Monday, August 09, 2021


Here's the headline of a story your right-wing relatives are eagerly following:
BREAKING: Antifa assault families and children at Christian prayer event in Portland park
That's from a conservative site called the Post Millennial. The story has been picked up by Fox News, under the headline
Portland sees Antifa descend on Christian worship event, clash with Proud Boys in streets
The message is here is that this was a mere "Christian worship event," and evil lefty thugs broke it up. According to the Post Millennial,
A large group of Antifa carrying shields and melee weapons attacked a group of Evangelical Christians congregating for a prayer and worship event at the waterfront in downtown Portland, Ore. Video recorded at the scene showed children and families running away as black-clad Antifa militants tore apart the sound equipment and assaulted attendees with pepper spray and projectiles.
The video is from the right-wing propagandist Andy Ngo. To be fair, it does appear to show an effort to "attack & shut down" the gathering.

But the gathering wasn't a simple prayer meeting. It was led by Artur Pawlowski, a Polish-born, anti-LGBT Canadian preacher who's become notorious back home for defying public health measures during the pandemic:
Calgary’s Street Church met again Saturday in violation of public health orders, two weeks after police arrested its pastor for organizing the illegal gatherings.

Church pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested May 8 and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering as well as “requesting, inciting or inviting others” to join. His brother, Dawid Pawlowski, was also arrested and faces the same charges.

Despite the arrests, worship groups have continued to congregate at the southeast Calgary church....
Pawlowski's church is reported to be hostile to its neighbors:
Community members living near Street Church say preacher Artur Pawlowski and his followers have threatened neighbours with violence after speaking out against the congregation’s disregard for public health measures and hateful rhetoric....

Neighbours told Postmedia they have been subject to menacing threats of physical violence, warnings of property damage and littering by churchgoers. They also voiced concern about excessive noise and fear of contracting COVID-19.
Pawlowski is on an American tour -- though why he was allowed into the country, I'm not sure. The tour is being promoted here by a Colorado-based group called FEC United.

"FEC" stands for Faith, Education, and Commerce -- the three pillars of society, according to the group. The leader of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, was responsible for the (preposterous) rumor that Eric Coomer of Dominion Voting Systems spoke with Antifa members and assured them that Donald Trump wouldn't win the 2020 election; the spread of this rumor subjected Coomer and his family to death threats and doxxing. But even before the election, Oltmann was dangerous. This is from October:
At an event yesterday intended to showcase the candidates whom the new conservative political group FEC United is supporting, founder Joe Oltmann threatened to dox journalists who report negatively about the group.

Oltmann claims FEC United has identified Antifa members “that are actually journalists writing stories about us.”

“I’ll put them on billboards,” he told the crowd of Republican candidates and supporters, which took place at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison. “We’re coming for you... If you’re part of the media and you write something bad about us, better take your byline off it.”
Saturday's event seems unpleasant, as a local news outlet describes it:
Dozens of black-clad counter-protesters pushed into the right-wing band, hurling smoke grenades and appearing to dismantle part of the public address system, spurring Portland Police Bureau squad cars onto the grass under the mid-day sun. The right-wing group marched to....

... soon a dozen or so counter-protesters trickled over to the memorial, leading to shouting matches.

After 90 minutes or so, the religious event concluded. But those standing guard around the event — armed with paintball guns, batons and other weapons — were forced out of the park by the counter-demonstrators, who unleashed a blast of pepper spray a few blocks away. Right-wingers fired a paintball gun in response, while a Portland Police squad car whooped its siren to no effect just a few feet away.
But on social media Saturday evening, Pawlowski seem unfazed:

Well, he got what he wanted -- publicity and martyrdom -- didn't he? He'll be in Aiken, South Carolina, on August 22. Be there!

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