BERKELEY (CBS13) – Berkeley’s mayor says the black-hooded protesters known as Antifa should be treated as a street gang – and now the state is considering it.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin says groups on both sides of the political spectrum meet the definition of a gang.
“There are organized groups — violent extremists groups — on the left and right that have encouraged people to come to Berkeley and physically confront the Antifa or to confront the alt-right,” Arreguin said.
Arreguin made the comments after violent clashes during protests in his city in recent weeks.
Legislators in Sacramento have advanced resolutions that would treat violent acts committed by Antifa, white nationalists and neo-Nazis as terrorist acts under state law.
Experts say this would raise legal issues because unlike traditional street gangs, the motive of these groups is political expression – not criminal enterprise.