'Unmasking Antifa Act' could send masked protesters to prison for 15 years
The bill would add a section to federal civil rights statutes that would include a penalty for wearing a mask
By PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — A bill introduced in the House carries a potential 15-year prison sentence for those engaged with the “antifa” movement.
Under the bill, anyone “wearing a mask” or in disguise who “injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege” would face a fine or up to 15 years in prison, the Hill reported.
The bill, titled the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” was introduced last month by Rep. Dan Donovan, according to CNN. Patrick Ryan, a spokesman for Donovan, said the bill would add a section to federal civil rights statutes that would include a penalty for wearing a mask.
"My bill expands upon long-standing civil rights statutes to make it a crime to deprive someone of Constitutionally-guaranteed protections while masked or disguised," Donovan told CNN in a statement. "Americans have the natural right to speak and protest freely; it is not a right to throw Molotov cocktails and beat people while hiding behind a mask."
Aside from the title, the bill doesn’t explicitly mention antifa in the text. But critics said the measure unfairly targets antifa and could embolden far-right demonstrators.