What is Antifa? Leaders blame group for violent protests

PITTSBURGH — President Donald Trump said he wants to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.

The president tweeted about it Sunday after Democratic and Republican officials blamed extremist groups and outsiders for violence in cities across the country. But who are they?

Short for anti-fascists, Antifa is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations. Locally, the movement in Pittsburgh is mostly underground with sporadic postings on social media message boards. There are no official leaders and they are not actually affiliated with the Democratic Party or Republican Party. Many have called the group not an actual organization but more of an ideology that is critical of capitalism and authority.

President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have recently said that Antifa organizers and anarchists were behind the violence following the death of George Floyd. That has been echoed by many leaders in cities across the country, including Pittsburgh, as rioting, looting and violence has broken out.

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Legal experts question whether the president has the authority to label the group as terrorists. Federal law does not allow for domestic organizations to be classified as terror groups.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.