Reporter Andy Ngo has a book out next month titled “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.” KOIN 6 reports that over the weekend the usual suspects began agitating online when they learned that local independent bookseller Powell’s Books would be selling the book.
Twitter backlash appeared to start Sunday, and gained steam Monday morning, with users complaining Powell’s was “propagating racism and right-wing ideology” and supporting a “fascist gravy train book for a nazi-collaborating Portlander.”
Powell’s announced before noon Monday that Ngo’s book would not be placed on shelves, but would be available in the online catalogue.
Powell’s statement on Twitter tried to find some middle ground. On the one hand they suggested they shared the critics distaste for Ngo’s book and promised not to put it on shelves in their stores. On the other hand the also tried to make a principled argument for selling books that represent various perspectives:
At Powell’s, a lot of our inventory is hand-picked and hand-promoted. And a lot of our inventory is not hand-picked. Unmasked by Andy Ngo came to us through an automatic data feed via one of our long-term partners, Hachette Book Group. (1 of 3)
— Powell's Books (@Powells) January 11, 2021
We believe it is the work of bookselling to do so. Please see our full commitment to free speech here: https://t.co/pqnaVE6D2W (3 of 3)
— Powell's Books (@Powells) January 11, 2021
The statement on Powell’s website adds this:
Decades ago we received credible bomb threats for selling the work of Salman Rushdie, and yet we carried on. We cannot behave any differently today when we feel differently about the book or writer in question.
So they haven’t completely caved to the mob and if you know anything about Antifa, you know that anything less than complete capitulation isn’t good enough. Today a group of them showed up at Powell’s and forced the store to close. Here they are shouting “Stop selling Andy Ngo’s book!” at a manager.
Antifa have forced Powell's to close their store today and employees have evacuated the customers inside out the back door. They're protesting them selling Andy Ngo's book on their website. They announced earlier they wouldn't put it on the shelves.pic.twitter.com/HUwea0pdei
— Brittany 🍇 (@Brittany3l) January 11, 2021
Here’s another video of the protest. In this first clip the guy in the wheelchair is telling a story that was published by Willamette Week back in September. The claim was that after Andy Ngo tweeted about a woman arrested at a protest, someone showed up at her house with a gun twelve days later. The activist’s mom reportedly then slammed the door and called the police. Just one problem. When asked, it turned out the police had no record of receiving any such call about a man with a gun. Willamette Week added a big correction to the story. And one other problem, Andy Ngo didn’t give out any private information and didn’t break any laws as the story itself concedes.
The store is EMPTY.
A former employee has told me that the Powell’s fired an employee that had been doxed by Andy
— it_ain't_pretty_ (@it_aint_pretty_) January 11, 2021
“We will shut down the store every day,” he said, adding, “You will lose money every day.” And I’m sure they’ll try because if Antifa can’t control you they seek to destroy you. Previously in Portland it was the Mayor and the federal courthouse that were fascist. Now it’s this book store that is fascist. I’m not exaggerating, at least not much. Here’s the store hours sign Antifa altered to allege Powell’s serves “white supremacist’s only.”
Powell’s Books has adjusted their store hours to accommodate everyone who should never buy anything Andy N*o sells. https://t.co/eerz26PB0f
— Sticker Bloc (@stickerbloc) January 12, 2021
This isn’t the only business being targeted by the far left in Portland. Sometime last night two locations of a Jewish restaurant were vandalized with graffiti.
Two branches of a Portland eatery serving Israeli-inspired cuisine were targeted by graffiti overnight on Sunday, Jan. 10.
Photos on social media showed the eastside location of Shalom Y’all on Southeast Taylor Street coated with phrases including “yuppie scum,” “on your hands” and “enjoy your s–t meal.”
But as you can see in the photos below, the main emphasis here was “Free Palestine” which appears several times. That’s coming from the BDS supporters on the far left.
Shutting down bookstores and targeting Jewish businesses is not a good combination. This is what happens when the far left feels it can do whatever it wants without consequences.