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Conservative writer sues Portland antifa group for $900k, claims ‘campaign of intimidation and terror’ after they beat him

Andy Ngo, a conservative writer, was attacked by a group of left-wing protesters at a Portland demonstration in June 2019. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian/TNS)

A conservative writer and videographer in Portland is seeking $900,000 from left-wing activists that he says repeatedly beat, robbed and terrorized him for filming them in the streets.

Andy Ngo lists five people by name and another 50 “John Does” in a civil lawsuit filed Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

He also alleges that their marching orders came from another defendant named in the lawsuit — Rose City Antifa, an amorphous and largely anonymous group of anti-fascists.

“For more than a year antifa extremists have subjected my family and I to a campaign of intimidation and terror for my reporting and documentation of their violent extremism as a journalist,” said Ngo, 34, during an online news conference.

Asian and openly gay, Ngo has risen to prominence in conservative circles for shooting and promoting videos that show members of left-wing groups at demonstrations, some of them targeting him directly.

He now boasts nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter, more than any news organization in Portland, including The Oregonian/OregonLive. A forthcoming book of his, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy,” shares the same publisher as titles by Donald Trump Jr. and Newt Gingrich.

According to the lawsuit, Ngo was punched and blasted with bear spray while filming two separate Portland May Day events in 2019, including an infamous brawl that erupted between left-wing activists and members Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group, outside the now-shuttered Cider Riot pub.

Less than a week later, on May 7, a man who routinely attends protests in Portland threw an “unknown liquid” on Ngo’s head and swiped his phone inside a local gym, court documents allege.

And on June 29, left-wing activists tossed milkshakes at Ngo, beat him up and stole his GoPro camera during a demonstration organized against a right-wing rally in downtown Portland, according to the lawsuit.

Footage of the melee generated national headlines and helped spark calls among conservatives to label antifa a “domestic terrorist organization,” a refrain that has resurfaced in recent days as nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd have at times led to riots and looting.

The June attacks also left Ngo with a brain injury and landed him in the hospital overnight, his lawsuit claims.

Finally, the suit alleges a group of people wearing masks of Ngo’s face appeared outside his family’s home last Halloween and banged on windows, rang the doorbell and tried to enter his house through the front door.

Ngo suffered assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the court documents claim. The lawsuit also alleges Rose City Antifa, described as “an unincorporated association,” violated the state’s civil Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The suit offers no evidence that any of Ngo’s suspect assailants were members of Rose City Antifa, nor does it show how the loosely organized group directed attacks against him.

During the news conference, Ngo said no arrests have been made in any of the alleged encounters, despite providing reports and tips to police. Portions of each were captured on video by Ngo or other people.

“I have waited patiently for the Portland police — headed by police commissioner and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler — and the prosecutor’s office to carry out justice,” Ngo said. “It’s not happened.”

The named defendants in the suit — Benjamin Bolen, John Hacker, Corbyn Bylea, Joseph Christian Evans and Madison Lee Allen — could not be reached for comment. Rose City Antifa did not respond to request for comment.

News of Ngo’s lawsuit came only hours after Project Veritas, a right-wing media group, published a now viral video claiming that it had infiltrated Rose City Antifa.

The video features a man wearing a black mask and hooded sweatshirt who claims that he went undercover as an antifa “prospect” and attended secret meetings held by the group at the In Other Words bookstore in Northeast Portland.

Some of the heavily edited footage shot during the supposed meetings appears to show people talking about political tactics, eye gouging and “destroying your enemy.”

It is unclear when precisely the footage was captured. In Other Words closed in June 2018.


© 2020 The Oregonian