Far-right blogger Andy Ngo was taken to the hospital on June 29 after anti-fascist protesters assaulted him at a demonstration countering the presence of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist organization, in Portland, Oregon. Video shows Ngo walking and recording amidst a group of counter-protesters when several individuals in black masks begin shoving him, spraying him with what appears to be silly string, and throwing milkshakes and eggs at him. He later posted photos of his face, bruised and bloodied, from the emergency room. Prior to the protest, a local anti-fascist organization that had organized one of the counter-demonstrations had written a blog post calling for people to “defend our city” and citing Ngo by name as being Islamophobic and promoting the Proud Boys. Ngo, an editor for the online magazine Quillette, has a history of clashing with anti-fascist protesters. In May, he filed assault charges after being sprayed with bear repellant and assaulted while reporting on a May Day protest in Portland. He is considered by many to be antagonistic and in 2018 wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “A Visit to Islamic London,” after which many accused him of being Islamophobic.
“Andy Ngo, like any journalist in the United States, has the right to report on a protest without being physically attacked while doing so,” said Sabine Dolan, interim Executive Director for RSF’s North America bureau. “We condemn violence against journalists at protests and urge any who report from politically-charged demonstrations to prepare for such escalations.”
The United States ranks 48th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index, after dropping three places in the past year.
For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en.