Antifa harasses Vancouver Greek Orthodox community over free speech event
Update: this article has been edited to include comments provided by the Vancouver Police Department and the Chan Centre for the Preforming Arts
The Hellenic Community of Vancouver (HCV) has been threatened and intimidated by far-left activists after being booked as a venue by the University of British Columbia Free Speech Club.
A town hall event in Portland, Oregon, hosted by the Melody Centre has been targeted by the antifa extremists. The event was organized by the WalkAway Campaign, which had activist Brandon Straka, documentarian Dinesh D’Souza, radio host Lars Larson, and prominent journalist Andy Ngo, speaking to the audience on a range of topical issues. Disclosure: Ngo is the Editor-at-large at The Post Millennial.
Over the past week, antifa had tried to harass the centre into deplatforming the speakers. Despite the group attempting to intimidate the business, audience, and speakers, they failed to shut down the event.
Even before the event had begun, a group of 20 antifa members gathered outside the centre, intimidating the speakers and audience. Soon after, they began to circle the event, taking photographs of the attendees.
During the event, Ngo saw the antifa activist who attacked him whilst at the gym earlier this year in May and decided to name him on Twitter. The assailant’s name is John Hacker.
As they were circling the event, the antifa members chanted slogans like “I f****d God, now he’s gay,” and “all cops are bastards.” Despite there being a heavy police presence, and threats of violence, Portland’s police force largely remained in the background in light clothing, rather than the heavy riot gear they have worn at previous antifa demonstrations.
Due to the event being ticketed, the antifa members did not manage to disrupt the event. Nevertheless, the group still attempted to make as much noise as possible by honking horns and creating a general racket. These noises, however, failed to penetrate the event, only irritating the surrounding neighbourhood.
Over the past few days, antifa and other hard-left organizations had attempted to cancel the event. Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone also called for the event to be shut down, posting on Twitter: “There should be no safe haven for people affiliated with domestic terrorists and nationalist extremists.” This tweet was later criticized for inciting violence.
On Twitter, Iannarone has mentioned her support of antifa, announcing her support of her nickname, the “Antifa mayor.” antifa has long been criticized for its violent tactics and willingness to label moderate public figures as fascists. Even the notorious socialist Noam Chomsky has labeled antifa as a “major gift to the right,” due to their extremist tactics.
The main effort to get this event cancelled came from a group called Popular Mobilization, which is another coordinated left-wing organization. Popular Mobilization has publicly directed its followers to harass the centre by sending private messages and requests. After this failed, they then decided to call and email the centre into compliance. The group was responsible for distributing the milkshakes that were used to assault people in an antifa riot in June.
Portland has had a troubling history of far-left violence and intimidation. Earlier this year, Ngo was beaten and attacked with “milkshakes” on the streets of the city. As well as this, during the far-right, Proud Boys rally, antifa attacked multiple people including non-related bystanders. Despite this, very few charges were laid by the Portland police.
Ngo has been a constant target of antifa violence and conspiracy theories. On Halloween night, antifa activists arrived at Ngo’s family home so to intimidate his family. As well as this, Ngo has often been accused by antifa and their allies of providing “kill lists” to Atomwaffen.
Yesterday, Stanford University data scientist, Becca Lewis, also promoted this unfounded conspiracy theory.
TPM asked Ngo about the demonstration. “The masked protesters mocked my injuries from the beating when I was outside. They passed out flyers with the false claim that I provide a terrorist group with ‘kill lists.’ Clearly the aim is to lie about me in the most egregious ways to incite more violence against me,” he said.
Unsettling security footage has appeared online of what appears to be six antifa grunts approaching journalist Andy Ngo’s door. (Disclosure: Andy Ngo is the editor at large for TPM.)
The video, taken on Halloween by a home security system, shows a group of men approaching Ngo’s front door, each of them wearing hooded sweaters with print-out masks of Ngo’s face.
According to Ngo, the 48-second long video is a shortened version of an encounter that lasted “several minutes.”
“These 6 individuals wearing print-out masks of my face approached my family’s home last night, repeatedly rang doorbell, pounded on window, recorded footage of property & gestured at cameras. There were no candy bags. This follows their doxing of my elderly mom’s small business,” said Ngo in the tweet.
In a comment to TPM, Ngo said that “This is the latest addition to a long list of antifa-related individuals doxing, threatening, and promising to hurt or kill me or my family.” Ngo also mentioned that police were called during the incident, but that the gang had fled before they had arrived. Ngo says police took a report, but was informed that people with masks “are hard, if not impossible to identify.”
Another obstacle in identifying the group is that they appear to be wearing thick gloves, which completely removes any chance of obtaining fingerprints.
Ngo has a well-documented history of encounters with antifascist mobs, who have repeatedly threaten Ngo’s safety with threats of violence.
On June 29, Ngo was beaten, milkshaked and robbed by a mob of antifa thugs, leading to his hospitalization for a brain hemorrhage.
