reposted from It’s Going Down
Over the past few months, Washington state Republican Senate candidate Joey Gibson has campaigned by holding violent rallies in another state. Moreover, members of his big tent far-Right organization, Patriot Prayer, which attracts neo-Nazis from The Daily Stormer, militia members, serial murderer Jeremy “Death to Antifa!” Christian, and also increasingly, members of the Proud Boys, have engaged in a string of violent attacks against random members of the public across the Pacific Northwest.
At the same time, Patriot Prayer and Proud Boy members have been celebrating the near death of at least one counter protester who was hospitalized after protests on June 30th, both on social media, and by going on the shows of far-Right conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Moreover, Gibson has increased his rhetoric against Portland itself, setting the stage for continued random violence and attacks all aimed at everyday people.
On May 11th, well known Patriot Prayer and Proud Boy members took part in an assault at the Vancouver, WA mall, this time against an African-American youth of only 17 years. As the Portland Tribune wrote:
Mykel Mosley, a 17-year-old African American teenager…was wrongfully arrested after he was allegedly assaulted by several prominent Proud Boys on May 11 near the Vancouver Mall. The incident, captured on cellphone video, started after Mosley apparently shouted an obscenity to several Proud Boys driving by in a truck displaying a Donald Trump flag.
The Proud Boys — identified…as Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, Russell Schultz and Donovon Flippo — seem to have leaped from the truck and chased Mosley down. “We are not your average victimized Trump supporters we fight back and we know how to throw our hand,” Toese wrote on social media after the incident. “You get smacked and now your [sic] the victim you asked for it,” added Flippo.
The altercation caused mall cops to enter the fray — but it was Mosley who ended up in a juvenile detention center over Mother’s Day weekend, facing charges of criminal trespassing and third-degree assault.
Then, less than a month later, the same individuals had found a new victim, this time, on the streets of Portland. As Maria Perez wrote in Newsweek:
“Tim Ledwith, 34, told The Guardian that he was punched by Proud Boys member Tusitala “Tiny” Toese…Ledwith told the publication around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8 in a shopping center in Portland and claimed that Toese and another unidentified man were yelling at random people from a truck. “They were yelling: ‘Support Trump, build the wall,’” Ledwith told The Guardian.
Ledwith said he cursed at the men, which led to Toese and Donovan Flippo, a Patriots Prayer and Proud Boys supporter, to get out of the car and confront Ledwith. “They were calling me a faggot and slinging epithets at me,” Ledwith said. “Tiny walked over calmly and … punched me in the face. I’m like, half his size. I was not a threat to them. I’m 34 years old, not 17. This is not a thing that happens to me day-to-day.” The punch left a gash on his lip, and Ledwith was taken to the hospital and received stitches, he told The Guardian.”
As in past incidents and in street brawls where these same individuals have been also arrested, they have yet to receive any charges or do actual jail time. Meanwhile, Proud Boys, members of the Alt-Right, and Patriot Prayer have been rallying their troops across the US to come to Portland yet again, this time on August 4th, and attack anyone that gets in their way, and in some cases, Gibson’s supporters are even calling for violence against police officers.
But this time around, Gibson is marketing his rally in even more Biblical terms. According to a recent Facebook video, the upcoming Patriot Prayer rally will be an opportunity for “freedom” and “god” loving Americans to bring “light” to a “dark city” of “criminals.” Here’s a selection from Gibson’s latest video dispatch, where he starts by referring to Portland community members as “criminals,” and says that his Alt-Right troops must:
“…Go into a city that is filled with so-much hate, so much darkness, so much deception. [Where] they consistently take their hate, their racism, their bigotry and project it on us.
If the rest of the country doesn’t wake up…they’re going to end up just like Portland. We all know, Portland is the laughing stock of the country. Everyone knows that, except people within Portland itself. Even Oregon itself, absolutely hates…its own city of Portland. It is disgusting. It is the laughing stock. Everyone knows that, but Portland.
This is why it is so important that we go into Portland with freedom loving Americans, people who love this country, people who respect god, and to go into these dark cities. We need to go straight into hell.
With both attacks on random citizens as well as Gibson calling all residents of the “dark city” of Portland “criminals” and the “laughing stock” of the United States, one has to wonder: at what point are regular Portland residents going to say “enough is enough” and start to stand up for themselves?
Luckily enough, antiracist and antifascist organizations, individuals, and community members are coming together to denounce Joey Gibson and his violent and racist followers. The people of Portland aren’t “criminals” nor are they the “laughing stock” of America. Far from it. They’re heroes for standing up to bullies like Tiny and Joey Gibson, just like the three brave people who stood up to Jeremy Christian on the train. Portland has a long and noble history of coming together to push the fascists and Nazis off the streets. It’s time we stood behind them and make their fight – our fight.