Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed journalist and author Andy Ngo to discuss being a target of extreme violence in Portland by Antifa and his new book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by author and journalist Andy Ngo who is the author of Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy published February 2. So just eight days ago already. It is at number 142 on the Amazon bestseller list. That’s pretty good Andy. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.
Ngo: Thanks for having me on.
Leahy: I hope you’re safe. For those in our listening audience, Andy is the American journalist best known for covering protests in Portland. He was actually attacked by Antifa on the streets of Portland in the summer of 2019. Andy, tell us about that attack. I saw the images of you when you having been attacked with blood coming down your face. It didn’t look to me like you got a lot of help from the police.
Ngo: Actually got no help. But that’s the norm and not unusual for Portland. I’ve been covering the Antifa abuse for a few years now and really bringing a camera to highlight their criminal actions that are done public they say in the name of anti-fascism. What I was seeing is they were doing it for a radical extreme cause. And then in 2019, they began to deem me enough of a threat as to threaten me and then eventually beat me.
I was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage. Nobody was ever arrested. I had no help from the police, even though I was in front of the central police station when that beating occurred in downtown Portland. And I just continue on the beat. Unfortunately, Antifa extremist activities have as I predicted gotten worse because of the police turning a blind eye. And Unmasked takes a look at their activities. Particularly in 2020, but it also outlines how they organize and their ideology and history.
Leahy: First back to that the beating that was videoed right in front of the police station, they didn’t like you because you were documenting what they were doing on video and in your stories. So I would presume that whoever hits you there’s a video record of it. Why have the police not enforced the law against these vicious people who attacked you?
Ngo: So one silver lining of that brutal beating by the mob was that a part of it was caught on video and a lot of times these attacks are not so there was a lot of evidence even though the people who did the beating me wear masks. There’s a lot that law enforcement could have done but nothing was done. And that’s emblematic of the lack of political will in Portland and poor leadership coming from potentially the police chief at the time. And in my view it has a lot I think to do the police commissioner who also doubles as a mayor, Ted Wheeler is just refusing to recognize that extremism existed in his city and was something that was real and actually a problem.
Leahy: Are you fully recovered from that vicious violent attack?
Ngo: It’s been more than a year and a half since and I’ve spent about a year through various treatments to get to the point of recovery. So the brain hemorrhage was pretty bad and I nearly died.
Leahy: Who paid for your medical expenses?
Ngo: So Michelle Malkin actually started a GoFundMe for me when I was in the hospital. And the kindness of people who saw what happened and supported my work. And she’s wanted to stand up for the rights of the free press. That was a very successful GoFundMe campaign that covered my costs.
Leahy: Well, that’s outstanding. And we’re very glad to hear that. Andy tell us how you got interested in reporting on Antifa and what are their objectives? Who are they?
Ngo: So I am from the Pacific Northwest in Portland, Oregon in particular, which is the epicenter of Antifa organizing. I didn’t start out in journalism with the interest on the far left. It sort of came on my lap in that back in 2016 when I was a student journalist at Portland State University one of the assignments that I was assigned to was to cover the reaction of Portlanders being surprised election when Trump in November 2016.
And the response from Portland was at that time was to not recognize the results of the election. So they were objecting to that. And many of them chose to respond with violence on the streets. And that was the first time I came face-to-face with the Antifa who are dressed in their black uniforms and caring melee weapons and they were starting fires. We had riots for three days, which at that time was significant. I mean, it caused in one night a billion dollars in damage which is a lot for a city the size of Portland.
But then what happened from that point on to the next four years was street violence in Portland and in nearby Seattle was becoming very routine by Antifa. And what was happening is that they were developing sort of an apparatus to radicalize other people to get sources of funding which I write about all in the book. So at that time the liberal establishment really gave excuses to Antifa.
And you still see it to this day actually with the legacy media, broadcast media culture, and entertainment world. When they spoke about an Antifa they were referring to them as antifascists that were opposing the far right and not rather the criminal cartels that they are that continue indiscriminate and wanton violence against people who had nothing to do with racism.
People who wanted to just wear a MAGA hat or to wave an American flag who were decent. So Antifa organized with the blessing of the liberal establishment. And then in 2020, they staged a number of uprisings across the country, which was not covered as an Insurrection, but rather mostly peaceful protests against racism.
This resulted in several dozen deaths and all the damages to the American economy in Portland. The city was really under siege for more than 120 days. Every night they were rioting and created their own no-go areas. They set fire to buildings where people were inside. They try to burn down the federal courthouse. They organized a unit to stage essentially war in downtown against state public property. And just the coverage in the mainstream press was disinformation in my opinion.
Leahy: We’re talking with Andy know the author of Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy. You can get it on Amazon right now. What is the objective of the Antifa movement?
Ngo: The objective is to destabilize the United States. The ultimate goal is to destroy the Republic. They use the U.S. as an (Inaudible talk) imperialistic state. How they define fascism, and I go into the ideology in the book because they remade concepts and words to have entirely different meanings. For example, when they are carrying out acts of violence against other people or setting fires in two buildings with people inside they don’t view that as violence actually.
They call that self-defense even when they are the ones carrying out the acts of violence first. And so fascism to them is anything that is in opposition to their worldview. So these are anarchist communists. They view the right to property and freedom of expression as vectors for fascism to spread and view as a particular force of evil that needs to be destroyed.
So there’s a lot of symbolism. Many of the targets that they choose to attack such as courthouses and police stations because they don’t recognize American jurisdiction and they want to organize a world in what they say is a utopia where there’s no fascism, no property rights, and everything is communally owned. They have set up their own economy in the autonomous zone in Seattle last year that I spent some time in.
Leahy: Stay with us through the break Andy and we’ll talk about your experience in the Seattle commune and who these folks in Antifa are.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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