Two known Antifa "journalists" have filed a frivolous lawsuit against reporter Andy Ngo for retweeting riot footage of theirs using Twitter's video-sharing feature.
According to the copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the District of Oregon, Portland Division, for damages and injunctive relief, plaintiffs Grace Morgan and Melissa Lewis allege that Ngo has repeatedly taken the videos posted by the Antifa photojournalists on Twitter without their permission or consent in violation of their exclusive copyrights. In the filing, the plaintiffs claim that Ngo violated copyright laws for retweeting their videos, while still tagging and crediting them.
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction plus $300,000 in compensation for damages, a lawyer representing the pair told The Daily Beast.
Morgan's"> video was shot in Portland, Oregon, around Oct. 1 at the Black Lives Matter-Antifa riot over the fatal Portland police shooting of Robert Delgado, 46.
Antifa had gathered outside the Justice Center in downtown Portland to riot after a local grand jury declined to indict the officer accused of shooting Delgado, who brandished a replica pistol at police. Morgan's video showed Antifa shouting the anti-police "F*ck 12" slogan while a fire burned in the middle of the street.
Lewis"> filmed Portland Police Bureau officers behind a gate in a Portland garage on the night of the Delgado riot as Antifa extremists chanted, "Say His Name!"
Twitter allows users to embed videos in tweets while still providing credit and a link to the original uploader. In both instances, Ngo credited Morgan and Lewis using Twitter's video-embedding function that many reporters utilize.
Lewis and Morgan's lawsuit claims that Ngo "has made a practice of illegally copying and uploading Plaintiffs' videos onto his own Twitter account," although admitting at the same time that he "includes a credit for Plaintiffs."
"At no point did Morgan or Lewis ever grant permission or consent to Defendant to post their videos on the internet," the Dec. 8 lawsuit reads, noting that the plaintiffs have blocked Ngo from viewing their public Twitter feeds.
Lewis and Morgan's legal move attempts to generate negative headlines in the press and to place a permanent ban on Ngo's verified Twitter account through a tsunami of Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices.
"Being an effective journalist means people will try to silence you. I was beaten several times by #antifa," Ngo tweeted. "Now two antifa videographers in Portland filed a lawsuit against me. Why? Because I retweeted them on Twitter."
The end game is to make Ngo, whose journalistic beat is reporting on far-left violence, hesitant to video retweet Antifa's riotous activities. Ngo has been assaulted multiple times while covering Antifa in Portland's streets.
Mainstream media outlets refer to Morgan and Lewis as reputable journalists, but the plaintiffs are Antifa activists who have advocated for far-left violence.
The lawsuit itself characterizes Lewis, who uses the Internet moniker "Claudio" on social media, as an "antifascist, citizen journalist." Lewis also describes herself on Twitter as an "antifascist, anarchist" writer and videographer in Portland.
Lewis considers herself "a fighter" who takes active part in the protests-turned-riots. "Hey y'all, in interest of making protests more accessible can we please stop using strobe lights? As a fighter with epilepsy it makes it dangerous for me to take part. Photosensitivity affects many," Lewis tweeted in June 2020 during Portland's consecutive summer riots, adding "#ableism" and "#accessibility" hashtags.
Last year, Lewis instructed Antifa rioters during a declared unlawful assembly overnight on June 19, 2020, to head to the targeted Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland, cheering "more bodies = more revolution!"
Hundreds of BLM-Antifa rioters had descended on the government building while far-left rioters hurled baseball-sized rocks and commercial grade fireworks at Portland law enforcement. An officer was struck in the head by a mortar.
Lewis rallied "comrades" to riot against the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday shopping in a Nov. 25, 2020, direct action event against "symbols of colonialism, capitalism, and gentrification." Lewis posted a call-to-action flyer circulated by indigenous activists "tired of seeing white people celebrate our ancestors."
"Fuck thxgiving & black friday! Decolonize by dismantling capitalism & white supremacy. No peace til our genocide ends!" Lewis tweeted ahead of multiple attacks on Portland businesses, promoting the "national decolonial day of action" that intended to decolonize major US cities with "autonomous" direct action.
