Portland, Oregon is a great city, except for one very major issue: it's one of the most woke Democrat cities in America. And like so many cities on the left, they have a problem with crime.
Some of the crime in Portland is just your garden-variety crime. Some of it, however, is political. I'm referring in particular to Antifa, the so-called “anti-fascist” group that itself is actually quite fascist with its tactics.
What I mean by that is in cities like Portland and Seattle, and even in places like New York City, there is a political will carried out by Antifa that is, I hate to say it, reminiscent of Hitler's Brownshirts. I'm not saying that Antifa will lead to death camps like Nazism did, but they are the street muscle imposing the will of the Democrat Party.
In turn, the Democrats go easy on them; they don't prosecute them. The way they treat Antifa is much different than they would treat a Proud Boy or a Jan. 6 protester, for example.
I'm in Portland because there is an amazing trial happening. Andy Ngo, an independent journalist who followed Antifa and would write critically of their violence, was repeatedly attacked brutally. He suffered brain damage, was smashed into the pavement, was stalked, had things thrown at him. He was in genuine fear for his life.
He's fighting back by suing, not just by suing Antifa as an entity but various members of Antifa that he managed to identify. This group had an enormous legal contingent arguing in their defence, with seven lawyers in the courtroom representing the defendants with another five watching online.
The thuggery related to Antifa came up several times even in the courtroom. There were security incidents where the courtroom was cleared out, and at the very end of the day, the judge said for security reasons no phones would be allowed in tomorrow as she reassured jury members they had nothing to fear.
Even the fact she had to say that, I found fearful. It started to remind me a little bit of trials against the mafia. In those cases, however, it is a criminal prosecution using the resources of the state.
Here, Andy Ngo and his law firm, led by Harmeet Dhillon, are pursuing a civil lawsuit. That's what's so incredible — Antifa in Portland have the run of the streets. The politicians accept it and so do the media. Every force of the establishment winks at Antifa, because Antifa enforces what the Democrats want to do.
One of the things Antifa does is cover themselves in all black, including their eyes and faces. They try to make themselves indistinguishable from each other so they can't be identified. It also gives them courage, because it makes them feel like they're part of a mob.
And that's what we learned today in detail. Andy Ngo described how he was stalked, kicked, punched and beaten. Every time after he testified, shortly after the court would play CCTV footage backing him up.
The most shocking detail was when he ran into the lobby of a hotel after being chased by Antifa, begging them to call 9-1-1 for him and they wouldn't. In fact, they tried to kick him out onto the street. He testified how Antifa was trying to smash their way in, and one of Antifa's own had recorded the incident from the outside.
I think they might have gotten away with a lot more had they not had the hubris to record their crimes in action. They're a very tech and social media savvy group, and they love to organize and boast online about what they're doing. Andy Ngo collected a lot of those posts of them praising themselves for terrorizing him, and that has been brought into evidence.
This is my report from the first day of the trial, with it continuing tomorrow where it will likely become an extended trial because of the security reasons. It's another thing that reminds me of the mafia trials, too.
Let me close on this thought: while Andy Ngo is suing for the attack, he's also doing something innovating. He's suing under America's R.I.C.O. statutes, the law made to go after the mob. We have something similar in Canada, called participating in a criminal organization.
Using the R.I.C.O. statue to after Antifa is brilliant, and I think it fits. It will be very interesting to see how the prosecution proceeds. Unfortunately I can't stay for the duration of the trial, but we'll do our best to cover it at StopAntifa.com.