On Saturday, April 17th a group of anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers in Portland, Oregon congregated at the Urban Plaza at Portland State University. The plan was to head across campus and over to the Park Blocks to confront the Portland State Students for Trump, the aggressive student campaign in support of the Donald Trump GOP candidacy. The group was formed by the same students behind the PSU White Student Union, and has made the organization a front group for thinly veiled Alt Right racialist language.
The founding member and clear leader is Vladimir Kolychef, a small boy from Ukraine who first came to people’s attention when posting in anarchist groups on Facebook saying that he was an “anarcho-capitalist” and “race realist.” The latter term indicates that he believes in differences in racial capacity for intelligence, believing that African descended peoples to have a lower innate IQ than whites and to be more prone to criminality. A quick look at his Facebook reveals a block of white nationalist talking points and jokes, often dog whistle lingo from openly racist websites like The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah(like calling black people ‘dindus’).
The group had recently been shut down during a meeting by the Portland State University Student Union and other allies, who overwhelmed them almost 20:1. This garnered quite a bit of media attention, all of which negated the fact that Kolychef was an open far-right nationalist with growing ties to American white nationalist organizations. Infowars, the reactionary conspiracy theory website from Alex Jones, picked up on the story quickly, interviewing Kolychef and another founding member.
This is what drew out their support on Saturday, where their crowd swelled to almost a hundred supporters, almost all from Patriot organizations and Infowars directly. They marched over to confront the counter-protesters, leading to an extended confrontation in the plaza where Trump supporters were shut down by a small army of noisemakers and loudspeaker sirens. Here the Infowars group tried to bait protesters by using openly racist and homophobic language, shoving cameras in their faces, and attempting to intimidate women of color. On their videos later, Infowars dropped all pretense and posted titles that called protesters “Trannies,” “SJWs, and “the REAL racists.” Infowars is known for being the sillier side of the Internet, yet when looking at recent articles they have allied with nationalism explicitly and are parroting the more offensive side of recent transphobic exclusionary movements. They have gone so far as to even use jokes from violently racialist website like The Right Stuff and the Daily Stormer. They have gladly become what Breitbart is to a large degree: a crossover point for nationalists into the mainstream of conservatism.
At a certain point the Trump supporters went back to the Park Blocks, marched around town, and made their way to the City Center park, Pioneer Courthouse Square. They were consistently overrun by noise from counter-protesters, but they continued to use vitriolic hate language to try and intimidate the crowd. When African descended protesters put their hands up, referencing “hands up, don’t shoot” to raise attention to the proliferation racist violence, the white protesters mocked and imitated them. They eventually tackled and held down a passerby who threw water on them, a “citizen’s arrest” that is in line with their embarrassing notion that they are the real core of America. The admiration for Vlad was open, yet in videos where many of them are questioned about Vlad’s politics, or that of the PSU Trump group broad, most people are completely lost to their open associations and racial nationalism.
Below is a video collage that shows a bit of how the action went, as well as being an antidote to the bizarre Infowars perspective.