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Jul 24, 21

Report on Successful Community Mobilization Against Proud Boys and far-Right Church in Salem, OR

Report back from successful mobilization against a far-Right church who teamed up with Proud Boys to attack community members in Salem, Oregon.

On Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, “The Church at Planned Parenthood” (TCAPP) held its monthly service as they have every second Tuesday of the month since October 2020, here in Salem, Oregon.

Community members who have attempted to counter these events that have attracted local neo-Nazis like David Willis and Eric Oelkers, and other fascists such as COPS NW founder Audra Price and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, who have both publicly spoken in support of, and boosted these events. Price and Gibson have a history of organizing other far-Right events in Oregon that have resulted in violence against our communities. When community members have pointed this out to TCAPP members, they were met with shrugs.

People that have attended this church have doxxed community members, been involved in attacks on minors, and have become increasingly hostile. At this month’s ‘service’ things escalated considerably, when TCAPP invited the Proud Boys to act as security, including people like Dan Tooze, Barry Johnson, Magen Stevens, Gordon Cronk Jr., and other fascists from the area. The service was scheduled to start at 6 PM which is when folks were also supposed to meet to counter their hate. We learned at about 5 PM that Proud Boys started to show up and took our usual spot in front of the Planned Parenthood on the lawn across from where the church usually sets up.

Community members that planned on showing up quickly changed gears and decided to stage nearby and put out a call to meet up at the new location. Much to our surprise, we were able to gather approximately 40 brave folks and marched together a couple of blocks, and met the fascists down Wolverine Street where Planned Parenthood is located. The Proud Boys quickly noticed us and started heading our way. The police already had a heavy presence in the area and at one point attempted to remove the Proud Boys from the Planned Parenthood lawn. Once we arrived it didn’t take long for the cops to make a line and attempt to keep us apart, however, shortly after the line was formed, Proud Boys tried to flank us on the north side behind a camper where the cops couldn’t see.

The approaching Proud Boys were pointed out by some folks on our side so we shifted to meet them and protect our friends. There was a scuffle or two and we had amazingly brave friends who were willing to stand up and protect our folks that wanted to stand against hate and bigotry. I’m happy to say the Proud Boys got the raw end of the deal on this one – there were at least 2 Proud Boys arrested and the ‘church’ didn’t last too long after the violence ended. The Salem Police Department decided to bring in additional help from the Marion County Sheriffs Office, including a SWAT vehicle. Oddly enough, the Proud Boys took off right before that happened, almost as if they had received a tip? If so, it would make sense, as one of their leaders, Carl “Flip” Todd, made it clear at a previous rally in Salem in October 2020 that the Proud Boys do in fact have “active police” and military members in their ranks here in Oregon.

I’m the end, we came out with a victory and our community showed up and held our ground.  There’s a couple of Proud Boys that will be tied up in legal situations, and one in particular is going to have to try and find some new tires and windows. But hey – in Salem shit happens!

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