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An Oregon judge dismissed an anti-SLAPP motion brought by Rose City Antifa against The Post Millennial Editor-At-Large Andy Ngo on Monday, allowing Ngo's case against the organization to continue.
Ngo filed a lawsuit against Rose City Antifa demanding $900,000 in damages alleging that the far-left anarchist group attacked, assaulted, and harassed him at various protests, including a protest outside of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility and the infamous downtown Portland protest where Ngo was assaulted by a large mob of Antifa-affiliated agitators. Ngo sustained a brain injury from the latter event.
One of the defendants, Benjamin Bolen, attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed using anti-SLAPP laws, which refer to laws preventing strategic lawsuits against public participation, laws designed to prevent frivolous lawsuits against political opponents to prevent them from engaging in political activity.
Multnomah County Judge Kathleen M. Dailey denied the anti-SLAPP motion, stating "the statute does not cover physical assault as protected conduct."
Bolen is also arguing that he was misidentified as the assailant by a Twitter user. While he admits to being present at the protest wearing the traditional ninja-like black bloc protest clothes associated with Antifa, Bolen insists that he was not, in fact, the assailant who punched Ngo.
Ngo disputes the claim of misidentification, saying that Bolen simply altered his hair style for the protest.
The judge also dismissed some written testimony against Ngo, determining that the testimony lacked evidence. Among the claims made in the dismissed testimony is that Ngo engaged in what they called "stochastic terrorism." Stochastic terrorism is used to describe criticism of people or groups which, while not promoting violence, is likely to lead to violence due to the virulent nature of the criticism.
Bolen also alleged that Ngo released the person information of Antifa members so that they could be targeted by white nationalists and that he filed the lawsuit as a means of raising money. These claims were also dismissed by the judge based on a lack of evidence.
"This is finally a step in the right direction for the rule of law in Portland where the police, district attorney's office, and local politicians have totally failed to bring justice to the perpetrators of this heinous act, and we brought this lawsuit as a last resort in the face of their unwillingness to enforce the law," said Harmeet K. Dhillon, Ngo's lawyer.
"We look forward to litigating the substance of these claims against those who stalked and assaulted Ngo last year in Portland, where Antifa operates with impunity," she continued.
Rose City Antifa has a long history of employing political violence as a tactic, with the group stating that they are "unapologetic" for their use of "physical militancy."
In one incident from 2018, members of the Antifa group were seen on video directing traffic at a Portland intersection, attacking drivers who refused to bend to their will. Portland police stood by as the group tyrannized civilians.