Rep. Ilhan Omar’s weekend appearance at a Seattle-area fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew protesters as well as socialist counter-protesters who praised the embattled congresswoman.
Saturday's event in Bellevue, Wash., had especially tight security as demonstrators criticized the Minnesota Democrat over her numerous controversial comments, some of which were deemed anti-Semitic.
But her appearance also attracted the support from a socialist political group. Liberation, the Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, revealed Monday that members of the socialist Community & Labor Against Fascism (CLAF) carried signs reading “Solidarity with Ilhan Omar” or “We stand with our Muslim neighbors.”
The far-left publication branded those opposing Omar at the event as “fascist” and celebrated Omar’s time in Congress.
“Omar, the first Somali American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, has been the focus point of a disgustingly racist and Islamophobic campaign,” the paper wrote. “She has spoken out against U.S. support for Israel, against U.S. war on Venezuela, for Muslim civil rights and against abortion bans.”
The newspaper added that the far-left group “militantly and non-violently” defended the area near the main entrance of the event even as “police allowed hostile right-wingers to move out of what had become their ‘zone’ and wade into the crowd of anti-fascists.”
“As CLAF activists sang ‘We Shall Not Be Moved,’ an organizer with the Ilhan Omar event came out and thanked the anti-fascist demonstrators for their support,” the Liberation site wrote.
“As CLAF activists sang ‘We Shall Not Be Moved,’ an organizer with the Ilhan Omar event came out and thanked the anti-fascist demonstrators for their support.”
Police from various departments prepared for the event at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue for at least two weeks, anticipating a large number of protesters, Crosscut reported.
The event was sold out and attended by around 700 people. Authorities told the outlet that they had to prepare for every possible scenario, including an attempt on the congresswoman’s life.
Omar has repeatedly faced criticism since taking office, whether for her choice of words or for her far-left views. Sen. Ted Cruz called out Omar on Tuesday after she wrote in a now-deleted tweet that having a merit-based immigration system would disadvantage Latino migrants.
A "merit based" immigration policy is fueled by racism towards the Latinx community," Omar wrote. "Our immigration policies shouldn't be based on discrimination, fear, or bigotry. We should welcome immigrants to our country and offer a simple way to citizenship."
This prompted Cruz to accuse Omar of suggesting that Hispanic immigrants couldn’t qualify for skill-based legal immigration.
“As the son of a Cuban immigrant whose Dad came to get a math degree & become a computer programmer, I’m troubled that Dems seem to believe Hispanic immigrants can’t qualify for skills-based legal immigration. Bringing in more scientists, engineers & doctors is good for US jobs,” he tweeted.
Earlier this year, Trump publicly condemned Omar after the revelation that she flippantly described the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as “some people did something” during a fundraiser for a Muslim group back in March.
Trump caught some flak after he tweeted a video of those comments by her edited together with the images of the twin towers burning down. “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” he wrote in the tweet.
More recently, both Vice President Mike Pence and State Secretary Mike Pompeo called out the Democrat after she defended socialist dictator Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela and said that the U.S. actions are responsible for the misery in the country.
“A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela and we have sort of set the stage for where we are arriving today,” she told the progressive “Democracy Now!” program last week.
“This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States,” she added.