Paul Welch came to the downtown protest Aug. 4 to let his political leanings be known.
With pride he clutched his U.S. flag as he moved among the crowd of like-thinking demonstrators.
Soon a group of black-clad anti-fascist protesters, also known as antifa, demanded he lose the flag, calling it a fascist symbol. Welch refused, and a tug-of-war ensued.
It ended with Welch taking a club to the back of the head, lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood.
Only Welch was not a Proud Boy, a Patriot Prayer supporter or among the other conservative activists who descended into the area that day, many from out of town.
He was one of hundreds of progressive Portlanders who had turned out to oppose the right-wing rally held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Many have assumed the tussle over a U.S. flag placed Welch squarely in the right-wing camp.
“I had felt like showing that a liberal, free Portland — or any major city, really — is much more American and much more numerous and strong than any of these interloping groups,” he said.
A “slightly progressive leftist” by his telling, Welch is a registered Democrat in Oregon, voting records show. He cast his ballot for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election, he said.
The Anti-fascists beat an actual Democratic Socialist bloody because they thought he was a right winger.
The Pacific North-West has turned into the Eastern Front.
I feel the same way about Antifa and Bernie-bros as I do about ISIS and the Syrian Army. Let them fight until the last two die choking each other to death.