Walking through the crisp, clean streets of Portland on Saturday morning, nothing would indicate the kind of day it was going to be. Nothing, unless one looked for the signs—literal ones, hanging in the windows of businesses that would have normally been open.
“Dearest Customers,” the advertisements posted on every downtown Starbucks announced, “Due to strong encouragement from the Portland Police Department … We will be closed Saturday, August 17th.” And it wasn’t the only business that had shuttered their doors for the day.
Perhaps another strong indication was the fact that nearly every member of the press present at the Thomas McColl Waterfront Park was equipped with either a gas mask, a helmet, a bulletproof vest, or all of the above.
But even if I had wanted any of those things, I was out of luck. Donning what I had hoped would allow me to blend seamlessly into the crowd, I prepared for a day of marching amongst Portland’s Antifa activists.
Experiencing the full gauntlet of emotions and witnessing everything from the amusing absurdity of a dancing unicorn to the terrifying absurdity of riot police retreating under pressure, my 11 hours in the demonstration was a proper emotional rollercoaster.
Starting the day with Jewish prayers and Buddhist meditation, it would almost seem there was nothing to worry about. As the elderly female Abbots and Rabbis rang ting-sha bells and led prayers peppered with land acknowledgements and white guilt complexes, there was an eerie calm cast over the Portland waterside.
That calm was broken when a black cloud in the form of Black Bloc emerged in the distance, literally sweeping over the grounds and consolidating close by the ongoing preaching and chanting. It was as though an ink stain had been plopped on the cosmic map of the waterfront.
From that moment, a hurricane of explosive tension blew in. The calm was gone. Waiting began. And it didn’t take long for the tension to crack to the surface.
A small procession of Proud Boys marching through the park was met only with verbal confrontation from the left-wing demonstrators. But conservative independent journalist Brandon Brown was mobbed and pepper-sprayed after Black Bloc believed him to be associated with far-right activist Haley Adams.
Police were absent. And even had they not been, developments throughout the day would convince me they wouldn’t have been able to do much anyway.
The police consistently seemed unable to act. While their presence, most of the time, could not be denied, they were unable or perhaps unwilling to enforce the announcements bellowing powerfully over their loudspeakers. Forming impressive, armoured lines that led nowhere and did nothing, the activists quickly learned that there seemed to be no consequences to their actions.
A standoff in the street turned into an impromptu celebration, with a short line of riot police opposing well over one hundred activists who were skateboarding, meditating, and taking selfies of themselves flipping off the line. The police loudspeaker, roaring orders, seemed to take on an air of desperation in that moment—the words were the same, but they had been recontextualized.
Suddenly, the line began to back up.
The message on the police loudspeaker changed. From a demand to disperse, and a reminder that the road was open to vehicular traffic, to a request.
“Do not follow the officers!”
They were retreating.
And it would not be the last time.
At one point after the civil disturbance had been called and protectors had been ordered to disperse, the police retreated, again to the vigorous applause and laughter of the protestors. The activists then took over large swaths of the Southwest, with the intersections of Yamhill and Park being completely lost.
A block party was thrown, with activists singing, sitting, and chatting in the streets with the casual vibe of a Saturday-night get-together. An ice-cream cart cycled through, and people stopped it for popsicles and cookie sandwiches.
When the “block party” was extended to Yamhill and Broadway, the next intersection, damage was caused. The police hadn’t closed off the street, so the presence of demonstrators spilling onto the roadways caused a cyclist to get into a serious accident.
Police’s attempts to keep the different political factions separated were also generally a pathetic failure. At one point, a group of five conservatives, one of whom was elderly, attempted to walk through the downtown area to a parkade. They were totally silent, and clearly trying to leave, but met with the overwhelming force of several dozen Antifa.
The elderly one had a full jar of mayonnaise crushed against his head, and his American flag ripped away and thrown to the ground. The police eventually intervened and created a short line between the two groups, but that line had a clear end that was easily circumnavigated. Antifa continued to chase the group to their car, until more police were willing to involve themselves.
Acts of violence and cruelty like this were not uncommon yesterday. I witnessed more than one individual rushed, pepper-sprayed, kicked, hit, or otherwise assaulted.
In the Southwest, two independent journalists were surrounded, their camera’s monopod seized and used as a baton to beat them. It is unclear what had set off the activist which rushed them and began to attack. No police intervened, despite them being nearby.
