Paul Welch was beaten up by Antifa members for carrying an American flag at a counter protest in Portland, Oregon.
(With thanks to Mike Bivins)
A registered Democrat, and Bernie Sanders supporter to protest against a right-wing rally in Oregon earlier this month says that he is terribly beaten by militant members of his own movement, because he is in possession of a “fascist symbol” — an American flag.
Paul Welch told The Oregonian/Oregon Live, he took the flag with him when he went to Portland, Aug. 4 to oppose a right-wing rally is held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Although the American flag is often associated with the conservative movement, Welch, an Oregon man who voted for Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, said that he wanted to “take it back.”
“The law, and certainly a lot of smaller groups such as the Patriot Prayer, would rush to things such as the flag and try to take it as, ‘This is our symbol only,'” Welch told The Oregonian/Oregon Live. “A part of my thinking was to take it back.”
Aside from some strange looks, Welch said that he did not encounter any problems when he was a member of the hundreds of counter-protesters gathered at the city Hall of that day. The problems started when the group began marching in the direction of the park.
Doctors are required four staples to close a 3-inch gash to the back of Welch’s head and he spent at least two days recovering from a concussion.
He said that two people dressed in black and covering their faces came to him and demanded that he give them the “fascist” symbol he wore. When he refused, the Antifa duo tried to rip the flag from his hands.
Another masked counter-protester was then approached Welch and began striking him from behind with an unknown weapon concealed in black fabric.
Welch, 38, was struck on the back of the head and collapsed on the ground.
“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” Welch recalled. “I thought, there was a very good chance that I would be beaten to death.”
WARNING: SHOCKING IMAGES
Video shows a fight for a flag and then a black-clad person hit this guy in the head before he drops. I watched the blood pour out of his head and into the street. #DefendPDX #AllOutPDX pic.twitter.com/KPRk1D8l00
— PDX Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) August 4, 2018
Video of the incident, which was viewed thousands of times, let the person with the gun away. But another counter-demonstrator holds a shield, moves in, the top is Welch and then pricks him with a makeshift weapon.
A group of volunteer street medics rushed to Welch’s aid and took him to an urgent care clinic in the city. Doctors are required four staples to close a 3-inch gash to the back of Welch’s head and he spent at least two days recovering from a concussion.
Welch submitted to the police and Sgt. Chris Burley, a Portland police spokesman confirmed to The Oregonian/Oregon Live that the authorities investigate the incident.
Welch said he felt concerned and disappointed, because he had gone to the rally to show “a liberal, free Portland or any other big city, really – is much more American and much more numerous and stronger than any of these interloping groups.”
“It seems to me the worst kind of political theater,” Welch said of what happened to him. “It’s kind of like you’re playing in the hand of your opponent if you like that kind of things. That’s not what I’m there for.”
Effie Baum, a spokesman of the Popular Mobilization, a group that helped organize the counter-protest at city hall, declined to comment.
At least three people were hospitalized after a fight between the right-wing protesters and Antifa protesters. Anger after the fact, it was largely focused on Portland police used “less-lethal” riot control weapons.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang