Sen. Cruz: Those Who Are Peaceably Protesting Are Seeing Their Protests Hijacked by Violent Anarchists
Discusses blockbuster hearing on Antifa and violent rioters hijacking of protests on Fox News Hannity and the Joe Pags Show
August 5, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After chairing yesterday's subcommittee on The Constitution hearing titled "The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence," Sen. Cruz joined Fox News' ‘Hannity' and the ‘Joe Pags Show,' where he discussed Democrats' refusal to condemn Antifa's violence and the importance of defending free speech. Catch Sen. Cruz's full interview with Sean Hannity here and with Joe Pagliarulo here. Excerpts are below.
On the focus of yesterday's hearing, Sen. Cruz said:
"And so what this hearing was about is the right peaceably to assemble and how Antifa and the organization called ‘Black Lives Matter,' which is different than the slogan. Everyone agrees with the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter.' That is absolutely right. But the Marxist organization that has taken the name ‘Black Lives Matter' and Antifa and there are too many people engaged in violence and promoting terrorism. So the whole hearing was on the acts of violence." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Joe Pags Show,' 8/4/2020)
On the First Amendment right to free speech, Sen. Cruz added:
"Look, at the end of the day, this isn't complicated. The First Amendment protects our right to speak. Every one of us has a right to speak. We have a right to protest. What the text the First Amendment provides is it protects our rights peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of our grievances. What's happening, unfortunately, is not free speech and those who are peaceably protesting are seeing their protests hijacked by violent anarchists, by Marxists who are engaged in acts of terror." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Hannity,' Fox News, 8/4/2020)
On violent attacks against law enforcement officers, Sen. Cruz said:
"Well, just in Portland, [we've seen officers have] 277 injuries. We're talking throwing pipes. We're talking throwing rocks. We're talking frozen water bottles. We're talking hitting a federal officer on the head with a sledgehammer. We're talking using commercial grade lasers to blind the officers. [...] They are pointing it at their eyes. They've had over 30 injuries and a risk of permanent blinding. That's what these terrorists are doing." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Hannity,' Fox News, 8/4/2020)
"David Dorn was a 30 year St. Louis police officer who was retired and African-American who was murdered in these riots. And not only that, Patrick Underwood was another federal police officer murdered, and of the seven Democrats, one said Underwood's name, none said Dorn's name. Well, both of them were black. And so I said, ‘Listen, you guys say black lives matter, do these black lives not matter?' The terrorists you guys are apologizing for are assaulting Americans. They're firebombing police cars. They're looting and destroying businesses, and they're murdering police officers. And we ought to be willing to stand up against it. And sadly, today's Democrats not only are not, but they want to serve as apologists for them." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Joe Pags Show,' 8/4/2020)
On the need to hold elected officials accountable for allowing rioting and his introduction of the RECLAIM Act, Sen. Cruz added:
"And the Democrats not only are refusing to admit it, but they're ordering police officers not to protect them. As you know, I introduced legislation called the RECLAIM Act that says, if you were injured, if your home or business is burned or destroyed as a result of rioting and the local officials have denied you police protection and ordered the police to stand down, you have a federal cause of action, you can sue the city or the municipality and get triple damages because what they're doing, it's a denial of basic civil rights." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Hannity,' Fox News, 8/4/2020)
Since the violent rioting across the country first began, Sen. Cruz taken a number of actions to stand up to the mob and protect the right of individuals to peaceably assemble. Here's what news outlets are saying:
Daily Caller: Ted Cruz Blasts Democratic Subcommittee Members: ‘Not A Single One Dared To Criticize Antifa In Any Way'
"‘We are seeing too many local officials, mayors and governors, who've made a cynical decision that it is in their partisan interest to turn a blind eye to this violence,' Cruz said during the hearing, according to a clip played by Fox News host Sean Hannity before introducing the Texas senator. ‘I would also note that the ranking member said nobody is condoning the violence and rioting, and yet nowhere in the opening remarks was even one word condemning it.' ‘What is striking, in about four hours of hearing today in the Senate Constitution subcommittee that I chair, seven Democrats spoke and questioned the witnesses,' he continued. ‘Not a single one dared to criticize antifa in any way because they are making a cynical decision that they want to encourage these radical leftists who are assaulting and threatening American citizens. It's really unfortunate.'"
CNS News: Cruz: ‘Peaceful Protests Must Be Protected. Riots Must Be Stopped'
"‘Peaceful protests must be protected. Riots must be stopped. No one has a right to assault another person, to firebomb a building, to throw a Molotov cocktail into a police car. That's not exercising a constitutional right. That is terrorizing your fellow citizens.' Cruz, the subcommittee chairman, noted that ‘a significant portion' of the violence is not random or spontaneous. ‘Rather, it is coordinated and inspired by leftist, anarchist groups, groups like Antifa, that will, without shame, exploit a national tragedy (the George Floyd killing) to attack American buildings, American homes, and American lives.'"
Fox News: Ted Cruz slams Dems, claims they're ‘facilitating' riots, violence in major US cities
"Democrats are ‘facilitating' riots and violence in major U.S. cities and encouraging ‘radical leftists' who are threatening Americans, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday evening on ‘Hannity,' discussing a contentious Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing earlier in the day. ‘What's happening, unfortunately, is not free speech,' Cruz said, ‘and those who are peaceably protesting are seeing their protests hijacked by violent anarchists, by Marxists who are engaged in acts of terror.'"
The Blaze: Ted Cruz challenges Democratic senator to condemn Antifa. She storms out of hearing instead.
‘Well, as always, I appreciate the kind and uplifting words of Sen. Hirono,' Cruz said. ‘And I would also note that throughout her remarks she still did not say a negative word about Antifa, nor has any Democrat here.' As he spoke, Hirono rose, grabbing her purse and papers to go. ‘You're welcome to say something negative about Antifa right now,' Cruz challenged the senator from Hawaii. Hirono said something to Cruz that was out of reach from a microphone, before he told the hearing audience, ‘OK, she declined to speak, so that is the position of the Democratic Party.'
Western Journal: Ted Cruz Kicks Off Antifa Hearing with Video of Group's Violent Reality
"‘With a video lasting just over a minute and filled with images of arson, looting and street fighting, Cruz backed up the central tenets of why he called the hearing of the Subcommittee on the Constitution he chairs. Americans have been watching almost nightly violence in the streets of Portland, Oregon, for two months. Before that, in late May and June, the country watched city after city succumbing to rioters who stole untold millions in property and caused untold millions in property damage through arson and mayhem. ‘Antifa is fundamentally against free-speech and is using peaceful protests as a cover and an excuse to engage in violence and other criminal actions,' Cruz said in a Thursday statement announcing the hearing, according to The Dallas Morning News."
As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on The Constitution, Sen. Cruz is leading the fight to hold Antifa accountable for the violence and destruction that has torn apart major U.S. cities. Sen. Cruz recently introduced a bill to hold local officials liable for allowing violent "autonomous zones" in their cities. In 2019, Sen. Cruz introduced a resolution designating Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization for their violence. Learn more about Sen. Cruz's efforts here.