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WorldAntifa on trial, Celtics coach Ime Udoka suspended: 5 Things podcast

Antifa on trial, Celtics coach Ime Udoka suspended: 5 Things podcast

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On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Antifa on trial

National correspondent on extremism and emerging issues Will Carless reports on a criminal trial that could redefine the movement. Plus, Russia begins mobilizing more citizens for military duty, money reporter Bailey Schulz looks at how Americans are feeling about inflation, the Boston Celtics suspend their coach and a grieving Mississippi family gets an unexpected gift from strangers.

Podcasts:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Friday, the 23rd of September, 2022. Today, how a criminal case could redefine Antifa. Plus, Russia’s military mobilization has begun and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda as Fiona approaches. The storm has caused 50 foot waves, massive rainfall and power outages across the Caribbean. It’s now a category four hurricane.
  2. Iranian state television suggested today that the death toll from nationwide protests could be as high as 26. Iranians have been demonstrating after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22 year old woman held by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code.
  3. And a judge has approved a $230 million lawsuit settlement by the owners of a pipeline that spilled more than 14,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off California in 2015. It was the worst California coastal oil spill since 1969.

Anti-fascists and right wing extremists clashed in San Diego three days after January 6th. And nearly a year later, a criminal case has emerged that could now have an impact far beyond Southern California. Experts say it could be a landmark prosecution that changes how American law enforcement handles the movement known as Antifa. Producer PJ Elliott spoke with national correspondent Will Carless for more.

Will Carless:

So this is a first of its kind prosecution. There’s never been a conspiracy case to my knowledge, or to the knowledge of the people I spoke to, against organized members of Antifa, against anti-fascist activists. And so it’s pretty groundbreaking. They’re not just bringing sort of small misdemeanor charges against individuals for going out and getting in fights, or beating people up or smashing windows. Instead, they’re alleging that this group acted as a group and were involved in a conspiracy, and this is really more like a gang prosecution than anything else.

PJ Elliott:

So Will, how could this case redefine the whole Antifa movement?

Will Carless:

So this is really a test case for conservative prosecutors around the country who are really going to watch this and say, does this work? Can you go after Antifa and call them Capital A Antifa, and say that they’re part of this organization and say that they’re part of a conspiracy, and therefore bring much more serious charges that hold a lot more weight? And so the experts that I talked to said, look, this is kind of what happens when you have these new movements. Nobody knew really who the Mafia were and how they were organized until the FBI started to charge them as the Mafia and to bring these sort of gang organized crime prosecutions against them. And so it’s sort of similar with Antifa. The idea is if this case is successful, if they get these charges against these defendants, this could really redefine the way that Antifa is approached and prosecuted around the country.

PJ Elliott:

So does this mean that the Antifa movement could come to an end essentially if the defendants are found guilty?

Will Carless:

I don’t think so. I don’t think Antifa is going to go anywhere. I mean, they show all signs of growing as a movement and growing in popularity. I mean the whole point of Antifa is they are anti-fascist. And I think you’ve seen a real growth of the groups that they would call fascists on the far right. As you’ve seen the extremist right increase its violence, increase its activities, increase its visibility, you’ve seen a corresponding rise in the number of people who identify with the anti-fascist movement.

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