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WATCH: Lawmakers, civil rights experts testify on protecting free speech amid protests

Lawmakers on the Senate subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on free speech regarding the right of peaceful assembly.

Watch the hearing in the video player above. 

The committee’s chair, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the hearing will center on “how Antifa and other anarchists are hijacking peaceful protests and engaging in political violence that is not only criminal, but antithetical to the First Amendment” in a statement issued in July.

President Donald Trump has blamed the loosely defined group for violence at protests around the country in response to the police killing of George Floyd. Last week, Attorney General William Barr told the House Judiciary Committee that the group was “heavily represented” at some protests, but did not offer specific evidence.

Three panels of witnesses are slated to testify at the hearing, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Ken Cuccinelli.

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