An altercation which stood out as particularly horrific was the mass mobbing of a man who was allegedly a tourist. The man had been taking photos of the demonstration, and that angered some of the more virulent Antifa who dislike photographic evidence of themselves at these rallies.
The man was punched, grabbed, threatened, and eventually, pepper-sprayed and egged. Followed for one block and being attacked for over seven full minutes, it was not until we reached an intersection that I was able to use my free arm to flag nearby police who used their bicycles to physically cordon him off to the opposite side of the street.
“I am not affiliated with any political movement,” he said to me, his face red from the mace, “I was just taking pictures because I was interested.”
As it turned out, he was pro-Antifa.
But if there is anything I have ever subscribed to in politics, it is the notion that while a small population of the loudest and most radical actors in any given political movement will come to define it, the vast majority of people in that movement are generally good.
Lost and separated from the main demonstration line, I hesitantly asked two Black Bloc for help. Congenially offering assistance, they personally escorted me to the area of town the line had marched to. Separated from their peers, even the small trickle of Proud Boys trickling past were ignored. In fact, what prompted more of a reaction from them was a group of journalists standing on the bridge we began to cross.
“Why don’t you ever tell the truth?!” One yelled at them as we passed, cautiously editing her statement, “Well, you might tell the truth—But then your editors don’t publish it!” In that moment, I marvelled at how similar the complaints about media were across the political spectrum.
Back at the main rally, after a man was attacked as a suspected fascist, pepper-sprayed at point-blank and punched, a few young, female Antifa medics attended to him, pouring milk into his mace-soaked eyes. When it was clear he was in obvious pain and his partner was distressed, the same All Cops are Bastards-chanting leftists started demanding the police cross the threshold and attend to him.
A stunning act of clarity came from a young black Antifa, who attempted to reclaim a MAGA hat seized by a white comrade. The red cap, seized in a vice-like grip between the two men, was struggled over endlessly.
“It is not yours.” He said, “What right [do you have] to take it off of someone’s head that does not see the same perspective?”
Surrounding Antifa encouraged the young man’s calm rationality, with one chirping, “I like this dude, he’s wise as f*ck.”
Even those activists who had demonstrated their cruelty at other points had moments of rationality. A Black Lives Matter protestor bonded with a white man who had crossed the demonstration line to declare “I love America!” in singsong. Perceived as a counter-protest, the activist confronted him, but rather than a fight ensuing, the two seemed to find common ground and shared a spirited high-five.
“If there’s one thing I get sick of…” the BLM activist said, “I know that our history shows that white people have fought, bled, and died along the side of black people.”
Highlighting and appreciating these moments of humanity is important, especially in a climate where hopeless pessimism permeates political discourse. It is not meant to suggest that genuine acts of badness do not and did not occur, or are to be dismissed or downplayed.
Often, it seems as though tight clasps on clear divisions between one side’s goodness and the other’s evilness are meant to serve a preservative function. As though admitting that your side may have done wrong, or the other side may have done right, somehow undermines one’s entire dogmatic foundation. This is a rigidity, ideological authoritarianism, antithetical to creating internal conditions necessary for external humane behaviour.
Keeping this in mind, I will defer to an earlier piece written by Siddak Ahuja and myself. Antifa, as good and well-intentioned as even a majority of them may be, have fundamental factional flaws that must be addressed if it wants to truly achieve the moral irreproachability it believe it currently has.
In my last moments, as the crowds finally dispersed, a black-helmeted Antifa, one I had captured on video encouraging police officers to commit suicide earlier, gave me the thumbs up and said, “Thanks for coming out.”
No, thank you.
But no thank you.
Last October, a well-known Portland antifa militant was killed under mysterious circumstances after leaving a pub popular with far-left extremists. Sean Daniel Kealiher, 23, was killed near the Cider Riot pub after being hit by a car that had been fired upon with live rounds. His friends dragged his body away and did not call the police.
Kealiher’s death immediately rippled throughout Portland and beyond, leading both the far-left and even establishment Democrat leaders to mourn publicly. A GoFundMe for his funeral raised thousands. And while he was lionized in the press as a murdered “anti-fascist activist” and even called a “martyr” by some, an investigation by The Post Millennial can reveal that newly uncovered evidence show he was far more radical than previously reported. In a series of discovered writings, Kealiher urged fellow comrades to commit violent terrorist acts and led training sessions to radicalize other youth.
