Conservative event in Portland targeted by antifa extremists
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.
Antifa militants attacked a citizen journalist and chased members of a conservative group in Olympia, Washington on Saturday after a rumoured neo-Nazi rally failed to materialize.
A video recorded by Haley Adams, a leader of Portland’s Liberation, a right-wing Portland group, shows an aggressive mob of masked antifa militants advancing on and threatening them.
Portland-based citizen journalist Brandon Brown was documenting the event on Saturday at the state capital when he was beaten and robbed. He says the antifa militants directed their anger at the group after failing to find neo-Nazis to fight.
Adams frequently hosts rallies and marches in progressive Portland and the surrounding area, where her group’s members often troll antifa with signs and costumes.
Last week, a post on antifa blog, It’s Going Down, encouraged fellow comrades to come to Olympia for a “resistance” against a rumoured “Martyr’s Day” event held by the Hammerskins, a neo-Nazi group. The blog claims that numerous far-right extremists travel to the region around this time of the year to honour a neo-Nazi killed by police in 1984 on Whidbey Island.
Around 50 left-wing protestors, including many in masks and black uniforms, were left disappointed after the Hammerskins failed to show. They then targeted Portland’s Liberation and conservative journalist, Brandon Brown.
Brown was robbed of his camera equipment, worth thousands, and left bloodied as he attempted to flee. He says the masked militants used fists and elbows to hit him on the head.
“I would say at least 20 people struck me,” Brown told The Post Millennial. “I held on to the [camera] equipment until the mount for the GoPro was broken and the lanyard for my other camera tore apart. All I was left holding was broken torn junk. I didn’t let go.”
Brown sustained cuts and bruising to his face and was advised by medics to seek further treatment if his condition worsened. On Sunday, he checked himself into a hospital, where he was found to have injuries to his left eye that will require follow-up care.
The attack echoes that committed against Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo in Portland, who was beaten and robbed by antifa militants in June, and left with a brain injury.
The Puget Sound Anarchists, one of the antifa groups at Saturday’s protest, seem to take credit for Brown’s assault and robbery on a blog post, saying he was “relieved of his camera.”
Sgt. Darren Wright of the Washington State Patrol stated in a media release that they arrested a 40-year-old man from Chehalis, Wash. and charged him with fourth-degree assault. The release says an injured person was “a member of the Patriot Prayer [group],” but Wright clarified to The Post Millennial that this was information inferred by troopers at the scene. Brown says he is not a member of Patriot Prayer or Portland’s Liberation.
Olympia, Wash. is a progressive college town that has been marred by numerous left-wing and right-wing protests and riots. In 2017, the Evergreen State College devolved into anarchy following a “Day of Absence” event where white people were asked to stay away from campus.
In 2015, after two black brothers were shot by police in Olympia after a shoplifting incident, a small group of neo-Nazis organized a pro-police rally. While only about a dozen supporters attended, many black bloc militants, Black Lives Matter activists, and other allies showed up to counter-demonstrate.
Since then, there have been a number of red herring neo-Nazi rallies with no attendees, but many counter-protestors showing up in force.
“Antifa end up attacking journalists when there aren’t enough neo-Nazis,” Andy Ngo said.
In addition to Ngo’s attack, there are many incidents of antifa violence against members of the media. NBC’s Cal Perry was accosted and had his camera hit by a protestor at an antifa demonstration at the one-year Charlottesville anniversary in August 2018. In the same month, Stan Behal, a photographer for the Toronto Sun, was assaulted by a left-wing protestor at a Toronto demonstration. In November 2018, an antifa group descended on the Washington, DC home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
More charges have been laid in connection with an antifa-related protest at Mohawk College in September. Hamilton police are still looking to identify some additional suspects.
Alaa Al Soufi, 27, was the latest to be arrested on Nov. 19 and has four charges pending including assault, theft under $5000, intimidation, and disguise with intent.
The charges stem from an earlier altercation that took place during a Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier fundraiser for the People’s Party. The fundraiser was held at Mohawk College on Sept. 29, 2019. The event went viral after video appeared of an elderly woman having her pathway blocked by a group of protestors.
Soufi’s parents own a Syrian restaurant in Toronto called Soufi’s which had to temporarily close, citing death threats after the protest.
Soufi allegedly went up to a woman at the event in the parking lot, “impeded her way” and “slapped a baseball hat that she was wearing off her head,” said Hamilton Police Inspector David Hennick said in a public police report.
Police have since managed to identify the female victim in question and she supports the charges being laid. The theft charge is for stealing her hat.
Charges were also laid on Michael Lickers, 27-years-of-age from Hamilton. He is being charged with assault level one and intimidation. Lickers has since been released on a promise to appear with court date of Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Police have released photos of the remaining suspects and ask that anybody who has any information to come forward.
UPDATE: On December 6th, a Twitter user reported to The Post Millennial that two of Michaels’ tweets had violated the Twitter Terms of Service. Michaels then locked his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter to verify if disciplinary action had been taken against Michaels since his harassment of Andy Ngo was reported on, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial has learned that a Twitter account that has been engaged in targeted harassment of TPM Editor-at-large Andy Ngo appears to belong to none other than a Twitter employee.
