House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi officially condemned violence from Antifa on Tuesday after months of attacks on Trump supporters and free speech protesters.
The statement from Pelosi was in response to the acts of violence over the weekend in Berkeley, which led to the arrests of 13 suspects connected to Antifa’s violence.
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts,” Pelosi wrote. “The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”
This marks the first-time Pelosi has condemned Antifa and is quite possibly the first time she has acknowledged the group’s existence. A keyword search of her website and her Twitter account revealed no other instances in which she used the word.
A spokesman for Pelosi told the Washington Times in an email late on Monday night that Pelosi “emphasizes” the importance of “peaceful” protests and demonstrations, while not mentioning Antifa and other leftist groups behind the violence.
Pelosi also reiterated the need for peaceful dissent and free speech in her press statement on Tuesday by saying hate must not be used to fight hate.
“In California, as across all of our great nation, we have deep reverence for the Constitutional right to peaceful dissent and free speech,” Pelosi continued. “Non-violence is fundamental to that right. Let us use this sad event to reaffirm that we must never fight hate with hate, and to remember the values of peace, openness and justice that represent the best of America.”