Antifa activists attacked conservative-leaning photojournalist Andy Ngo during a demonstration in downtown Portland on Saturday afternoon, and many of his colleagues sided with the attackers.
Ngo was filming the rally – which was framed as a counter-protest against right-wing groups – when he was mobbed by masked protestors. A number of the activists punched and kicked him, while others hurled milkshakes, eggs and silly string at him.
The crowd cheered and jeered as Ngo tried to escape.
“Owned, bitch!” someone shouted.
WATCH:Antifa activists attacked photojournalist Andy Ngo
As Ngo subsequently documented on Twitter, the attack left him bloodied and bruised, and he was taken by ambulance to the emergency room.
A legal representative for Ngo, Harmeet Dhillon, tweeted hours after the protest that his client had been “admitted to the hospital overnight as a result of a brain bleed.”
Update to @MrAndyNgo supporters — he is being admitted to the hospital overnight as a result of a brain bleed. You sick “journalists” and other hacks gloating about this should be ashamed. As for the rest, please pray for @MrAndyNgo who we need back in health — brave man!??????❤️ https://t.co/XYVy4EbIzv
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) June 30, 2019
According to Ngo, who also works as an editor for Quillette, his assailants stole the camera he was filming with at the time. But Oregonian reporter Jim Ryan recorded part of the attack and posted a clip to Twitter on Saturday.
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
Ngo had warned on Friday that he was concerned about being hurt at the protest, noting that organizers of the “Community Self-Defense Against Proud Boy Attack” had singled him out ahead of time.
I am nervous about tomorrow’s Portland antifa rally. They’re promising “physical confrontation” & have singled me out to be assaulted. I went on Tucker Carlson last year to explain why I think they’re doing this: They’re seeking meaning through violence. https://t.co/kpkESjsOmI pic.twitter.com/J45MMshyyK
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 28, 2019
Last month, at a May Day demonstration in his native Portland, Ngo reported that he was punched without provocation by a member of antifa, a group that embraces violence as a necessary response to the threat of fascism. Ngo said a police officer had refused to intervene for fear of “escalation.”
Journalists side with violent Antifa protestors over Andy Ngo
Prominent liberal-leaning journalists responded to Saturday’s attack by rationalizing the violence and mocking or even condemning Ngo.
Parker Malloy and Talia Lavin, whose opinions have been published in top news outlets, ridiculed Ngo after he tweeted a photo of his backpack splattered with milkshake, saying it looked like bird poop. They later deleted the tweets, and Molloy apologized.
— LB (@beyondreasdoubt) June 29, 2019
Will Menaker, a co-host of the popular left-wing “Chapo Trap House” podcast, joked that the white marks on Ngo’s bag looked like semen.
They’re cumming on journalists now…horrible https://t.co/uniaYFc1Ik
— Will?Menaker (@willmenaker) June 29, 2019
Mike Stuchbery, a U.K.-based writer and self-styled historian, toke a similar jab at Ngo, who is gay.
What you do in your own time ain't none of our business man. TMI.
— Mike Stuchbery?? (@MikeStuchbery_) June 29, 2019
HuffPost senior reporter Christopher Mathias commented in a since-deleted tweet: “Milkshakes have this special power of revealing how fascists and their enablers are giant fucking snowflakes.”
Writer and social media influencer Karen Geier suggested Ngo was playing the victim in keeping with “the right wing grifter complex.”
you have to hand it to the right wing grifter complex. There is no event so insignificant they can’t milk to the hilt to get donations and viewers.
It’s such a predictable set of techniques.
— Listen to @onbeliefpod Li'l ? (@karengeier) June 30, 2019
Not one of us
Other journalists basically said that Ngo deserved what happened to him.
Middle East Eye columnist C.J. Werleman called Ngo “one of the leading amplifiers of Islamophobia,” referencing the journalist’s sometimes harsh criticisms of Islam. Werleman also accused Ngo of having”participated in white supremacist violence,” but later issued a “clarification” effectively admitting that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
Andy Ngo, who is one of the leading amplifiers of Islamophobia in US, and who was participated in white supremacist instigated violence, was beaten up by Antifa in Portland today. https://t.co/H8qnqZsapy
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) June 29, 2019
After CNN’s Jake Tapper condemned antifa violence against journalists in a tweet, reporter and author Vegas Tenold told the anchor to stop “pear clutching.” Tenold went on to detail his own supposed reporting heroics in conflict zones before making his Twitter account private.