Before his death, Kealiher was known in the militant anarchist community as “Armeanio Lewis,” one of the many names he also used online. His radical activism goes back to when he was around 13 or 14 during the Occupy Portland demonstrations in 2011. As a minor, Kealiher was filmed being arrested on numerous occasions. The details of juvenile cases are not available to the public.
As previously reported by The Post Millennial, Kealiher was filmed in recent years fighting at left-wing protests and threatening journalists who had cameras at public demonstrations. On numerous occasions, he was also seen travelling with members of the Red and Anarchist Skinheads, or RASH, a violent gang-like group known for brawling with right-wingers at riots. It is unknown if Kealiher was a member of the group. But aside from his known street militantism, The Post Millennial can now report that he also authored extreme literature calling for terrorist acts against schools, law enforcement and the public.
An excerpt from a September 2014 zine by Kealiher titled, “Why Break Windows” reads: “From the simple smashing of windows to the placement of a bomb or the robbing of the bank, our actions are heard and felt rather than ignored and treated as everyday life.”
The zine continues: “The attack is the most beautiful moment an anarchist can undertake. Feeling the adrenaline of rushing to a window with a rock in hand, or the moments before striking a cop with your fist. Planting the bomb, pulling the trigger, shouting f— the police!”
In 2015, an 18-year-old Kealiher tried to stop a police officer from investigating an incident of suspected domestic violence, according to a report by Portland Police. The officer notes that Kealiher physically obstructed the investigation, cursed at him and resisted arrest. The officer says the domestic abuse suspect likely used the distraction to flee. Kealiher was found guilty for interfering with a police officer and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Two weeks after his death, Kealiher’s extremist zine romanticizing violent extremism was distributed at a memorial potluck in downtown Portland attended by his mother. Several masked individuals acted as security.
Beyond that tract, Kealiher would go on to author more pieces urging explicit terrorist attacks. On his blog, the “Lumpen Prole Distro,” he uses the pseudonym “Armeanio Lewis” and suggests that his writings may have inspired real-world attacks in Portland.
“Shortly after the publishing of this essay, 15 [Aramak] Trucks, the company that supplies school lunches and prison lunches, were sabotaged,” reads the new preface in a November 2014 update to Kealiher’s “Manifesto Against Schools.” The 12-page document continues: “Shortly after that, an entire condo complex was burned to the ground. This fire was the biggest fire seen in Portland, and everything was torched.”
In August 2013, a 46-unit building under construction in northeast Portland was destroyed in a large fire. The flames spread to surrounding apartment buildings, leading to emergency evacuations of residents and further damage. The heat was so intense on the block that cars parked nearby appeared “melted,” according to media reports. Though the fires were among the largest in the city’s history, causing around $6m worth of damage, nobody was injured. An investigation by authorities determined the fire was started through an arson attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $5,000 cash reward for information at the time. The incident is listed by the Department of Homeland Security as an instance of far-left domestic terrorism.
Beyond the manifesto’s preface, Kealiher explicitly called for others to engage in violent attacks. “It’s time to get off your knees, unclasp your begging hands and pick a weapon, because those on the other side have already done so,” it reads. The “other side” references current society. “My side, hopefully our side, has so many weapons to choose from. Be it the power of a pen, the strength of a rock, or the power of a gun.”
The manifesto continues: “You can craft your own destruction. Be it burning down a school, smashing a banks window … There is so much to destroy, and so much for you to choose.”
Elsewhere on the blog, Kealiher expressed “unapologetic support” for killing law enforcement and destroying buildings with fires. Most of the blog’s essays were written between 2014–15, when Kealiher was 18 and 19 years old.
He also made efforts to export his ideas into real-world training sessions. In December 2013, a 17-year-old Kealiher organized a training event with the intention of introducing minors to extremist anarchist ideas, according to the flyer for the event. He spoke at The Red and Black Cafe, a now-defunct left-wing Portland cafe, using the pseudonym “John Cracklemore.”
Kealiher’s extreme views were also published on various social media platforms. On Reddit, using a different pseudonym, he recounted a time where he says he trained high school students to fight police officers.
Kealiher’s extremism may have eventually landed him under the investigation of federal authorities, however.
In January 2017, Kealiher posted on Facebook that two DHS agents showed up to his mother’s house to try and speak with him. The details of that alleged investigation are unknown. DHS did not respond to The Post Millennial’s request for comment. His mother, Laura Kealiher, declined to comment for the story.
