A self-described “slightly progressive leftist” showed up to counter-protest a right-wing demonstration in Portland, but when antifa activists showed up, they took their wrath out on him. Why? Apparently because he was holding an American flag, Oregon Live reported.
Paul Welch said that when he was at the event, which took place in early August, two individuals dressed in black with their faces covered approached and told him to hand over the flag, which they said was a “fascist symbol.”
Video of the incident shows them trying to forcibly snatch the flag from Welch, who would not let go. One person wearing a helmet of some sort can be seen smacking Welch from behind, before hitting him in the back of the head with a blunt object.
“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” Welch recalled.
He needed four staples to close the wound, and a concussion put him out of commission for two days before he returned to work.
Welch told the local publication that he wasn’t there as part of any group, and that he voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. He had gone to the event to counter conservatives like the group known as Patriot Prayer, but brought a flag with him to show that it represents everyone, regardless of their place on the political spectrum.
“The right and certainly a lot of smaller groups like Patriot Prayer might rush to things like the flag and try to take it up as, ‘This is our symbol exclusively,'” he said. “Part of my thinking was to take it back.”
[Image via screengrab]