration must now “reject any attempt to criminalize peaceful protest” as U.S. cities recoup from days of violent riots and brace for more.

“This is major progress,” Omar said of the news of Ellison taking over Floyd’s case.

The Minnesota lawmaker offered two suggestions for Walz, asking him to “call on the police board to revoke all 4 officers’ law enforcement licenses” and “reject any attempt to criminalize peaceful protest”:

One would be hard-pressed to find instances of “peaceful protests” as violence and anarchy erupted in major cities across the U.S. over the weekend, with the chaotic scenes dominating news coverage. Video after video shows protesters embracing Antifa-like tactics, setting buildings and police vehicles on fire, pillaging businesses, and violently attacking authorities.

Circumstances devolved quickly in the nation’s capital Sunday evening as protesters set fires to American flags near the White House. St. John’s Episcopal Church also caught fire, but first responders were able to extinguish the basement fire before it spread to the rest of the historic church.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, a state of sheer lawlessness descended upon the streets as rioters vandalized Santa Monica City Hall and destroyed businesses in broad daylight. Aftermath shows damage to mom and pop stores, with shattered glass and graffiti on the streets.

Many Democrats have tried to maintain the “peaceful protest” narrative amid the chaos. That includes Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who on Sunday stated that Pennsylvanians have been “joining together to speak out against this injustice and make their voices heard, peacefully” before adding that such protests have been “co-opted by violence and looting.”

President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have, in recent days, noted that the protests are taking on radical elements from Antifa-like groups. Barr on Sunday said the “violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

The president also announced on Sunday that the U.S. will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. Notably, Ellison, who will head up prosecutions in Floyd’s case, has expressed support for Antifa:

Ellison’s son, Jeremiah, bluntly declared his support for Antifa on Sunday, as rioters continued to, literally, light their cities on fire in the name of “justice”:

The elder Ellison has also pleaded ignorance, stating during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that “nobody really knows” who is behind the violent riots terrorizing U.S. cities.

“What the exact political motivation is is unclear at this point,” Ellison stated.

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