Natasha Lennard: Ted Cruz’s Hearing on Anarchist Protest Violence Was a Total Farce

Cruz kept mentioning Democrats’ failure to condemn a murder that was actually carried out by the far right — and refused to be corrected.

The Intercept, August 5, 2020

On Tuesday afternoon, with Congress still failing to agree on an urgent pandemic relief package, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, brought together a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to propagandize. Instead of helping the pandemic-stricken, Cruz chaired an hourslong spectacle of a hearing designed to peddle misleading narratives about anarchists and anti-fascists.

If the propagandistic title of the hearing — “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence” — wasn’t enough to show his aims, Cruz’s own comments made clear the proceedings’ purpose as political theater. In a telling moment, Cruz twice chastised his Democratic colleagues for praising peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters while failing to condemn “antifa” and the “terrorists” who killed a federal security officer, Dave Patrick Underwood, during a May protest in Oakland. Cruz’s implication was clear: The left killed Underwood.

Yet Underwood was killed by a member of the far right — one of 329 murders carried out by right-wing extremists since 1994.

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