On Monday, September 21, it was reported by The New York Times that the Department of Justice has designated notably liberal cities New York, Seattle, and Portland as "anarchist jurisdictions," which may result in those cities losing federal funding.
The news was received as a fairly transparent attempt by the Trump administration to threaten and intimidate the Democratic leadership of the cities.
Though the DOJ claims New York has "permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities," New Yorkers online were quick to show this is not true.
*exhales cigarette smoke* New York City hasn't been an anarchist jurisdiction since CBGB closed, man.— Josh Gondelman (@Josh Gondelman)1600703410.0
I don't know what "anarchist jurisdiction" means. Then again, I went to law school. Not despot school.— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal)1600699679.0
Trump's Attorney General and frequent defender William Barr issued a statement, saying:
"When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest."
"We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens."
Many of New York's "citizenry" took to the internet to insist their safety was not "hanging in the balance."
If this is an "anarchist jurisdiction," perhaps they aren't so scary.
Hello from New York City, anarchist jurisdiction. https://t.co/Pqqa76Fi8O— Mark D. Levine (@Mark D. Levine)1600698476.0
definitely saw Anarchist Jurisdiction open for Fugazi in 1991— Saladin Ahmed (@Saladin Ahmed)1600708491.0
On Twitter, most New Yorkers seemed to understand that their federal government was trying to punish them for protesting, as well as for consistently voting Democrat.
I have been planning my move back to an anarchist jurisdiction for a while but if anyone has intel on a two-bedroom… https://t.co/xOaHkRV80G— Akilah Hughes (@Akilah Hughes)1600707047.0
If declaring New York City an "anarchist jurisdiction" means rent prices go down... YES it's anarchy here, OH THE H… https://t.co/QkBtrXnHqZ— Emma Vigeland (@Emma Vigeland)1600703484.0
With NYC being named an "Anarchist Jurisdiction" it seems important to remind everyone of the complete & utter warz… https://t.co/jh4FDrtar5— Jake Lobin (@Jake Lobin)1600709568.0
New Yorkers are famous for their sass and quick wit, both of which came through with flying colors.
@NBCNewYork 🙋🏻♀️ New Yorker here. This is news to me! Because my New York looks like this. Delicious ices! Ping po… https://t.co/FWdyQyMLAO— KareBearScare (@KareBearScare)1600691198.0
New York doesn't seem any more anarchist than usual.
In my corner of the Anarchist Jurisdiction, the jazz is getting noticeably looser and one chair has been moved out… https://t.co/gfsc2v0CZE— Bill Weir (@Bill Weir)1600699429.0
New York City, an anarchist jurisdiction https://t.co/MuFI4WE3HR— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jillian Jorgensen)1600700852.0
The general sentiment on social media was that the federal government should not be used to punish citizens based on their political preferences.
Unless, of course, fascist dictatorship is your political ideology.