Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Featured, Northwest, The Grouch
Far-Right followers of Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson celebrated on social media after appearing to take credit for putting up stickers calling for the murder of ‘ANTIFA’ around the memorial of a slain 23 year-old anarchist, Sean Kealiher, who was killed in a hit in run accident several weeks ago. The stickers come a little over a week after another Patriot Prayer associate wrote in chalk, “He deserved it,” among other slogans, at the memorial site where Sean was killed.
These incidents are only the latest in an escalation of both calls for violence and real world attacks against members of the public and anti-racists and antifascists in the Portland area by the far-Right. This reality has also been coupled with an online disinformation campaign which has downplayed far-Right violence and hate crimes, while pushing to demonize social movements. This push has been headed by grifters like Andy Ngo, who has continuously embedded themselves within groups like Patriot Prayer, while also being given a huge platform by pro-Trump corporate media outlet Fox News, among others.
Alyssa Vinsonhaler holds up sticker that appeared around memorial for Sean Kealiher
On Saturday, October 26th, antifascists on social media documented that stickers were found around the area of Sean’s public memorial, which was organized by Sean’s family. Several far-Right trolls also showed up in person to the memorial in order to harass people. In one sticker that read, “HEADSHOT ANTIFA SCUM,” a man wearing a ski mask can be seen blowing the brains out of an antifascist with a gun while also wearing a shirt which boasts a white nationalist iron cross symbol. The bottom of the sticker includes the slogan, “goodnightleftside,” which is often used by neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups.
Other stickers featured a caricature of local antifascist Luis Enrique-Marquez, who is currently suing Joey Gibson for defamation, after Gibson pushed baseless accusations that Marquez was a pedophile. Ironically, Gibson is known for working closely with several individuals that have histories of sexual assault and child molestation.
— Storm (@xBc26x) November 18, 2018
On Facebook, Haley Adams, who refers to Joey Gibson on Facebook as her “best friend,” and who has been at the center of organizing far-Right demonstrations along with groups like Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, posted up a photo of Alyssa Vinsonhaler, another Patriot Prayer supporter, holding a sticker featuring the cartoon image of a man giving the middle finger with the words, “FUCK YOU ANTIFA,” and “PUSSY’S!!!” This is one of the same stickers that was posted up around Downtown Portland the day before at Sean Kealiher’s memorial.
— Antifa Human Resources & Comrade Relations (@Antifa_HR) October 28, 2019
After this was documented by antifascists on social media, the official Patriot Prayer Facebook page posted a statement which read: “whoever did that DID NOT represent or coordinate with Joey Gibson.” This statement seems to be an attempt by Gibson to save face, as Adams and Vinsonhaler are known for working closely with Gibson, all three regularly appear at protests together, and Gibson and Adams recently returned from a long trip to DC, where both attended a pro-Trump rally.
For almost a year, supporters of Patriot Prayer have attempted to brand Vinsonhaler as a “former member of Rose City Antifa,” with Vinsonhaler helping to build this perception online. In a report RCA wrote:
While Vinsonhaler’s tacit claim to membership in Rose City Antifa is entirely false, a short-lived correspondence between Vinsonhaler and Rose City Antifa did occur when she contacted us with an interest in working with our organization in 2018. We promptly declined for two main reasons: her understanding of anti-fascism and left-wing politics in general was virtually nonexistent, and she had very recently applied to become a police officer in the city of Gresham. Her failure to advance beyond this preliminary stage of vetting was the extent of her “relationship” with RCA. Any further association that Vinsonhaler claims with RCA is a lie.
Since early 2019, Vinsonhaler has been a regular at far-Right events alongside Joey Gibson, including harassing and attempting to attack DSA members at Portland’s IWW hall last winter, while posting online in support of increasingly racist and white nationalist ideas and politics.
Alyssa Vinsonhaler and Haley Adams
Far-Right stickers advocating the murder of ‘ANTIFA’ come only two weeks after another Patriot Prayer associate, Katy Weisberg, posted photos of themselves on Facebook writing “He Deserved It,” “Trump 2020!,” “Good Night Black Bloc,” and “MAGA” on the sidewalk where Sean was murdered. On a post on Facebook, Weisberg posted, “I wrote that lol.”
Weisberg takes credit on Facebook for writing, “He deserved it,” at memorial
Weisberg is another regular at far-Right protests in Portland and was photographed carrying a brick during the attack by Patriot Prayer, white nationalists, and Proud Boys on Cider Riot on May 1st of this year. In the lead up to the August 17th Proud Boy rally in Portland, Weisberg also shared memes advocating the ISIS styled murder of antifascists via decapitation.
Weisberg armed with a brick on May 1st before joining in the attack on patrons outside of Cider Riot. Far-Right grifter Andy Ngo can also be seen in this photo.
Weisberg shares a meme depicting the ISIS styled beheading of an antifascist in the lead up to the August 17th Proud Boy rally.
Currently, various supporters of Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer are in the midst of various lawsuits and court cases, stemming from the violent attack against patrons at Cider Riot on May 1st and assaults carried out by individuals such as Tiny Toese. In August, Patriot Prayer associate Shane Kohfield also had his weapons confiscated under Oregon’s so-called “Red Flag Laws,” after making violent threats about “slaughtering” antifascists.
Patriot Prayer's Shane Michael Kohfield (https://t.co/GhOUoLiYfs), who has openly threatened to "slaughter" anti-fascist activists, discusses his plans to approach anti-fascists in the hope of finding an excuse for murder. We've seen talk like this before: https://t.co/G1tGHJI40N pic.twitter.com/yyicDL8LQg
— Always Antifascist (@RoseCityAntifa) August 6, 2019
According to Oregon Live:
His protest activity….has been limited to the event outside the mayor’s house and a right-wing rally last fall in downtown Portland, both organized by local conservative activist Haley Adams.
Shane Kohfield stood outside the home of Portland’s mayor in July wearing body armor and a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, a large knife strapped to one shoulder and a copy of his concealed weapons permit displayed on the other.
Using a loudspeaker, he warned the right-wing activists who turned out to condemn the city’s handling of recent violent demonstrations that they needed to protect themselves against their anti-fascist, or antifa, rivals.
“If antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I’m going to kill them next,” Kohfield, 32, said. “I’d slaughter them and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out antifa.”
Moreover, last year it was revealed that far-Right attendees at a Patriot Prayer rally in August of 2018 were found by police stationed on a rooftop with high powered weapons, directly above counter-protesters – but were let go by police. Logs released by Unicorn Riot also show that local neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups use Patriot Prayer events as both a grounds to recruit and also engage in violent attacks on antifascists.
Over two years, Tiny has assaulted people regularly during Patriot Prayer and Proud Boy rallies in Portland, and separately beaten two people on the street–a man in Portland, and a black youth in Vancouver–for talking back after he shouted pro-Trump slogans from his car. pic.twitter.com/59NJcdegyb
— Always Antifascist (@RoseCityAntifa) October 24, 2019
But threats of violence from the far-Right in the Portland area has also resulted in real world bloodshed. Patriot Prayer rally attendee Jeremy Christian in 2017 murdered two people on a Portland train and almost killed a third after harassing two women of color. Associates of Joey Gibson and members of the Proud Boys have also engaged in multiple assaults against Portland community members and sent numerous people to the hospital.
Joey Gibson rallies alongside Alyssa Vinsonhaler and Haley Adams
Far-Right public support for the murder of antifascists in the Pacific Northwest is nothing new. In August of 2019, the Oath Keepers backed out of a Proud Boys rally in Portland after It’s Going Down publicized organizers public calls for violence.
Those angry statements cannot be undone, and despite the organizers and planned attendees subsequently dialing back on the rhetoric, those prior statements are already being used against them by their political opponents and by the leftist dominated media. All of the angry videos,Twitter posts, and incriminating photos, etc by the organizer leading up to this rally have been preserved by Antifa and their supporters. Likewise for memes/graphics posted by planned attendees depicting violence against Antifa.
The ongoing support and push for real world violence and murder by Patriot Prayer supporters mimics that of other far-Right groups and media outlets, where the leaders of the movement and those in charge of creating online content produce a never ending stream of outrage and anger for their audience in an effort to bring in money and followers. While these individuals themselves may never engage in physical violence, they help foster an environment where the possibility of lone wolf attacks increases and grows more real by the day.