'George's Law' Petition Calling for Racist Crimes to Be Treated As Terrorism Gains 200,000 Signatures

A petition calling for acts of racism to be treated as terrorism in the wake of George Floyd's death has gained more than 200,000 signatures.

The change.org petition is calling for the introduction of "George's Law", which would expand the definition of terrorism to include racially motivated acts that endanger a human life, causes mass destruction, or attempt to influence the policy of a government by "intimidation or coercion."

It also calls for those convicted of racially motivated hate crimes to receive a mandatory minimum sentence and police officers who kill a civilian in the line of duty be held in custody for 30 days until an investigation into the incident is complete.

The proposed legislation is named after the black Minneapolis man whose death on May 25 resulted in worldwide Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests, as well as further debates about the displaying of Confederate symbols and moments in cities across the U.S.

"Today, as Americans, and people of the world we are faced with making decisions that are going to put us in a position to change not only the shape of our country, but history itself," the petition states.

"Now is the time to ask yourself what side of history do you want to be on?"

Under current legislation, domestic terrorism is not a federal crime, meaning those accused of white supremacist and racist attacks are charged under hate crime laws.

Speaking to Newsweek, activist Michael Anthony said he set up the petition after President Donald Trump stated that antifa will be treated as domestic terrorists, despite no such label existing in the U.S.

Anthony questioned why those protesting under the far-left movement should be treated as a terrorist organization when there have been "domestic terrorists right in our midst since the introduction of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1800s."

Similar to a number of petitions which have recently gone viral, George's Law is also calling for the KKK to be classified as terrorists.

He said the fact that the white supremacist group has never been labeled in such a way demonstrates the "swept under the rug approach" that the U.S. treats racism.

Anthony added he is not surprised that the petition has already amassed 202,000 signatures, as people in America are again "ready for change" in the wake of Floyd's killing.

"We want knees taken off our necks, we want to breathe and to be able to prosper," he said.

"When you have different countries, with no vested interest in American politics, standing up with us, it shows something really wrong is happening.

"I do intend on taking the signatures and standing in front of mayors, governors, the White House and the Senate and Congress to say, 'look, this is what people want to talk about, how do we create this change?'"

Anthony said he is aware that bringing in such sweeping changes in legislation may prove difficult, but noted how the "incredible changes" that came about as a result of the Selma marches and Montgomery Bus Boycotts took several years.

"I don't expect that something established in the 1800s is gonna change overnight, but I do expect that that's going to happen in my lifetime," he added.

"If we can create a society where our children don't have to fight the same battle we're fighting, they don't have to have fear walking down the street or worry when they're grocery shopping a dude in a clan mask shows up, that to me is worth the time and effort."

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A supporter of Black Lives Matter, holds a sign during a protest outside the Hall of Justice as they demonstrate against the death of George Floyd, in Los Angeles, California on June 10, 2020. Mark RALSTON / AFP/Getty