More than three months have passed since Kealiher’s death but Portland Police have not released any new details in their investigation. What is known is that Kealiher was struck by a vehicle following an argument outside the Cider Riot pub. The attorney for Hyatt Eshelman, who was with Kealiher at the time of the incident, says Eshelman pulled out a handgun and fired at the SUV. The vehicle crashed outside the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, where the driver and passengers fled on foot.
A vagrant who witnessed part of the incident says Eshelman, 26, and another man dragged Kealiher’s body away, leaving a bloody trail. Emergency responders were never called to the scene by those involved. Eshelman has not spoken publicly about the incident himself but his far-left activism is documented. In November 2016, he was arrested at a violent antifa riot in Portland against Trump’s election win. He was charged with one count of failing to obey a police officer, but the charge was subsequently dismissed. He is also a member of the Rum Rebellion, a radical anarchist punk band.
Online, various antifa activists and groups instructed their comrades to scrub their messages with Kealiher and to not cooperate with police in their investigation. Kealiher’s mother has also come out publicly to demand that nobody associated with her son speak to the media.
While his history of extremism online was known only to his comrades, his violent actions offline were well-documented through law enforcement and the press. Despite this, local mainstream Democrat politicians joined various antifa activists to publicly mourn his death. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted: “This is alarming and heartbreaking. Our deepest sympathies go out to family and friends of the victim.”
And on the Sunday night following his death, Kealiher’s comrades responded by vandalizing the Democratic Party of Oregon building with antifa propaganda and spray paint. The graffiti messages encouraged others to kill law enforcement, among other things.
Brad Martin, the executive director for the Democratic Party of Oregon, downplayed the graffiti and expressed support for the vandals at the time. He told KATU: “We know that [pain] expresses itself in a lot of ways, including the graffiti on the building and we understand that. It’s just paint.”
But for Sean Kealiher, vandalism was never “just paint.”
In the final paragraph of his “Manifesto Against Schools,” it reads: “We all die anyway, and we will be miserable somehow and somewhere, so why sit by when you can burn? Why sit in your room, dreading going to school? You need not have to, especially when you can BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT DOWN.”
CBC’s The Fifth Estate aired a broadcast on antifa Sunday night, and at times the 30-minute episode read more as an advertisement for the extremist group than an investigative report.
“Right-wing hate is growing everywhere, including Canada. And it is being met with a movement desperate to stamp it out.” Fifth Estate host Gillian Findlay said, introducing antifa. The activists The Fifth Estate utilized for the episode were mostly anonymous.
No mention was made of the antifa assaults on CBC and Global News videographers, and the promises of violence against journalists from Canadian Antifa Black Bloc. And despite montages of politicians warning of the threat of far-right violence, The Fifth Estate also failed to note that both the FBI and Homeland Security in the United States have repeatedly warned of the violent threat posed by antifa.
At one point in the documentary, Findlay oversees the doxing of two alleged members of Quebecois nationalist group Atalante. Their names, photos, and places of employment are broadcasted in full by CBC, without redactions of any kind.
The documentary can be viewed here:
When asked about freedom of speech, one antifa member said, “We believe they are not entitled to say things that will threaten the rights and safety of other people.” And then went on to praise violence as a necessary component of their activity.
After Findlay challenged another antifa activist on doxing individuals who had not committed any crimes, he says “A neo-nazi project is by definition a violent program. The difference is that I don’t have a hateful project. My project is based on diversity and inclusion.”
The Fifth Estate’s episode emphasized white supremacist and right-wing violence as a growing concern and comes at a time when a wave of anti-Semitic attacks by Black Hebrew Israelites and affiliated actors is gripping many Jewish communities.
One of Twitter’s most prominent antifa doxing activists has been accused of blackmail, racism and engaging in predatory behaviour toward underage girls, according to a Medium post made by an alleged former housemate. Additionally, the allegations have brought renewed scrutiny to the “cyber warrior’s” rise to antifa stardom.
By day, Christian Michael Exoo is a 38-year-old library supervisor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. However—online—Exoo uses the moniker “AntiFashGordon.” He has gained a large following in left-wing networks for his activism with antifa and by releasing “doxes,” or personal information, of his ideological opponents to his 25,000 followers on Twitter.
Exoo proudly boasts on his Twitter biography that he has gotten people fired from jobs, removed from schools and kicked out of homes.
Before becoming an online antifa activist, Exoo contributed to Salon, Alternet, Truthout, and other left-wing media outlets. Exoo also worked for Weave News, a left-wing citizen-journalist and activist group that was founded at and funded by St. Lawrence University, where his father, mother, and brother are employed as professors. Exoo was also a one-time aspiring actor.