In addition to the Thanksgiving Eve vandalism, Antifa rioters toppled a statue and defaced a monument dedicated to war veterans in the Lone Fir Cemetery. The vandals wrote "F— USA" and drew anarchist symbols on the defaced structure.
"ACAB all over the world," Lewis tweeted the derogatory anti-police acronym, which stands for "All Cops Are Bastards," in July, when Toronto police evicted occupants of a homeless encampment at Lamport Stadium park.
Lewis also lambasted a Washington Post opinion piece published in mid-July about how political opponents on the left should talk to Trump supporters.
"This is why we run fascists out of Portland," she tweeted, uploading montage footage of black-clad Antifa activists clashing with conservative protesters.
Lewis also tweeted an image of a militant about to launch a Molotov cocktail in-hand. "Sometimes good isn't nice," Lewis captioned the photo in August.
The edited picture depicts a Palestinian youth throwing the firebomb towards Israeli soldiers close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to i24NEWS.
In response to a KATU News report on dismantled statues, boarded-up buildings, and downtown graffiti, Lewis downplayed rampant property destruction committed by BLM-Antifa rioters as vengeance over George Floyd's death. "People > property. Y'all weren't uncomfortable with black people dying, so we're trying to make you uncomfortable enough to notice now," Lewis tweeted in July 2020.
Lewis teamed up with prominent Antifa leader Luis Marquez, who is named in Ngo's lawsuit against Rose City Antifa filed in June 2020.
"Look out fascists, two of your most hated antifascists are joining forces," Lewis tweeted, posing in a photo with Marquez. "Tremble. No fash in Portland for 8/22."
Marquez has issued disturbing and violent death threats against Ngo. "I am going to chop the dude's skull up and use it as a teacup," Marquez, who has an extensive criminal history in Portland, threatened Ngo on an Antifa podcast last year. "I am going to feed people the body of Andy," he continued the cannibalism fantasy.
Lewis beseeched whoever recorded the Antifa shooting of right-wing activist Tusitala "Tiny" Toese in Olympia, Washington, during a medical freedom protest on Sept. 4 not release it. Lewis referenced admitted Antifa member Michael Reinoehl who murdered Trump supporter Aaron "Jay" Danielson in Portland.
"I hope whoever has footage of yesterday never releases it," Lewis tweeted, acknowledging that Antifa was "commemorating" Reinoehl on the day of the Washington state Capitol shooting. "This person is already fighting a Reinhoel situation, let's not add doxxing and retaliation to their list of worries."
Lewis's co-plaintiff in the Ngo lawsuit, Morgan, lives a similar Antifa-aligned lifestyle in Portland's riot-torn streets as well as on social media.
Morgan has admitted in a since-deleted tweet that she engaged in a crime by escaping police custody. "Portland police tackled me and took my phone. logged in from Conrad's account now. How do I get it back? Someone deartested [sic] me, and I owe them my whole heart," Morgan tweeted"> in August 2020.
Morgan also deleted an October 2020 tweet admitting to distributing riot gear.
"10 ballistic vests going out to BIPOC [black, indigenous, people of color] press in the next few days from the #PDXVestFund. 70 have been distributed to frontliners & medics, 120 more are still in transit," Morgan tweeted."> "I'm not an organizer for this - just helping distribute this batch (which is spoken for)."
Antifa rioters often masquerade as members of the press during organized "direct action" to evade arrest and detection from law enforcement.
A PPB spokesperson told The Post Millennial that he is unaware if the incident is under investigation and will be sending information to investigators.
"A social media post alone is not enough to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law," the PPB spokesman stated via email Saturday.
He noted that "additional corroboration is required, which takes time and resources." The spokesperson cited "a critical staffing shortage" within the police force as PPB investigators are focusing on serious felonies.
"I'm not saying that we won't investigate an escape charge from 16 months ago, I'm just saying we have to be judicious with how we prioritize our time," he added.
