My Face to Face Encounter with the PATRIOT PRAYER MAGA-HAT PEOPLE

I had a personal encounter with the alt-right this evening, in the aftermath of the Patriot Prayer People vs Antifa demonstration and counter-demonstration on the streets of Portland today. But mine was in a bar in Vancouver WA, just across the river from Portland. I had been thinking I was sorry I didn’t go to the counter demonstration against the neo-Nazis in Portland today and was driving past the bar on the way to the store and I saw a whole bunch of guys in MAGA hats and red white and blue bunting on their bodies and Trump t-shirts, mostly young white guys, getting out of vans and Giant Black Trucks all at once at a local bar called The Ice House. I have written articles for The Raw Story and thought, maybe here’s another article for someone. I intuited, correctly, these guys just came from the Portland demonstration. I gave into my writer’s impulse and pulled in, ordered a beer at the bar.

The place was thronged by MAGA-hat guys–many bearded, all white except one black guy who said to the others, “We showed the liberals peace and they didn’t know how to deal with it.” They patted him on the shoulder and said, “You got that, Seymore.”

There were two guys next to me growling swaggeringly at one another, one saying, “It’s a good thing for the liberals that the cops were there, if they hadn’t have been, it woulda got ugly.” The other guy said, “Yeah they should thank those cops for protecting them. I was ready to kick some fucking ass, the shit they were saying.”

A guy sat down next to me, calling me (and everyone) “buddy” and he mentioned GG Allin to someone and I said I know a guy who was GG Allin’s road manager. This guy was a big fan of Allin, history’s most self-destructive (and now dead) punk rocker…He had something on black cloth furled up with him…It was so loud I couldn’t hear much else and I was an old geezer surrounded by young alt-right thugs, so decided not to get provocative and figured I’d better leave. My wife was waiting for me to go to the store.

I saw, though,a blond woman (or trans man?) about 30, who was draped in red white and blue and had a button on that said LGBT FOR TRUMP. I was startled by this. So when I went outside she was there with her friends and I asked, thinking she, as a woman, might be more calm and reasonable than the others, “Do you really think TRump will support LGBT people? Me, doubt it.I worry he’ll use you guys at best and then–” She got really mad instantly, and started screaming at me, “Liberal faggot!”

I said, “Whuh? ‘Faggot’? That’s kind of odd–you as a lesbian or…anyway a supporter of LGBT–”

She screamed at me, “Conservatives were way more accepting of me! It was liberals that rejected me!”

I said, “That’s surprising, since…” That’s all I got out and then her male friends crowded threateningly
round me–there was eight of these guys–and one of them got in my face, within two inches, and said, “Back off from the lady, don’t harrass the female!”

I said, “I was just asking a question, I am sometimes a journalist, thinking of getting a quote to get her point of view, because of her button. It’s unusual–” I never lost my shit, always kept calm. (It’s now that I’m rattled.)

And he said, “You got all in her face and you were harrassing her–” And he did one of those shove with a shoulder things and said, “Get out of here before you get hurt, we’re not gonna let you get in her face–”

I said, “I’m sometimes a journalist, I’m a writer, I was just curious–”

He said “Sure you are old dude!” and there were suddenly more of them crowding in and trying to back me off. “You better get the fuck out of here now, it’s not safe for you here! Go!” one of them said.

I did not want to be driven away so I got out my phone and started recording and asking questions in a calm voice but I had it out for only a minute when the LGBT Trump girl stepped in and I turned it toward her and she shrieked “Get the fuck out of here faggot” and slapped at me and my phone, hitting me glancingly on the face and knocking my phone across the parking lot. Fifty feet at least.

I went to get it and called the cops, now concerned that getting to my car, out of sight of the street, might be dangerous with this crowd all antagonistic toward me, so I waited there and within two minutes a couple of really nice sheriff’s deputies arrived. The first one sighed and seemed very sympathetic. He agreed that what she’d done was battery. I said, “She didn’t really hurt me. I just wanted to play it safe at that point and–maybe you could talk to her.”

One of the alt-right swaggerers said, “She left, they all left.” I said, “I thought I saw them go in the bar, officer…just talk to her if she’s in there.” I gave them her first name, which I’d heard, and a description.

As I was leaving the GG Allin guy with the furled dark flag was there, telling me that “Real men are like Jack London”…I don’t know what that was about.

“I said, “Can I see your flag?” He said, “What? No. I just found that. It’s not mine. Well, it’s mine but…I don’t…no I don’t show it to…no.”

The cops called over to me, said they’d take care of it, they’d talk to them, and I went, a little shaken, to the grocery store.

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