Two weeks ago I wrote about a Patriot Prayer rally in Portland at which several hundred counter-protesters, including black-clad Antifa, showed up. One incident which caught my attention was a fight over an American flag. When the guy holding the flag wouldn’t let go, some Antifa goon stepped in and hit him on the head with a club. He collapsed in the street with blood dripping from his scalp. Here’s the clip from freelance journalist Mike Bivins:
Today, the Oregonian has a follow-up story on this incident. It turns out the man holding onto the flag wasn’t there with Patriot Prayer or any other right-leaning group. In fact, Paul Welch is a registered Democrat and a Bernie Bro:
A “slightly progressive leftist” by his telling, Welch is a registered Democrat in Oregon, voting records show. He cast his ballot for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election, he said.
The 38-year-old line cook is also no stranger to street protests in Portland. He said he attended the Women’s March held during the weekend of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Welch brought the flag to make a statement about the right not having ownership of it at protests. He says he didn’t have any problems until a couple of Antifa members approached him and demanded he relinquish the “fascist symbol.”
As he carried his flag, two antifascist activists, dressed in black and covering their faces, approached Welch and demanded he turn it over to them, calling it “a fascist symbol,” he said…
The armed counter-protester then uses the weapon to club Welch on the back of the head, causing him to collapse instantly. The demonstrator with the weapon wanders off.
“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” said Welch, who believes he was struck with a metal object affixed to the end of the weapon.
A crowd of onlookers watch as Welch lies on the ground in a fetal position. Another antifa activist, holding a shield, appears to stand above the injured man and jabs him with a makeshift weapon.
“I remember thinking there was a very good chance that I could be beaten to death,” Welch said.
Welch eventually made it to an urgent care clinic and received four staples in his scalp to close the wound. He also claims it took him 3 days to recover from a concussion. Reflecting on his experience being the target of violent Antifa goons, Welch told the Oregonian, “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponents’ hands when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”