On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, Morgan called on BLM-Antifa rioters to "bloc up" for an "all out" riot near Chapman Square, where radicals tore down fencing around the park and used segments to block streets.
"So all the people who said they wanted to be out on the streets fighting with us this time last year, but couldn't because of the virus - now that you're vaccinated - we'll see you out tonight right?" Morgan tweeted on May 25, marking one year since Floyd died while in the Minneapolis Police Department's custody.
Rioters threw projectiles including frozen water bottles, glass bottles, eggs, and metal spikes at officers and fired mortar-style fireworks at law enforcement.
Morgan posted a graphic for an "autonomous demonstration" over the police killing of Breonna Taylor that sought to get "feds out of PDX" and "abolish PPB!"
"Call to action tonight in downtown Portland!" she tweeted on March 13, one year following Taylor's police-shooting death in Louisville, Kentucky.
Days earlier, Morgan broadcasted another "No Justice! No Peace!" call-to-action on March 11 at Lownsdale Square, the park across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse that Antifa uses as an operations base to launch attacks.
Last year, Morgan spent Election Day "getting comfortable" and learning how to shoot guns with "Antifa super soldiers" at Beaver Dam Rock Pit, a popular public shooting spot in Tillamook State Forest. She added on Twitter: "Literally I have had no interest in doing this my entire life until about a month ago."
Overnight on Nov. 4, 2020, near the federal courthouse, Morgan tweeted three "100" emojis in adamant support of a sign comparing Republicans to far-right Proud Boys, the Three Percenters militia group, the Ku Klux Klan, and Nazis.
Morgan's signaling took place at the post-Election Day riot where leftist extremists vandalized dozens of businesses in downtown Portland. Gov. Kate Brown activated the Oregon National Guard to help quell the violence. Officers recovered multiple firearms, ammunition, a knife, commercial and consumer grade fireworks, body armor, and gas masks from arrested BLM-Antifa rioters, among other riot gear.
Last year, Morgan tried to dox the driver of a car leaving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Portland. "Fasc car leaving the facility - can anyone look up the plates?" Morgan asked overnight on Oct. 13, 2020. A flood of Morgan's followers on Twitter identified the make and model, screenshot the vehicle's license plate, and searched the number on various lookup sites.
Morgan also admitted to gathering license plates so she can hand the digits over to the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front (PNW YLF), a leading Antifa group that organizes, incites, and carries out violence in the Portland area.
"Confirmed fasc cars pictured here..." Morgan tweeted"> last August. "We have lots of lisence plates if that would be helpful to some people for some reasons."
Right-wing counter protesters carrying a pro-police Thin Blue Line flag had gathered at Mall 205 in Portland ahead of the nighttime Justice Center riot on Aug. 12, 2020, when an Antifa group including self-proclaimed "press" members set a fire outside the Central Precinct doors and vandalized a parked police car.
One of the lawyers representing Morgan and Lewis in the lawsuit, attorney and self-described "activist" Alan Lloyd Kessler, has spread disinformation about Ngo.
In August 2020, Kessler quote tweeted a fake tweet attributed to Ngo by far-left extremist Chad Loder, an antisemitic Antifa member who has glorified violence and launched a obsessive campaign to shut down The Post Millennial.
"Twitter needs to #UnverifyAndyNgo. Andy Ngo steals people's videos and he peddles misinformation," Loder tweeted, posting a fabricated Ngo tweet. "Andy Ngo also pooed his pants while watching Cars 2 in a movie theater by himself."
Kessler joined in, adding to the crude banter. "He had a cinema-style container of beans. That's what looked and smelled like poop running out of his pantlegs."
"Andy has a damaged brain and psychosomatic cement poisoning. What's your excuse?" Kessler wrote in response to Loder's initial post mocking Ngo.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, the copyright lawyer called Ngo "a parasite who is living off the hard work of independent journalists" and "able to weaponize the law." However, in addition to the Ngo lawsuit, Kessler has used the courts on repeated occasions to achieve political objectives and shut down enemies.
Kessler endorsed Antifa candidate Sarah Iannarone for Portland mayor in the 2020 election against incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler who won the tight race.
After the botched bid, Kessler founded Total Recall PDX, a political action committee formed to remove Wheeler from office, claiming he violated campaign finance law. The efforts to oust Wheeler were swatted down, after failing to collect enough Portland voter signatures to force a recall election by the deadline.
Kessler took the issue to federal court, suing for more time, Portland Tribune reported. He argued that the state-imposed 90-day limit was unconstitutional.
The committee also intended to boot Commissioner Dan Ryan, who won a special election in August 2020. Kessler took offense that Ryan joined Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz in voting last November against Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's proposal for a midyear, $18 million cut to the city's police budget.
"I voted for Dan Ryan because he led me to believe he was a staunch advocate for police reform," Kessler stated in a press release. "After his refusal to vote for Commissioner Hardesty's budget reduction amendment, I feel betrayed. I want my vote back. I want an apology," Kessler declared in the press statement.
Kessler, the now-defunct PAC's director, also represented Iannarone in a lawsuit filed against the Friends of Ted Wheeler Political Candidate Committee seeking enforcement of the city's campaign contribution limits. A Multnomah County Circuit judge denied Kessler's motion for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked Wheeler from spending most of the campaign funds he has raised.
Wheeler had loaned himself $150,000 for the successful re-election run, 30 times the permitted limit per the city charter, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Iannarone and Kessler also took legal action against City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, who announced she would not enforce limits on self-funding, alleging that she violated the city charter by not finding Wheeler in violation of city rules.
Kessler, who uses "he/they" pronouns and identifies as "polyamorous pansexual," tweeted in April that he has "been struggling to think about how to talk about polyamory with both [of his] kids [then-ages four and seven]." He has also expressed outrage on Twitter over the "gender policing" of his young children.
"Any advice on how to get elderly family members from gender policing my kids?" Kessler asked in June. "My five year old does not need to be told six times (or once) that the person using a weedwhacker across the street is doing 'man's work.'"
Kessler also has offered Twitter advice on "resources related to why and how gender identity should be talked about in elementary schools."
"Why is easy: our language is broken; it forces a binary concept of gender pretty hard. Kids who don't fit neatly into one of the buckets are likely to suffer trauma if their peers (and parents) aren't educated," Kessler answered Sierra Club Seattle board chair Brittney Bush Bollay, elected King Conservation District supervisor.
He further wrote on Twitter that "the first time i found out a Kindergarten classmate tried to gender-police my kid left a pretty big scar."
Kessler also posted a picture of his son's painted toenails coated in pink polish. "Apparently he wanted to match his daddy," Kessler tweeted in August.
He tweeted that his four-year-old son at the time came home from the store with a pink tutu and strawberry-print mud boots. "He LOVES them!" Kessler exclaimed.
Meanwhlie, he has wished former President Doanld Trump see his own children die. "...I hope Trump watches his awful children struggle and then succumb before his own miserable lonely fitting end," Kessler tweeted in October 2020.
The Center for American Liberty has launched a legal defense fundraiser for Ngo.
"This lawsuit is Antifa agitprop masquerading as a copyright claim, disconnected from reality both in fact and in law," commented high-profile attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon, founder of the Center for American Liberty.
Dhillon stated that the plaintiffs shared their videos publicly on Twitter, "a platform designed for exactly that purpose," and that Ngo commented on the publicly-posted content using Twitter platform tools, "not somehow surreptitiously downloading and uploading the clips as the plaintiffs falsely claim."
"If U.S. copyright law depended upon whether the creator liked, or wanted critics to review their work, we might as well tear up the First Amendment because no journalist such as Mr. Ngo, would ever be able to critique anything the author didn’t want them to," Dhillon fired back at the plaintiffs.
Dhillon noted that if the plaintiffs "wanted to limit the reach of their work to a narrow echo chamber of fellow travelers, they could have acted accordingly, but they did not." She called the outlandish claims "destined to fail."
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