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Sep 8, 20

Salem, OR: Trump Supporters Call for Execution of “Democrats,” Beat Counter-Protesters & Mace Mother of Disabled Veteran

Report from Salem, Oregon on recent counter-protest to far-Right MAGA rally that was violently attacked.

by KohzKah

On September 8th, 2020 approximately 50-60 far-Right MAGA supporters including the violent street gang the Proud Boys and the Three Percent militia gathered on the steps of the capitol building in Salem, Oregon for an “American Lives Matter” rally. Meanwhile, hundreds of other highly armed Trump supporters were just finishing yet another MAGA caravan throughout nearby Clackamas County.

After the pledge of allegiance, the crowd chanted “All Lives Matter!,” followed by the first speaker asking the crowd to raise their hand if they liked the American flag. Several of the keynote speakers droned on about their disgust for Black Lives Matter and antifascist activists and the ongoing demonstrations in nearby Portland. One of the speakers, Michelle Yates, a far-Right anti-choice and anti-immigrant activist declared, “We are in a racial war,” in reference to Black Lives Matter. She went on to encourage others to continue to not wear masks out of fear. “It is okay to wear them if that is your thing, but just don’t wear them out of fear.” The reality that the U.S. continues to lead the world in confirmed infections of COVID-19 despite having a smaller population than many other countries seemed to be lost on everyone.

Another keynote speaker, Marcus Edwards, from the Eugene area, falsely stated several times that “because of the LGBTQ agenda,” a new law in California had been passed making pedophilia legal and then declared that all “Democrat leaders should be shot dead.” He later crossed the street to yell at counter-protesters and asked if any of them brought boxing gloves stating that he was looking for someone to fight him. According to antifascists researchers, Marcus Edwards is part of a crew of far-Right organizers in the local area that includes open neo-Nazis such as Corey Wyatt, who was recently released from prison for his role in multiple murders. Edwards and Wyatt both work for Above the Rest Roofing & Construction in the Eugene area, along with several others involved in the local far-Right scene.

Around 12-15 counter protesters from Salem lined up a cross the street to hold Black Lives Matter signs. Four Mexican-American youth showed up with Mexican flags and stated, “We are here for Black Lives Matter.” Around 15 Proud Boys and militia members lined up across the street from the counter protesters and made several violent threats while holding semi-automatic riffles, baseball bats, batons, Raid spray, pepper-spray and a fire extinguisher. One of the militia members kept yelling to the Mexican-American youth, “Are your parents citizens?” They told them not to stand with antifascists because, “They don’t care about you.” A Proud Boy yelled that they had a chapter in Mexico.

One of the counter-protesters against the MAGA rally lined with hate groups yelled across the road to the Proud Boys, “My son is not a loser. My son is a disabled veteran,” in reference to Trump’s recent statements about US military veterans being “losers” and “suckers.” She was responding to the inquiry from the Proud Boys about her reasons for being present at the rally. The Proud Boys scoffed at her statement saying that Trump never said people in the military were suckers or losers and that, “it had been debunked.” A MAGA rally attendee asked her to prove her story by signing the Army song.

For a couple of hours, militia members and Proud Boys screamed threats and frequently crossed the street to stand 1-3 feet from counter-protesters while holding various weapons and yelling homophobic slurs and detailed comments about sexual acts. Then, one of the militia members, after hours of threatening to do so, ran over to the counter-protester side and sprayed a can of Raid, however the wind gathered the poison and blew it back on him and a few people standing around him on the MAGA side.

A scuffle then broke out and a BLM supporter was punched in the face and fell, nearly hitting a vehicle that was traveling on the road in-between both sides of protesters. Several protesters on both sides were using chemical spray to repel each other and the mother of the disabled veteran was hit in the face with the spray. She was immediately helped by several antifascist medics and they moved her to the shade to recover.

Two Black activists arrived on the scene and attempted to keep the two groups apart while yelling into a bullhorn in support of Black Lives Matter, while the far -Right protesters yelled, “commie.” More far-Right Trump joined the line of Proud boys and militia members after returning from a march; strengthening the line of MAGA supporters which was holding weapons and taunting counter-protesters carrying BLM signs.

Several MAGA rally goers issued verbal death threats at the counter-protesters who were outnumbered 6 to 1. In various incidents, the MAGA supporters were also seen chasing down and beating various counter-protesters, all in full view of the police.

As The Daily Beast wrote:

Members of the far-right Proud Boys violently clashed with counter-protesters at the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem, according to videos from OPB journalist Sergio Olmos, including one showing a crowd descending on a single counter-protester to punch him, beat him with a baseball bat, and mace him with pepper spray.

According to one reporter at the scene:

Police arrived and told the Proud Boys to turn around, but no arrests were made at that time.

Then:

A short time later, videos showed a group of Proud Boys chasing down a sole Black Lives Matter supporter in a park near the state capitol. “Get out of here, you f*g!” one of the Proud Boys is heard saying.

Police then made two arrests, according to Fox News:

Ty Parker, 53, of Durango, Colo., was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and first-degree intimidation. Trenton Wolfskill, 37, of Eugene, Ore., was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

These two individuals were quickly let go and they rejoined the lines of far-Right Trump supporters.

 

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