The incident received widespread coverage, as the footage went directly against mainstream media’s depiction of antifa as an “inherently self-defensive” anti-fascist counter-protestor group.
Since then, Ngo has been subjected to targetted online harassment, death threats, as well as open efforts to make his life more complicated by creating “inconveniences and environment hostility” by applying pressure on businesses to refuse service to him, as well as for him “to be publicly de-platformed ala Milo [Yiannopolous.]”
Posts from sites other than Twitter bare the most concerning threats, though, as they go less supervised. Posts from anarcho-communist blogs directly call for Ngo to be shot, with some members even posing with guns and other weapons.
An antifa activist with a history of violence and threatening behaviour across the Pacific Northwest has been arrested on a felony hate crime charge in Seattle for alleged anti-Semitic attacks.
Jamal Oscar Williams, 44, is accused by state prosecutors in Washington state of hate crimes and criminal harassment against Schmuel Levitin, a rabbi, and Ephriam Block. According to court documents, Williams “maliciously and intentionally” followed, threatened to kill and assaulted the men in multiple attacks in October because of their perceived religion.
Levitin and Block were operating a permitted religious booth for the Sukkot Jewish holiday in downtown Seattle on October 11 when Williams allegedly approached them and shouted: “Jews, Jews, Jews … give me your money!” He then said he had a gun and was going to kill them. Both Levitin and Block have beards and payots, or sideburns, and were wearing yarmulkes. Levitin is a rabbi at the Chabad of Downtown Seattle.
Three days later, Williams returned and made similar threats and demands for money. On October 15, the next day, Williams allegedly followed the men into the lobby of their apartment building. After making more demands for money, he allegedly hurled candy from the concierge’s desk at the men. Police later found and arrested Williams in a nearby-area. He was unarmed at the time.
Jamal Williams is known in the Pacific Northwest for his involvement in various antifa protests and his outspoken views on black nationalism. In August 2018, he was arrested in Seattle during a counter-protest against right-wing group Patriot Prayer. Last November, he threatened this journalist with death outside Seattle City Hall at a counter-demonstration against a conservative group.
More recently, Williams was in Portland, Oregon on August 17 where he was recorded accosting people aggressively during an antifa protest-turned-riot against the Proud Boys. He was also part of a group of people who surrounded and threatened to hurt a reporter with the Washington Examiner.
“He threatened me multiple times,” Julio Rosas said. “It spoke volumes when Portland Police pulled me away and said I was provoking Williams and others, when it was Williams who was acting in a very aggressive manner.”
Williams was later arrested by Portland Police for disorderly conduct. He did not show up to his court hearing in September and there is a bench warrant for his arrest.
In addition to Williams’ radical political activism with antifa, he has a long history of criminal and harassing behaviour. In Washington state, he was convicted in 2015 for felony harassment and domestic violence. He has multiple other convictions for assault and domestic violence going back years. He also has a long violent criminal record in Alaska, where he used to live.
Williams is currently incarcerated on a $100,000 bond in King County, Washington for the hate crime charge.
Three people have been arrested and charged by Hamilton police in relation to protests held at a speaking event with political commentator Dave Rubin and People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier last month, report Hamilton Police.
Of those arrested were Alaa Al Soufi, 27, the son of owners of the popular Soufi’s restaurant in Toronto. Also arrested was Kevin Metcalf, 33, who allegedly attacked a man at an anti-M-103 rally in Toronto last year, and Maximiliano Herrera, 30, each for incidents that took place outside of the Mohawk College speaking event.
Metcalf, a former employee of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, had originally posted about his arrest in a lengthy Facebook post on September 30th:
The event gained international attention after a video emerged of three protestors blocking the path of an elderly woman attempting to enter the event. Soufi can be seen in the video wearing a balaclava.
The owners of the restaurant, Husam and Shahnaz Al-Soufi confirmed their son was at the protest, with Husam telling TPM he had no prior knowledge of antifa’s brutish activity, stating: “I was so ignorant about what was happening. I thought antifa was anti-fascist—[that’s] anti-Hitler, anti-terrorist. I had no idea it happened in Hamilton. I had no idea about Mr. Maxime’s speech.”
He went on to say he prays that his son will one day have the opportunity to apologize to the elderly woman who was blocked by his son. “I pray it will happen. And when I say pray, I usually look at a beautiful thing and make a wish. Usually, this beautiful thing is my wife… She is a lovely senior lady and my son blocked her way. Wearing a scary mask is not something we should accept. It is legal but immoral.”
Police say the September 29 event was met with a large group of “more than 100 protestors.”
Four people at the event were arrested and later released unconditionally, according to officers.
Police say that arrests were made after reviewing video footage in the days following the event. Several suspects were identified.
Police say they arrested one male suspect on October 22, with two male suspects turning themselves in the next day.
Soufi has been charged with two counts of intimidation with intent, with one count of causing a disturbance.
Metcalf has been charged with obstructing to police.
Herrera has been charged with intimidation and assault.