Left Coast Right Watch

PORTLAND FASCISTS TERRORIZE DOWNTOWN UNDER GUISE OF ‘PROTECTING’ COVID-SPREADING PREACHER

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by CHIP NOOO

EDITOR'S NOTE : Chip_nooo (he/him) is a full time video editor and freelance photographer residing in the Pacific North West. When not working or on the ground documenting political activism, he can usually be found napping or designing, shooting and 3D printing firearms. You can tip him for his work at $chipsneed on cashapp and @chip-sneed on Venmo.

The weather was pristine on Sunday as I walked down Jefferson Street towards Tom McCall Water Front Park in downtown Portland. The sun was out and it couldn’t have been more than 75 degrees. Even though it was only 6 o’clock, I could already hear the familiar sound of gospel music drifting through the city. Along the way, I passed several families toting lawn chairs and sporting Jesus paraphernalia ranging from t-shirts to flags, hats and poster board signs. As someone that grew up in the church, none of this was new to me, although the flags were a slight surprise. Throughout the night I continued to see worshippers waving multicolored flags while dancing to the music played by Sean Feucht and his band.

“This must be some new wave Christian shit,” I thought to myself.

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Official security watches as church goers worship.

As I arrived at the waterfront, I was immediately struck by the surreality of the scene. Sprawled in front of the stage was anywhere from 750-1000 people all singing, dancing and worshipping to the generic Christian rock music blasting from the speakers. From my observation, most of the attendees were under 30. Young kids bobbed and weaved between the adults’ legs, playing with one another on the grass, seemingly oblivious to the 30 men kitted out with plate carriers and giant clubs that surrounded the perimeter.

They all dressed in the same uniform: black shirts, brown khakis, tactical helmets (similar to those worn by riot cops), and mostly empty plate carriers adorned with patches and empty mag carriers. It was a LARP if ever I’d seen one. Sean Feucht had put out a tweet a couple of hours prior, posing with and thanking his “official” private security team. He claimed that many were ex-military and ex/off duty LEOs, which is quite funny considering the improperly worn tactical gear and empty mag pouches.

Surprisingly enough, this so-called “official” security team didn’t do much of anything but stand around for photo-ops all night. It was the un-official security, or as Sean Feucht put it, the “volunteer security,” that did most of the violence that night. The group comprised a mix of nationalists, neo-nazis, white supremacists, groypers, Prouds Boys, Patriot Prayer members and just all around fascists. It was a real who’s-who of the PNW Fascist movement.

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Tiny Toese screaming about ‘1776’ to a group of counter protestors.

Leading the fascists for most of the night was Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a member of the Proud Boys. Toese is infamous for his brutality towards protestors. He has been documented on numerous occasions viciously attacking counter protestors, but has only once faced charges for one assault. Toese was and remains on parole while participating in attacks during Sunday’s events.

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Hayley Adams in Black Bloc

Joey Gibson, founder of the far right hate group Patriot Prayer and Haley Adams, white nationalist Groyper personality and far right event promoter, both showed up wearing full black bloc in attempt to blend in with the 20-30 antifascist that had gathered near Jefferson street. They were quickly recognized and scurried back over to their fascist buddies.

Groypers? No shit?? which ones was the groyper? I got a guy who tracks groypers lol I wanna know

{{tweet 1424617438713245697 >}}

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David Willis LARPing as hard as he can, in his usual stance. I have dubbed it, the “Willis Waddle”

Also among them were David Willis, Eric Oelkers and Audra Price, three very open and well known neo-nazis. David Willis, a Patriot Prayer member, has claimed on numerous occasions to have previously been affiliated with Portland’s infamous East Side White Pride; the same group that was responsible for the murder of Mulugeta Seraw back in 1988. However despite his claims, this has not been verified and many suggest it a lie intended to bolster his status in the fascist community. Regardless, while he has claimed to have changed his ways, he can regularly be found posting anti-semitic memes on Twitter and simping for the Proud Boys. Audra Price, who goes by FashQueen503 on Twitter, is an openly fascist, openly racist far right event organizer. She recently helped to organize the Oregon City flag waving rallies, and is currently planning the “United We Stand” event, scheduled for August 22nd, 2021 in downtown Portland. Price was also one of the central organizers of a similar event on August 22nd of 2020, which has since been dubbed “The Battle of Portland” due to the overwhelming amount of political violence that took place there. Price’s boyfriend Eric Oelkers is an open neo-nazi and a member of Patriot Prayer. Oelkers has a long history of far-right political activism. Including these three, the violent fascists numbered 30-40.

