In a radio interview Monday afternoon, U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) offered misinformation and falsehoods to justify a resolution, which she introduced in March, to designate Antifa and associated groups as domestic terrorist organizations. She also claimed to have sponsored legislation designating Black Lives Matter as a terrorist group, but that organization is not cited by name in the resolution.
Colorado’s GOP National Committeeman Randy Corporon, who was a guest host on KNUS’ Steffan Tubbs Show, invited Boebert to discuss the local press coverage — or lack thereof, in Corporon’s characterization — around protests that took place outside the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Denver during last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit. Boebert and conservative journalist Andy Ngo were speaking at the event.
Corporon referred to the protests as “violence” and to participants as “criminals.” Despite a continual police patrol of the protest, no arrests were made.
In her response, Boebert singled out Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists. In a comment reflecting statements she’s made in the past, she attacked BLM with conflated allegations of previous violence and mistruths of astroturfing, thereby attempting to justify designating the group as a domestic terrorist organization.
Boebert also specifies Antifa as a target in her legislation, although Antifa is a loose affiliations of activists, a movement of people opposing Facism, racism, authoritarianism, and far-right ideologies.
“Now, you may know I have introduced legislation that would designate Antifa and BLM as domestic terrorist organizations because that’s exactly what they are! We’ve all been watching it in real-time. We have all been shouting from the rooftops that these are domestic terrorists! They are rioting and looting. They are beating and killing police officers. They are burning down businesses. And then, just like we saw in Denver at the Western Conservative Summit, you know, they were there looking for a fight. This was not a peaceful protest. They are all dressed in black and covered up and have who-knows-what in their backpacks. We’ve seen Molotov cocktails thrown at other gatherings that they’re at. So, you never know what is in their mind and what their intentions truly are.”
Video posts on social media depicted at least one confrontation between protestors and a conference attendee who approached a group of protesters and other smaller scuffles. But generally, the two-day protest consisted of non-violent tactics such as impeding traffic, and shouting taunts and chants at conference presenters and attendees. At least one incidence of minor graffiti was documented.
Other reporting suggests that conference sympathizers and counter-protestors including Proud Boys members were present and possibly instigating confrontations with protestors.
Despite claiming that conservatives have no time for protesting since they focus on work and earning a living, Boebert engaged with the protestors outside the Hyatt exchanging juvenile insults and social media banter as is her custom and — apparently, as she sees it — her job as a member of Congress. She accused protestors of being paid by political operatives, yet challenged them to “get a job.”
Billed as “Western BLM-Antifa Summit,” the protest was organized by groups such as Denver Communists, Front Range Mutual Aid Network, WITCH Denver, Front Range Community Defense Collective, Anon Resistance Movements, Anti-Repression Colorado, Denver Action Network.
Boebert’s resolution calls for Antifa and groups acting under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations. It is not clear which, if any, of the specific groups mentioned as organizers of last weekend’s protest would qualify as “acting under the banner of Antifa.”
Based on accounts of the protest in downtown Denver this weekend, coupled with the fact that there were no arrests, it is doubtful that affiliated groups would face legal liability for participating in domestic terrorism.
In her interview with Corporon, Boebert said the Democratic Party qualifies for designation as domestic terrorists.
“Randy,” Boebert said, “I am very optimistic waking up and hearing from people each and every day, talking to our law enforcement officers on a regular basis who are completely fed up by these unruly thugs and their behavior, and even [with] the Democrats, who are another domestic terrorist organization.”
Meanwhile, Boebert has associations with extremist organizations such as far-right militia groups, Three-percenters (III% United Patriots), and Proud Boys which participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
In her resolution, Boebert references section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, which defines “domestic terrorism” to mean, in part, activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; acts that appear or intend to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; or acts to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction; and that these activities occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Ngo also appeared with Corporon on Tubbs’ show, and characterized the “violence” by saying:
“So, they were, in a more subtle way, trying to hint at their desire to assault me and other speakers and attendees of the conference,” Ngo said. “And unfortunately, they were given the space to shut down the road outside the Hyatt Regency. So they were harassing drivers. Some of them threw projectiles at a driver’s car. There were some violent clashes. But inside, the hotel was secure, and thank God, there were a whole team of security ensuring that the building was safe for not just myself but for those who attended.”
Responding to Ngo, Corporon agreed that the impact of the protest was limited. Having broadcast his Saturday morning show on KNUS live from the conference, Corproron said, “There was just no sense of what was going on outside when we were inside.”
Listen to the entire interview with Rep. Boebert below: