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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.