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Counter protestors hang a “FCKPRDBYS” banner from the Hawthorne Bridge.

During the concert, I spent a majority of the time posted up on the Hawthorne Bridge. It provided the best vantage point of the proceedings below, and allowed me to keep an eye on the group of fascists that had gathered underneath the bridge. Several other press members and antifascists had gathered there as well, and someone hung a banner from the bridge that read “FCK PRD BYZ.” Also on the bridge were several church goers, waving their multicolored flags and singing along to the Jesus music being played below. The two groups coexisted without any issues, and even had several productive conversations.

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Several fascists mill about in the bottom right of frame. Behind them, nearly 1000 people worshipping

A few of the unofficial security team had been eyeing the banner from beneath the bridge for the last 20 minutes or so. They looked displeased and repeatedly gestured for us to come down to their level. We laughed and continued snapping photos and politely engaging with the worshippers up on the bridge. Eventually I noticed Jamal Filbert, also known as Kareem Patton, a violent fascist who regularly joins with Proud Boys and others in street brawls, was heading our way. He had an AR-style paintball gun in his hands, and was openly carrying a Glock-19 on his hip. He approached a member of our group and said, “Don’t touch the women, dude”, and then proceeded to call one of the femmes in our group “a bitch” in the same breath. While nobody had touched anyone, the irony of Jamal’s misogyny made me laugh out loud. It wasn’t long before he was soon flanked by two other Proud Boy types, one of whom, Jeff Grace, was also openly carrying a handgun on his hip. After another 2-3 minutes of confrontation, the trio retreated back down to park below.

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Jeff Grace confronting a counter protestor.

About 15 minutes later the three fascists returned with reinforcements.Led by Tiny Toese, the group of about 15 surrounded the antifascists and began shouting orders and telling us to leave. Eventually they were able to push their way to the edge of the bridge and cut down the “FCKPRDBYS” banner. One of the men shouted at a female journalist “You’re fair game bitch!”.

After several more minutes of yelling back and forth, an elderly woman stepped in. While she had shown up for the worship service, she explained to Tiny and his goons that the antifascists had not been bothering anyone and that they were only exacerbating the situation. After mocking and gaslighting the woman for a minute, Tiny agreed to pull his men back. After fifteen minutes of trying to wrangle his angry men, they eventually fell back to the throngs of evangelicals dancing and singing below.

Jeff Grace, who previously made headlines for his role in the capitol riots, is back at it again. His participation in a gang beat down on 8/7, just a day prior, was captured on far-right livestreamer Jake Baird’s ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ channel. Not only that, he was seen on both August 7th and August 8th openly carrying a handgun, which is illegal in the city of Portland. Due to this, Federal prosecutors are looking to adjust his conditions of release by prohibiting his possession of weapons, as well as possibly bring new charges for lying to the FBI about his relationship to the proud boys.

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Jeff Grace posing with his son Jeremy inside the rotunda during the Capitol riots. Jeff Grace is flashing a white power hand gesture. Both are currently facing federal charges.

After spending approximately another 30 minutes on the bridge, I heard that things had started to get a little heated near the Jefferson street entrance to the event. Apparently Tiny and his band of fascists had found someone else to harass. Upon arriving I was once again confronted with a very peculiar scene. A loose line of fascists still led by Toese had formed between the mass of worshippers and the black bloc. Behind their line, hundreds of worshippers sang and danced along to Feucht’s music. As the sun set, the two sides continued to heckle each other while the official security stood back in tight formation. It appeared that neither side was willing to deal the first blow.

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Volunteer security and antifascists face off at the Jefferson Street entrance to the event.

