A far-left North Dakota man who was convicted in federal court for attacking a Republican US senator’s office with an axe has ties to Antifa, The Post Millennial can report.
Thomas “Tas” Alexander Starks, 31, of Lisbon, N.D., was filmed on CCTV trying to break inside the office of Sen. John Hoeven's in Fargo on Dec. 21, 2020, using an axe. In April, he pleaded guilty to a charge of destruction of government property. Federal sentencing guidelines suggested 10–16 months in prison but he was only sentenced to probation and fined $2,784 for restitution.
According to court documents, Starks’ colleague said he was “politically open and motivated,” left-leaning and "very active in protests.”
Recently Starks has taken to Facebook to brag about getting his axe back from the FBI.
“Look what the FBI were kind enough to give back to me!” Starks posted on Oct. 26.
Starks has also called for violence and has spread Antifa propaganda while posting under the Facebook moniker, “Paul Dunyan,” a reference to the axe-carrying folklore lumberjack Paul Bunyan.
Starks’ Facebook profile avatar depicts the Antifa red and black flag symbol along with the text, “Antifascist.” On Oct. 22, Starks posted the logo of the Antifascist Action along with the text “F— Around and Find Out,” and three axe emojis.
Back in July as Starks was awaiting sentencing, he wrote: “I am ANTIFA.
I will always attack fascists, racial superiority complexes built around nationalism that promotes genocide to fuel a war machine is the worst humanity has to offer.” Starks’ words echo the manifesto written by Portland antifa shooter Michael Reinoehl, who described himself as “100% ANTIFA” in a social media post before killing Aaron Danielson.
That isn’t Starks’ only reference to political violence. In April, he posted about using a rifle to “hunt fascists,” and also using soup cans as projectiles to assault police. During the Black Lives Matter-Antifa riots in Portland last year, Antifa militants carried frozen water bottles and canned food in their backpacks to use as projectiles against law enforcement.
In several photographs of himself posted on social media, Starks can be seen wearing a Socialist Rifle Association t-shirt. The militant leftist group urges comrades on the left to take up arms. The group had communicated on Twitter in 2019 with Ohio Antifa member Connor Betts before he died carrying out a deadly mass shooting in Dayton.
In another post from this past summer, Starks urged arson: “If they try to kick you out of your home don't leave, or find a place to go and burn it down.”
Starks’ defense attorney Tatum O'Brien had claimed his client suffered stress from the coronavirus pandemic and was waiting for a COVID-19 relief check at the time of the axe attack.
Despite Starks’ violent extremism, mainstream Democrats in North Dakota have expressed support for him throughout the year.
After Starks was arrested, Democrat leaders in North Dakota donated to his legal defense fund, which raised thousands on GoFundMe. North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party chairwoman Kylie Oversen, party executive Ellie Shockley and former lieutenant gubernatorial contender Ellen Chaffee all gave money to Starks. The North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party is the name of the local affiliate of the Democrat Party. Starks is a member of the socialist Nonpartisan League Party and has campaigned with them at events.
The North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party did not respond to a request for comment.