An international police training group is receiving criticism after distributing a document that urged local police agencies to approach Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists as terrorists. The document has since been removed.
The International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) circulated the document titled “Understanding Antifa and Urban Guerrilla Warfare” which advises readers to think of Antifa or BLM when reading the words “urban guerrilla or terrorist.”
“Antifa and Black Lives Matter have no intentions to negotiate. These are revolutionary movements whose aims are to overthrow the U.S. government,” an archived copy of the document stated. “Many of us who are knowledgeable of Fourth Generation warfare and are concerned about the recent events in the U.S. is because we went to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have witnessed these types of terrorist groups organizing, creating insurgencies and the horrible consequences of it.”
The paper went on to claim that Antifa is comprised of “useful idiots” and that both groups are fronts for Russia and China.
“Antifa is financially and tactically sponsored by the powers in Moscow through George Soros and his followers. Black Lives Matter is supposedly funded by China and that money is then donated to the Democratic Party through Act Blue which facilitates donations to Democratic and left-leaning organizations,” the paper stated.
The document cited both groups’ technique of “doxing” to intimidate adversaries by revealing their identities, addresses, jobs and other private information publicly.
“Urban guerrillas and terrorists also seek to break down the existing social structure and encourage a general feeling of insecurity and disorientation,” the document read. “Such conditions generally benefit the urban guerrillas and terrorists because they discredit governmental authorities. At the same time, it forces the population to side with whichever group is in position to provide protection and/or apply coercion.”
The claims drew backlash from critics, including one Yale University professor who called the document dangerous, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s stunning. It’s distressing in many ways. It’s untethered to reality,” said Phillip Goff, who is also CEO of the Center for Policing Equity. “I worry that it leads to people dying unnecessarily.”
According to The Associated Press, the group distributed a link to the 176-page document in October, but they removed the document from the organization’s website early Thursday.
Still, the association’s executive director defended the document, calling it an opinion that is open for criticism and debate. He insisted that the ILEETA encourages the open exchange of ideas in an effort to improve criminal justice training.
“There will always be differences of opinion on training issues but so long as the disagreements remain professional and not personal we do not censor these ideas,” Harvey Hedden said. “I am willing to allow the trainer to evaluate the information themselves.”
He argued that restricting the document would be censorship and publishing it allowed for other trainers to critique it, adding, “Just like law enforcement, I am afraid BLM has earned some of these criticisms and others might be overgeneralizations.”