Yet more journalists rejected the notion that Ngo deserved to be counted as a member of their elite caste, suggesting he lacked their integrity and objectivity.
Woke culture critic Noah Berlatsky said that calling Ngo a journalist “gives fascists a propaganda victory” because he is “a far right activist who pretends to be a journalist to spread hatred against Muslims, and to target journalists for hatred and potential violence by fascists.”
As several folks have said, Ngo is a far right activist who pretends to be a journalist to spread hatred against Muslims, and to target journalists for hatred and potential violence by fascists.
— Noah Berlatsky (@nberlat) June 30, 2019
Socialist reporter Shane Burley said he had been at the Portland protest along with “100 other reporters” and declared: “The narrative that protesters were attacking reporters is a blatant lie.”
Weird how I and about 100 other reporters were down covering the antifascist protest today and literally nothing happened to us. The narrative that protesters were attacking reporters is a blatant lie.
— Shane Burley (@shane_burley1) June 30, 2019
The right response
Meanwhile, many journalists who do not hail from the political left condemned the people who attacked Ngo, as well as their defenders in the press.
The National Review’s David French called for a crackdown on antifa.
Vile. Cowardly. Pass and enforce anti-masking laws (like anti-Klan laws in the South), make assault arrests, and watch these “warriors” melt away. https://t.co/ywMb9iVPNC
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 29, 2019
Magazine writer Jesse Singal deemed the “progressives and leftists” celebrating the attack on Ngo were “despicable.”
Watching progressives and leftists celebrate a journalist getting assaulted — even a journalist they have major disagreements with (as I do) — is surreal. Just completely despicable and I can't believe anyone is doing it under their real name.
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) June 30, 2019
Claire Lehman, Quillette’s founding editor, tweeted “fuck” antifa and promoted a fundraising campaign for Ngo started by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin. The effort has already raised nearly $80,000 to pay for Ngo’s medical care and “security” and to replace his stolen equipment.
~@MrAndyNgo is a valued member of the @Quillette team. He is also a gentle soul with a huge heart. We’ve all been shocked to learn that the assault on him was a chemical attack—please donate to help support him. Thanks @Michelle_Mark for initiating https://t.co/9mWZSUqLEf
— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) June 30, 2019
Quillette on Sunday published an editorial backing Ngo and calling on the press and law enforcement to recognize the threat posed by antifa, rather than continuing to apologize for the group.
“Following the hate-killing of Heather Heyer by James A. Fields Jr. in Charlottesville, Virginia two years ago, attention was drawn to the problem of right-wing political violence,” And rightly so,” the article said. “But this attitude of vigilance must be broadened to include all radical groups. It shouldn’t require an actual fatality to goad Portland’s mayor and police into real action. Surely, a brain hemorrhage should be enough.”
Ngo has often criticized authorities for allegedly failing to act against left-wing violence – in contrast with what he sees as something like mass hysteria about right-wing hate crimes.
Soon after Ngo was attacked, the Portland Police Department shut down the rally, saying on Twitter that gathering had become a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly.” The department also said it had “received information” that some of the milkshakes thrown by activists contained quick-drying cement, which can cause burns to skin.
Police have received information that some of the milkshakes thrown today during the demonstration contained quick-drying cement. We are encouraging anyone hit with a substance today to report it to police.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 29, 2019
Later Saturday, police announced they had arrested three suspects in connection with the protest. They did not respond to media requests regarding the case against Ngo.
“Milkshaking” is a form of left-wing political protest that recently migrated from the United Kingdom to the United States with the encouragement of some American journalists. After a British protester hurled a milkshake at Nigel Farage in May, Vox’s Carlos Maza tweeted, “Milkshake them all. Humiliate them at every turn.”