Introduced in the House last month by Rep Dan Donovan (R-NY), H.R. 6054 is a response to a spate of violent attacks provoked by masked members of Antifa, and would punish anyone wearing a mask who “injures, oppresses, threatens or intimidates” a person “in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege” with a fine and up to 15 years in prison.
The law is effectively a modern take on anti-mask laws dating back to the mid-20th century in order to stop the violent activities of the Ku Klux Klan – and the left is predictably pissed.
New York City anarchist Carmichael Monaco of the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council told Vice on Tuesday:
“H.R. 6054 takes a pro-fascist stance in its very name, and doubtlessly in its enforcement. In the current political climate, antifascists who speak out against fascism, racism, xenophobia, etc. are routinely harassed, threatened, and attacked by the far right, often supported by the police, who are notably exempted here.Families and friends of antifascists also become targets of far right violence. The wearing of a mask is an act of self-defense often necessary to ensure one’s right to free speech.”