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ADL Report Highlights Extremist Groups Participating in George Floyd Demonstrations

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June 1, 2020
Demonstrators participate in a protest on June 1, 2020 in downtown Washington, DC. Protests and riots continue in cities across America following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin, 44, was charged last Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On June 1, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report highlighting the various extremist groups infiltrating the protests and commenting on them against the death of George Floyd.

The report explains that while most of the demonstrations have been peaceful and should be classified as extremist events, “some individuals and groups, including a scattering of extremists, are taking full advantage of a national crisis to advance their own violent agendas.”

Among the extremists who have appeared at the demonstrations were white supremacists; the report points to an apparent neo-Nazi shouting “Heil Hitler!” to peaceful protesters in Denver as an example. The report also points to the Nationalist Social Club, a neo-Nazi group, handing out stickers during the weekend demonstrations in Boston. Some white supremacists online are using the demonstrations to call for a race war.

The report goes onto state another extremist group that has participated in the demonstrations is a group called “boogaloos.” The ADL describes boogaloers as “anti-government and vehemently anti-police,” adding that “many boogalooers have seen the protests as an opportunity to further their anti-police crusade and make common cause with others angry at police.”

There also are certain right-wing militia groups, such as the Oath Keepers, who view the protests with disdain. Such militias have called for action against the demonstrators, saying they “are hired domestic terrorists bought and paid for by the socialist conglomerates in America.”

Additionally, the report highlights anarchist groups such as The Base, which has been attempting to hijack the demonstrations to “destroy” a “corrupt” system. The Base is less attached to any particular cause (antiracism, etc.) than it is to the fundamental dismantling of the state. There also is a group calling itself “Antifa,” which is short for anti-fascist, that has appeared at the demonstrations.

“Focused on social justice issues, antifa are a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, sometimes aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements,” the report states. “They have been especially active since the 2016 presidential election.”

President Donald Trump designated Antifa as a terror organization on May 31.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “So many people are showing up & making their voices heard. Our Center on Extremism is keeping tabs on the extremists who could use the civil unrest to advance their #hateful agendas.”

The demonstrations have been in response to the death of Floyd, 46, on May 25. He died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder.

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