With an undergraduate degree in information science, Exoo teaches doxing training seminars under the euphemism of “open-source intelligence research.” In 2017, he trained students at St. Lawrence at a conference organized by Weave News. In one presentation slide to his class, it read: “In this exercise, we are going to find the Facebook profile of our subject, and find all of the posts he’s ‘liked.’”
Victims of doxing suffer public shaming and often real-word harassment and death threats. Left-wing defenders of doxing say it is necessary to reveal and punish the far-right. But Jesse Morton, a former Islamic radical and now counter-extremism expert, says that victims of doxing are often radicalized further because of it.
“There are certain cases where it has silenced ideologues clearly calling to violent extremism, but the effects are often counterproductive,” Morton says. “It only cements the views of those doxed, can trigger violence and further entrenches extremists in the view that they’re under attack.”
Morton spent three-and-a-half years in federal prison for his involvement with an Islamic terrorist group. Since 2016, Morton has been involved in counter-terrorism work and currently leads Light Upon Light, a Washington D.C.-based counter-hate nonprofit.
“[AntiFashGordon’s] efforts only fuel the far-right’s propaganda,” Morton says. “They provide evidence for the victimization narrative that drives recruitment and thereby make it incredibly easy to replace any member doxed into leaving with several more recruits.”
Under his pseudonym, Exoo has been interviewed and praised in numerous stories for his role in being a powerful antifa “cyber warrior.” But a recent Medium post by “Sora M.C.,” who claims to be an ex-housemate of Exoo, accuses him of frequently using a slew of racial slurs in the course of his “investigative” work and of general predatory behaviour.
The anonymous author writes: “I’m here because I’m a young, Black, transgender activist delivering a warning to organizers once again after having been psychologically manipulated by an egotistical and power-abusing person who has a pattern of inappropriate behaviour on- and off-line.”
The writer continues: “His motivations are primarily to aggrandize himself and make him feel admired by others—to be a white saviour.”
The author describes a time where the two were in a grocery store together, and Exoo allegedly seemed excited that an underage girl had flirted with him.
The author also goes on to state other examples of how Exoo allegedly acted in an abusive or inappropriate manner that left them uncomfortable on multiple occasions, including one incident of alleged inappropriate touching.
“Sora M.C.,” says some of these allegations were previously published on Twitter last summer, but they deleted it after Exoo allegedly held their personal items “hostage.”
Exoo has been exceptionally careful in removing his name and traces of his identity from any of his current social media accounts. However, his alleged involvement in a doxing project that defrauded people into disclosing their addresses may have backfired.
In summer 2018, a website offering free anti-antifa t-shirts was circulated and shared among right-wing users on Facebook. However, the site was a fraudulent project that never had any merchandise and instead was used to fool some three-dozen people into giving their names, phone numbers and addresses, which were then released publicly. The site asked victims to pay money in order to have their information removed. It is unknown if any money was transferred.
A crowd-sourced investigation found the site’s domain was purchased through Bluehost by Christian Exoo. After that revelation, Exoo temporarily locked the “@AntiFashGordon” account and deleted his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Twitter directed us to their private information policy when reached for comment on how they handle doxing on their platform.
“You may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission,” the policy states. “We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.”
“@AntiFashGordon” is still active on Twitter.
Before becoming a prominent online antifa doxing activist, Exoo had a long history of radical left-wing views. In 2017, he expressed support for political violence. “It’s really satisfying to punch a racist. They bleed nice, too,” he tweeted. Many of his posts conflate regular conservatives with the far-right and neo-Nazis.
Exoo also expressed support for George Ciccariello-Maher, the infamous former Drexel University associate professor who tweeted controversial posts calling for a police officer to be killed and voiced support for “white genocide,” among other things. Exoo signed a petition in support of Ciccariello-Maher in 2016 and also wrote on Twitter: [He] is a wonderful person, fantastic scholar, and a national treasure. Come at me, alt-right bros.”
While Exoo’s cyber activism exists within the online realm, his radical posts have appealed to at least one known extremist who unleashed his violent desires onto the real world. In August 2019, it was revealed that Connor Betts, the antifa black bloc activist who killed nine in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, was a fan of Exoo.
