I’ve written about this incident a couple of times already, partly because this incident has gotten remarkably little attention from most media outlets. The short version is that a 34-year-old photojournalist named Maranie Staab was covering the latest street battle in Portland. Antifa goons who didn’t like having their pictures taken called her a “slut,” threw her to the ground, pepper sprayed her face and smashed her phone. Today Willamette Week published an interview with Staab in which she points out the hypocrisy of Antifa:
Are you glad the incident was filmed and posted online?
The short answer is yes, I’m very happy it was recorded, because that’s our job.
I’m somebody that, for the last year, has been pretty vocal about threats against the press. I was assaulted by federal agents. I was assaulted by the Portland police numerous times while I was a member of the press—clearly marked. I have been threatened and assaulted by people on the right, and now this happened.
In an effort to be fair across the board, it needs to be discussed. We have a right to be out there. I believe in the importance of documenting what is happening. If we start allowing anyone to control what can and cannot be recorded in a public space, where does that leave us?
This is the approach that I wish more journalists would take but it’s clear that especially in Portland journalists have an unspoken agreement not to film the faces of black bloc goons even if they are in the process of smashing windows or lighting things on fire. Because Staab refuses to play that game, she was targeted. She says some members of the group apologized to her but she notes that others defended the attack and some made comments online saying she deserved worse.
I saw some of these arguments playing out last week and the argument being made is not just that “cameras are cops” because they allow police to identify members of the group. Some are now arguing that the death of Michael Forest Reinoehl is proof photos put Antifa’s lives in danger. In case you’ve forgotten, Reinoehl is the man who shot and killed Aaron “Jay” Danielson in the street almost exactly a year ago. He had previously described himself as “100% Antifa all the way!” He was later killed by police after fleeing the city.
The WW reporter asked Staab if there was any way to appeal to Antifa to get them to change their mind about being filmed in public:
Put it this way: The person that assaulted me and the people that support it—they’re not particularly interested in the protections of the First Amendment, so I don’t think going that route would help…
The hypocrisy is palpable. I also don’t think assaulting people is anti-fascist behavior. And trying to control and dictate what can be done is not anti-fascist.
She’s exactly right. You can’t reason with people who don’t share liberal values or support for the civil rights of others. Antifa are committed to violence against anyone who opposes them. This has been obvious for years now but the left continues to defend the group or at least to remain quiet about them when they become violent and misogynistic toward a fellow reporter.