A Portland institution visited the nation’s capital on Thursday. Rose City native Andy Ngo, stopped by the Heritage Foundation to deliver a speech on his favorite topic — Antifa.
To deter would-be protesters, several police officers stood outside the think tank and screened people as they entered the building. To prove he wasn’t a covert Antifa operative, Cockburn had to empty his pockets when prompted by event security.
While Cockburn thought the frisking was a bit excessive, Ngo, who endured an assault by Antifa activists back in June, argued during his speech that ‘violence is a feature, not a bug’ of the far-left militant group.
Reading from a MacBook in front of the small auditorium, Ngo warned that Antifa’s ‘ideology is being absorbed, mainstreamed, and incorporated by more and more politicians and figures in the media.’
According to Ngo, ‘the media have fooled a lot of people into thinking that this movement are made up of basically folk heroes’ by downplaying the group’s violent tendencies.
Luke O’Brien, a HuffPost reporter who attended the talk, took offense at Ngo’s claims about the media. During the Q&A, O’Brien accused Ngo of propagating misinformation about specific journalists who report on Antifa. From his seat in the audience, O’Brien said that he and other journalists ‘were subjected to harassment and threats,’ with some reporters ‘named in a neo-Nazi kill list.’
An older gentleman in the crowd, disgruntled by O’Brien’s question, yelled at the reporter to ‘go home already.’
After the Q&A, Cockburn left the venue and anticipated a brawl with black-clad Antifa activists. Instead, he found three tame protesters out front. Not one to take chances, Cockburn left before the situation could devolve into violence.