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As the nation continues to face the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and we near the November 2020 election, the Department of Justice released a list of three cities (New York, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon) it designated as “anarchist” jurisdictions. Are these Democrat-led cities in a state of anarchy? No. While at first this is so absurd it’s laughable, the underlying intent here is important. Why? Because this is pretty clearly a move motivated by politics that puts state and local governments at risk of losing federal funding because of reported violence and vandalism at the summer protests.

Of course, people from these cities have been eager to show what life is really like in a state of “anarchy.” We can look at those tweets below, as well as what elected officials are saying about this new threat to federal funding.

In a Monday press release from the Department of Justice, it is claimed the department identified New York, Portland, and Seattle as “three jurisdictions that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.”

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Barr said in a statement, adding that he hopes the identified cities will “start protecting their own citizens.” That’s some rich irony considering that much of the violence Trump obsessed over was actually peaceful demonstrations against police brutality.

During a Monday conference call with reporters, Gov. Chris Cuomo addressed the concern of federal funding, as reported by the New York Daily News, saying: “I believe the president is fundamentally a bully… you can’t bully New Yorkers.” He continued: “The president of the United States can’t interfere with federal funding for cities and states just cause he feels like it. We have laws in this country.”

More than anything, the anarchy designation has gotten a lot of jokes online.

These stand in contrast, of course, to the images a number of media sites are using to share this very story—mainly, nighttime images of fire and chaos.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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