A registered Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter protesting a right-wing rally in Oregon earlier this month says he was viciously beaten by militant members of his own movement because he possessed a “fascist symbol” — an American flag.
Paul Welch told The Oregonian/Oregon Live he took the flag with him when he went to Portland Aug. 4 to oppose a right-wing rally being held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Though the American flag is more commonly associated with the conservative movement, Welch, an Oregon man who voted for Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, said he wanted to “take it back.”
“The right, and certainly a lot of smaller groups like Patriot Prayer, might rush to things like the flag and try to take it up as, ‘This is our symbol exclusively,’” Welch told The Oregonian/Oregon Live. “Part of my thinking was to take it back.”
Aside from some odd looks, Welch said he didn’t encounter any problems when he joined the hundreds of counter-protesters who gathered at City Hall that day. The trouble started when the group began marching toward the park.
He said two people dressed in black and covering their faces approached him and demanded he give them the “fascist symbol” he was carrying. When he refused, the Antifa duo tried to rip the flag from his hands.
Another masked counter-protester then approached Welch and began striking him from behind with an unidentified weapon concealed in black fabric.
Welch, 38, was struck on the back of the head and collapsed to the ground.
“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” Welch recalled. “I remember thinking there was a very good chance that I could be beaten to death.”
Video shows a struggle for a flag and then a black-clad person hit this dude in the head before he drops. I was watching the blood pour out of his head and into the street. #DefendPDX #AllOutPDX pic.twitter.com/KPRk1D8l00
— PDX Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) August 4, 2018
Video of the incident, which has been viewed thousands of times, shows the person with the weapon walking away. But another counter-protester, holding a shield, moves in, stands above Welch and then jabs him with a makeshift weapon.
A group of volunteer street medics rushed to Welch’s aid and took him to an urgent care clinic in the city. Doctors needed four staples to close a 3-inch gash on the back of Welch’s head and he spent at least two days recovering from a concussion.
Welch filed a police report and Sgt. Chris Burley, a Portland police spokesman, confirmed to The Oregonian/Oregon Live that authorities are investigating the incident.
Welch said he felt conflicted and disappointed because he had gone to the rally to show “a liberal, free Portland – or any major city, really – is much more American and much more numerous and strong than any of these interloping groups.”
“It strikes me as the worst sort of political theater,” Welch said of what happened to him. “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponent’s hand when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”
Effie Baum, a spokesperson with Popular Mobilization, a group that helped organize the counter-protest at City Hall, declined to comment.
At least three people were hospitalized after clashes between right-wing demonstrators and Antifa protesters. Anger after the fact was largely directed at Portland police, who used “less-lethal” riot-control weapons.
An earlier Antifa protest against imaginary police brutality turned violent deranged Antifa Communists attempted to storm Portland City Hall, brutally attacked one security guard and got into a protracted melee with several others.
It was the biggest disruption to a Portland City Council meeting in more than a year, but the Council did not address the substance of protesters’ ire: violent crowd control techniques used by police during an Antifa Communist riot downtown Saturday.
Some of those who say they were injured by officers dressed in military gear and wielding batons or non-lethal munitions were on scene Wednesday, trying to speak with city officials, Oregon Live reports. They of course neglected to mention the harm they have inflicted multiple times on others during their seditions Communist riots.
One Communist traitor who was masked and wearing a baseball helmet, smashed a security guard over the head repeatedly with a megaphone. The guard was seen afterward clutching a bag of ice, a bruise beginning to form on his cheek.
City Hall security chief Dorothy Elmore said she was also struck by a Communist traitor, in the arm.
An unidentified man, bandana-clad and lying on the floor outside the mayor’s office, was detained and carried out of City Hall by his arms and legs. Cops also arrested Diane Keeauver, 67, said Sgt. Chris Burley, a Portland police spokesman.
Each face second-degree trespassing charges, Burley said.
The demonstration started on a less ridiculous note. A few dozen Communist traitors converged near City Hall’s east portico beginning around 9:30 a.m. to rail against having their asses handed to them by police after riot cops injured multiple snowflakes at Saturday’s downtown protests.
Among them were those who wailed and gnashed their teeth, whining they were physically harmed by officers as police attempted to clear the rally against the right-wing group Patriot Prayer.
“I should be home recovering from the pain and trauma I’m suffering. But I’m also suffering from complete outrage and powerlessness,” whined Communist snowflake Michelle Fawcett, who lives in Portland. She of course neglected to mention that if she wasn’t a violent Communist insurgent that is hell-bent on destroying America, she would have never been rioting to begin with.
Fawcett, 52, earned herself third-degree chemical burns after she was struck by a flash-bang grenade fired by police at rioting Communist traitors. The non-lethal munition is meant to deliver a jarring blast of noise and light that can disperse crowds of people.
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw on Monday said the bureau had temporarily suspended the use of the flash-bang projectiles, which she and other department officials refer to as aerial distraction devices, until it can be determined if they are working properly.
Though the meeting went on in ho-hum fashion, with discussions of property liens, eminent domain and parks bonds, the atmosphere outside was anything but.
As tensions rose, security blocked dozens of Communist traitors as they tried enter City Hall near the Happy Cup Coffee kiosk. Some carried placards showing images of the bloody wounds and gashes caused by crowd-control munitions fired by Portland police over the weekend.
“Come down Wheeler!” the crowd of snowflakes chanted between verbal barbs and invective hurled at security as well several police officers who appeared in the atrium.
“It’s our f—— building,” one Communist traitor screamed.
But police threatened the Communist traitors with arrest if they did not leave the building immediately. Another Communist traitor grabbed a glass sugar urn from the coffee stand and smashed it on the floor.
A wall of security personnel then began to move against the Communist traitors, slowly forcing them out the front doors.
Several security guards tangled with snowflakes, including the guard who was bashed on the head, while the shameless crowd of traitors shouted “Shame on you!”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 21st, 2018