A local Portland news team was surrounded and assaulted by Antifa militants when they attempted to film inside the newly-established "autonomous zone." The female reporter’s hand was left bloodied and her smashed phone was stomped on.
Left-wing extremists established the CHAZ-esque "autonomous zone" Tuesday in north Portland to protect squatters—served multiple eviction notices—who were illegally occupying property known as the "Red House."
Law enforcement clearing the site encountered resistance. The Portland Police Bureau was forced to retreat both on-foot and by vehicle. One person armed with a firearm was taken into custody. Several other guns were recovered. Soon after, Antifa accounts on social media called on their allies to retake the space.
KATU journalists Ric Peavyhouse and Genevieve Reaume recorded their personal confrontation with black bloc insurgents who used umbrellas to block any documentation. "We wanted to talk to those involved in the demonstration," Peavyhouse later tweeted.
The street occupation had continued to grow in the hours since the morning clash as more reinforcements joined to protect the makeshift territory.
"There's a film crew coming through," an individual shouted on-camera. "They're not our friends. Hide your faces. Don't trust them."
Then a mob quickly swarmed to where the duo were trekking into the barricaded area on North Mississippi Ave.
Reaume reported that when she witnessed her colleague in danger, she moved to tape the scuffle. Within seconds, her phone was knocked from her hand.
"You guys, this is our job," Reaume calmly stated. "This is our life," an activist fired back. Then someone said, "It's not hurting people."
Moments later, Reaume's cell phone was smacked to the ground. A handful of masked militants visible circled the device and descended like vulture. One stomp occurred before the video cut off.
"Yeah! That's some cold sh*t," a male commented in Peavyhouse's footage. "Get out of here!" Then a voice threatened: "Touch me one more time. Let's see what happens to your f—ing camera."
"Bye b*tch!" another repeated. "Walk away. We just want you to leave."
Activists tried to "walk [them] out." Reaume told one vocal man that they don't need the chastising escort. "You guys are causing a scene," the same man answered, accusing the pair of heightening tension. "You shouldn't have been here in the first place."
"F— your hand," his fellow comrade seethed. "Call the cops," the man added. "Go file a police report and see how useful they are."
Reaume expressed her thoughts on Twitter: "Journalism means telling the whole story. You can’t accurately tell a story you know nothing about. That’s why we spend so much time interviewing people impacted (just as we did today before this incident). We had every right to be there/record."
"I went into broadcast journalism because I value the importance of video. We can bring scenes into your living room - for you to watch - and we give you the facts. This was our effort to show you what was behind the barricades," she fired, also indicating that the two stayed on public property.
She continued: "What hurts most is how little faith ppl have in journalism. I can honestly tell you I’m a fair, passionate journalist."
Reaume recounted how she told her fiancé what happened while in tears. "I made sure before I hung up the phone to remind him of my passion for journalism. I believe in what I do."
Reaume also updated her followers on her condition. She photographed her bloody hand. "Hand isn’t broken, thankfully! Wound was glued up at urgent care."
The Post Millennial's editor-at-large Andy Ngo tweeted: "This is what antifa do." He referenced how Rose City Antifa members repeatedly punched him in the head last year. Ngo suffered a brain bleed from the June 2019 incident.
"There has been no solidarity or organized effort by journalists to protect one another covering this movement," Ngo charged. "Instead, antifa have been the ones protected by mainstream press."
Portland Mercury news editor Alex Zielinski wrote: "I'm so sorry, Rick & Genevieve — that's unacceptable."
To which, Ngo called out Zielinski for the July 29 altercation when she blasted his whereabouts live amid Portland rioting. While Ngo was reporting undercover, Zielinski revealed his location. Shortly after, Ngo was attacked by blinding lasers.
"Alex, you sicced violent antifa on me in downtown when you alerted them of where I could be found in a real time Twitter post in the summer," Ngo volleyed.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared that he is authorizing the police force to "use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation" and to "hold those violating our community’s laws accountable." Wheeler asserted: "There will be no autonomous zone in Portland."
After the day's events on Tuesday night, the Red House's Twitter account issued its own statement on the encampment sweep.
Red House protest organizers also announced that members of the media are invited to an afternoon press conference on Wednesday to be held in-person and virtually via Zoom.
"You invite media to a press conference while allowing your security force to assault journalists on public property?" Ngo questioned.
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