Four months before his massacre, Betts was informed of a far-right rally in Dayton by none other than Exoo himself. “Thanks for the heads up,” Betts wrote in response to Exoo announcing the details of the event. At the protest, a witness who went to school with Betts said he saw him masked and carrying a rifle similar to the one he would later use in the August mass killing.
Christian Exoo did not respond to repeated queries for comment.
A 75-year-old restaurant owner in Philadelphia had nearly all the windows of his business destroyed early on New Year’s Day in an attack he blames on antifa.
“They’re terrorists. They just knocked out $20,000 worth of glass,” says restaurant owner Jack Gillespie. He says the vandalism this week is the culmination of weeks of targeted harassment by left-wing activists and antifa groups angry that members of two right-wing organizations were allowed to patronize the Millcreek Tavern.
On Nov. 15, 2019, around 15 members of the Proud Boys and a local Turning Point USA chapter had an unofficial social gathering at the restaurant and bar in West Philadelphia. As news of the meeting spread online, it led to a wave of negative reviews and harassment directed at the restaurant’s owner and staff.
“I don’t have any idea who the Proud Boys are,” Gillespie says. The Proud Boys is a controversial right-wing men’s group and drinking club formed after the election of Donald Trump. Some of its members have been convicted for their involvement in street brawls with antifa militants.
Gillespie has been in business for 34 years and says he tries to maintain an apolitical environment where people can enjoy drinks, food, karaoke and pool. But the public backlash continued after he refused to issue a blanket ban of the right-wing group or TPUSA.
As a result, Millcreek Tavern was flooded with phone calls and threats of violence. The review section for its business on Facebook and Yelp were bombarded with negative reviews by people accusing the restaurant of being a haven for hate. “It was an assassination attempt on my character,” says Gillespie.
Online, left-wing activists and antifa-linked groups accused the restaurant of having a history of hate. In 2017, Gillespie cancelled the booking of a metal band accused of having songs with anti-Semitic lyrics. Some activists blamed the restaurant for allowing the band to book a show in the first place.
Philadelphia is home to some of the most active and violent antifa militants on the East Coast. Three Philadelphia antifa “leaders” are facing trial in March stemming from a 2018 mob beating of two Marines they mistook for being Proud Boys.
Gillespie says he hoped the backlash would blow over but on Nov. 20, a heavy metal object was thrown through one of the restaurant’s windows. The harassment seemed to slow down over Christmas but it escalated again this week.
On the early hours of Wednesday morning, a security camera outside the business captured the moment four black-clad vandals sprayed “F— piss boys” and “ACAB” on the building before smashing all the windows along the side of the restaurant. “ACAB”, short for “all cops are bastards,” is often chanted at antifa protests and riots.
Gillespie, who is a former police officer, says he isn’t in fear for his safety despite receiving a death threat by post. “I worked seven years in the homicide division,” he says. However, he admits to being concerned about the stress his employees are being placed under.
“I hope [antifa] leave the innocent people alone. This affects the employees, not us,” says Sonny Sullivan, a 31-year-old Philadelphia Proud Boy member who was at the tavern in November. He confirms the Proud Boys was at the business along with an unspecified number of alleged TPUSA “members” from Drexel University (the group did not respond for comment).
Online, various left-wing activists and antifa groups cheered the vandalism on Millcreek Tavern. Philadelphia-based left-wing activist, Gwen Snyder, wrote a mocking letter to Gillespie on Facebook with a photo of the damage: “I just wanted to thank you for doing your civic duty and making your building available to the Mural Arts program of Philadelphia.”
This isn’t the first time businesses have had to deal with severe backlash from left-wing activists following the patronage of Proud Boys members. In July 2018, a bar in Los Angeles was descended on by left-wing protesters who caught wind of a Proud Boys gathering inside. The incident led to a pushing match and the bar later capitulated and issued an apology to the community. The Griffin promised to “screen” future patrons for potentially offensive views.
Then last month, a sports bar in Lake Stevens, Wash. was vandalized with graffiti that read, “F— Nazi Proud Boys” and “No Nazis in our town.” Activists accused the management of Razzals Bar & Grill of allowing the group to socialize there. Its Yelp and Facebook pages were similarly bombarded with negative reviews.
The vandalism attacks on the Millcreek Tavern this week are currently being investigated by police. The FBI is also taking a look at the death threats Gillespie received via post and online.
Gillespie knows many want him out of business but he’s remaining optimistic. “You can’t please these people,” he says. After discovering the broken windows on Wednesday, he immediately assembled a team to clean up the glass and board up the windows. The tavern opened the same day.