After around 45 minutes, several of the anti-fascists signaled that it was time to leave. The event was coming to an end and groups of worshippers had already begun departing, lawn chairs and small children in tow.As the group of maybe 30-40 antifascists made their way up Jefferson street into the downtown area, the volunteer security began to follow them. As the two groups approached 1st and Jefferson, they converged. Just as I looked down to send a tweet, a large rock landed on my foot, bruising it badly. A few seconds later I heard the first firework go off, followed by two others and a smoke grenade. I quickly tasted the familiar tang of bear mace and turned my head to see Tiny Toese unleash a torrent of the orange spray, covering an antifascist that was riding their bike. Immediately after, another proud boy doused a small femme in a thick cloud of the mace from behind his homemade shield. She immediately began screaming in pain and two street medics ran to pick her up and offer aid. Immediately after, 15 of the assorted fascists charged forward, armed with wooden clubs, baseball bats and paintball guns. Without hesitation, the antifascists returned fire with rocks, water bottles, fireworks and their own clouds of bear mace. This stifled the advance of the fascists and provided time for the the counter protestors to regroup on Jefferson and 3rd. It was around this time that a white pickup truck sped up the city street at high speed, narrowly missing several of the bloc. All of this took place over the course of less than 5 minutes. It was chaos, absolute pandemonium in the middle of a city street, and for the entire debacle, there was not a single cop in sight.

A little while later, Twitter began blowing up with reports that Tiny Toese and his buddies were roaming downtown Portland in a red pickup truck, launching mortars and roman candles at antifascists and homeless encampments. This report was quickly confirmed as I saw the pickup in question round the corner, launching fireworks at a few of the antifascists milling about on the perimeter of the group. The red pickup continued to make rounds through the city, attacking pedestrians and the houseless at random. They specifically honed in on the Chapman Homeless camp, launching mortars directly into the camp. I later confirmed that members of the antifascist community provided hotel rooms for the houseless that night to ensure their safety.

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A few of fascists just before attacking the counter protestors.

About 30 minutes later, I decided it was time to dip. On the car ride home, Twitter began blowing up again. This time with reports of a man armed with an AR15 wandering the streets of Portland, pointing the rifle at random pedestrians and members of the press. For nearly 20 minutes, Mark Lee roamed through downtown Portland brandishing what appeared to be an AR15, without any police intervention whatsoever. Eventually he made his way through the crowded bar district to the Portland Justice Center, where two squad cars were waiting for him with open arms. He surrendered himself and his weapon without difficulty. It was later confirmed that the rifle in question was an airsoft gun with the orange tip removed, making almost indistinguishable from a real AR15. While fortunately no one was hurt, and in reality the potential for physical harm was minimal, the psychological damage inflicted upon the journalists, pedestrians, and bar-goers is incalculable. I think this tweet sums it up the best:

Sean Feucht and his cult-like ministry “Let Us Worship” have consistently pushed anti-vax conspiracy theories, COVID denialism and endangered thousands of lives while ignoring state mandates to play packed shows during the height of the pandemic. However at the end of the day there’s nothing wrong, or at least not much worth protesting about, when it comes to a concert in the park. After talking with several antifascists on the ground that night, it was clear their problem was not with the church members and worshippers, but with far-right extremists that had gathered to “protect them.” It is incredibly interesting how a group of heavily armed fascists and neo-nazis were able and allowed to co-opt what would have normally just been a Christian rock concert in the park. Anti-fascists only show up when there are fascists, and at the cost of the concert attendees, Sean Feucht invited an entire swarm of them.

August has been and will continue to be a month of nonstop fascist rallies. The day prior on August 7th, a separate “Christian” ministry headed by Ken Peters of Covenant Church in East Washington, also employed the use of armed Proud Boys and far-right militants as security for their event. This rally ultimately culminated in violence between anti-fascists and the far-right security.

On August 10th, the same ministry held a protest outside of a Planned Parenthood in Salem Oregon. Again, dozens of violent far-right security showed up carrying assault rifles, bear mace and paintball guns. They hurled misogynistic and racist insults at community members and antifascists that congregated to resist their hate. Barry Lloyd James Johnson, one of the far-right militants, threatened to rape journalist Alissa Azar and then proceeded to cat-call her repeatedly. This event also concluded in clouds of bear mace and paintball wars in the middle of the street.

With several more fascists rallies scheduled in the weeks ahead, particularly the one in the 22nd, the violence is likely far from over.

A big thanks to Rose City Antifa, Eugene Antifa, Wilamette Valley Hate Watch, and others for their hard work identifying these fascists.

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