Max Michaels, who goes under the Twitter handle Manchild, is an Operations Infrastructure Analytics Engineer at the Twitter Command Center. According to his Linkedin, he has worked at Twitter for over 7 years.
Michaels’ abusive behaviour towards Ngo began in June of 2019 after Ngo was bloodied while reporting from an Antifa riot in Portland. Beneath a tweet calling for information which might lead to the arrest of those involved, Michaels wrote: “It’s almost like there are repercussions for being a piece of shit.”
Under another tweet by Ngo, Michaels replies “you should just get fat again and hangout on reddit acting sad. I liked fat, sad Andy better.”
Michaels also replied to journalist Peter Hasson, who was reporting on Ngo’s brain bleed as a result of his beating at the riot, calling the hemorrhage a “lifelong, pre-existing condition from garbage Andy.”
Michaels was featured in a 2016 Vice article describing the important functions of the Command Center. In the piece, Michaels is quoted as saying he and his team are responsible for “keeping the lights on at Twitter.”
A recent job posting for the Twitter Command Center suggests staff have a great deal of insight and control over the intricate details of Twitter’s technical infrastructure, calling into question what impact potential biases in the staff might have over users’ personal information and security on the platform.
Ngo was recently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a truthful claim that “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo was forced to delete the verifiably truthful claim in order to regain access to his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Michaels for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication. He did, however, confirm on Twitter that he still works in Operations for Twitter.
Targeted harassment is explicitly against Twitter’s Terms of Service. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter. We take enforcement action against any content that is violative of our rules, regardless of the account involved.”
On “Trans Day of Remembrance” this year, numerous politicians and celebrities used the occasion to virtue signal on social media. They repeated the claim-turned-mantra from LBGT activist groups that there is an “epidemic” of trans homicides motivated by transphobia and racism in the U.S.
Chelsea Clinton, doing what the Clintons do best, weighed in vapidly on Nov. 20: “Since 2013, more than 150 trans people have been murdered in the U.S., the majority Black transgender women. On #TDoR2019, we remember and honor the lives lost, hold their loved ones in our hearts and must commit to doing all we can to end this epidemic of violence and hate.”
Though the sentiment is valid, the claim she repeats is not. There is no “epidemic” of violent homicides against trans people in the U.S. How do I know? From data released by the Human Rights Campaign and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I responded to Ms. Clinton: “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.”
Five days later, I was informed by Twitter that I had violated its policy against “hateful conduct.” For stating a verifiable empirical claim, Twitter determined that I “promote violence against, threaten or harass other people” based on protected characteristics. I was given the option of deleting the tweet and facing a timed suspension, or appealing the decision while remaining indefinitely locked out of the platform. I chose the latter option.
My appeal was rejected.
Twitter’s decision to force me to accept a false reality in order to use its platform is chilling to those who value truth above dogma, as uncomfortable as the truth may be. The dogma of our day is the trans ideology—an authoritarian worldview replete with science and evidence denial. Among many things, it claims that sex is a construct and that trans people are being hunted down across America
So far this year, there were 22 homicides in the U.S. where trans or gender non-conforming people were victims. That number has held relatively steady since the HRC, America’s largest LGBT lobbying group, started releasing annual reports four years ago. According to the HRC, there were 26 homicides in 2018, 29 in 2017, 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2015. The HRC provides the most comprehensive data set for trans homicides in the country. The FBI does not release numbers of trans people who are killed.
Though every homicide is a tragedy and victims are due justice, lying about the scale is politically exploitative and reckless. It prevents the public from accessing real problems honestly in order to advocate for real solutions. Worst of all, it harms the very people who need protection.
The average homicide rate of cis males in the U.S. is around seven per 100,000 from 2015–2018, according to FBI figures. The rate for cis females during this timeframe is 1.9. The rate for trans homicides since the HRC began tracking in 2015? About 1.7. (This rate was calculated based on the 2016 UCLA Williams Institute estimate of there being about 1.7m trans adults in the U.S.)
For a developed country, the U.S. has high homicide rates. That is undisputed. But if the rates of cis men being killed isn’t spoken about as an “epidemic,” then neither should the rates for trans homicides, which is significantly lower compared to the cis population.
And while much attention is focused on the victims being mostly black trans women, no attention is given to the fact that the majority of known homicide suspects and convicts are also black. This intra-racial violence is consistent with other homicides in the U.S.
Additionally, there is no evidence to support the narrative that trans people are being killed because they are trans. The overwhelming majority of trans homicides involve victims being killed in the course of high-risk behaviours like street prostitution and drug dealing. Cis women and cis men involved in these activities face similar risks.
While it may feel good to earn praise by hiding uncomfortable truths, those who ultimately suffer in this instance are trans people themselves. They are told to fear people around them, that they could be killed at any moment and are helpless in the face of omnipresent hatred. This is not compassion or empowerment.
I’m now back on Twitter, but only because I was forced to accept that on this platform, a journalist will be punished for telling the truth.