Alabama Man Arrested in Alleged Political Bombing – JONATHAN TURLEY

Kyle Benjamin Douglas Calvert, 26, has become the latest Antifa member arrested for alleged political violence. Calvert is accused in the explosion of an IED device outside of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office in downtown Montgomery at around 3:42 a.m. on February 24. For years, Democratic politicians and the media have downplayed the violence of Antifa, even questioning its very existence. These photos may help them come to grips with the reality of Antifa.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Calvert has been charged with the malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

If convicted, Calvert faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, according to the DOJ.

Before the explosion, Calvert put up stickers, including those promoting Antifa, including stickers reading “Support your local antifa.”

Calvert, who reportedly identifies as transgender and nonbinary, expressed his “belief that violence should be directed against the government, and he has described his inability to control his own violent, aggressive impulses,” according to the DOJ. It supplied pictures of the nails and other evidence used in the construction of the bomb.

Despite the denial of its existence by figures like Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.), I have long written and spoken about the threat of Antifa to free speech on our campuses and in our communities. This includes testimony before Congress on Antifa’s central role in the anti-free speech movement nationally.

As I have written, it has long been the “Keyser Söze” of the anti-free speech movement, a loosely aligned group that employs measures to avoid easy detection or association.  Yet, FBI Director Chris Wray has repeatedly pushed back on the denials of Antifa’s work or violence. In one hearing, Wray stated “And we have quite a number — and “Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction.”

Some Democrats have played a dangerous game in supporting or excusing the work of Antifa. Former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, now the Minnesota attorney general, once said Antifa would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump. This was after Antifa had been involved in numerous acts of violence and its website was banned in Germany. His own son, Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, declared his allegiance to Antifa in the heat of the protests this summer. During a prior hearing, Democratic senators refused to clearly denounce Antifa and falsely suggested that the far right was the primary cause of recent violence. Likewise, Joe Biden has dismissed objections to Antifa as just “an idea.”

It is at its base a movement at war with free speech, defining the right itself as a tool of oppression. That purpose is evident in what is called the “bible” of the Antifa movement: Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

Bray emphasizes the struggle of the movement against free speech: “At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase that says, ‘I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’”

Bray admits that “most Americans in Antifa have been anarchists or antiauthoritarian communists…  From that standpoint, ‘free speech’ as such is merely a bourgeois fantasy unworthy of consideration.” It is an illusion designed to promote what Antifa is resisting “white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and genocide.” Thus, all of these opposing figures are deemed fascistic and thus unworthy of being heard.

Bray quotes one Antifa member as summing up their approach to free speech as a “nonargument . . . you have the right to speak but you also have the right to be shut up.”

Hopefully, if found guilty, Calvert will actually face punishment. We previously discussed the case involving another Antifa member who was convicted after taking an ax to the door of Sen. John Hoeven’s office in Fargo. He was given no jail time, and the FBI even returned his ax. He later mocked the government by posting on social media “Look what the FBI were kind enough to give back to me!

This case will no doubt be different . . . there is no bomb to give back to Calvert.

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