A hair-raising article in Bellingcat details what has been learned from chat logs of the Patriot Coalition of Oregon, thanks to an Antifa infiltrator. Journalists Robert Evans and Jason Wilson describe the group as part of a growing network “increasingly organizing around direct physical confrontations with leftist protesters in Portland and other American cities.”
The leaked chat logs appear to reveal that some members of the Patriot Coalition have taken part in multiple violent rallies throughout the summer, and that they claim to have operated a series of vigilante patrols and checkpoints during the Oregon wildfires. While the chats appear to show they work and fight alongside members of extremist groups like the Proud Boys, American Wolf and 1776 2.0, the Patriot Coalition seems to have no coherent ideology beyond a desire to violently confront leftists in the name of the police and President Trump. A user identified as Paige summed up the general feelings of the group in a post made ahead of a what turned out to be a bloody ‘Back the Blue’ rally on August 22nd in Portland when she wrote: “I’m waiting for the presidential go to start open firing.”
Patriot Coalition members regularly declare Democratic politicians to be “Antifa” and thus fair targets for violence.
Discussions of violence in the Patriot Coalition group chat are not hypothetical. While some individuals are likely grandstanding, the chat logs show members gearing up for a number of events where very real violence occurred.
On August 22nd more than 300 heavily armed right-wing demonstrators rallied in downtown Portland for what was, nominally, a rally supporting the police. Yet the situation quickly degenerated into a mass brawl, with numerous injuries (including to one of the authors of this article).
Those events reflected the plans that Patriot Coalition had made. In the lead up, members discussed acquiring paintball guns and freezing their ammunition for maximum damage.
One of the many, many horrifying comments obtained from the group reads, “The only real way to end it is start shooting everyone of them. Fists and pepper spray are fun but don’t get the job done. I think sooner or later it’s coming. Our governor and the coward mayor of Portland will let it go on till November. If we don’t take care of it ourselves. Then there’s the whole prison thing I don’t quite like. So your damned if do damned if you don’t.”
These folks have plans for the 2020 election, too. Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, so there has been talk about monitoring and guarding the vote.
But even if violence is avoided, members of Patriot Coalition are mostly agreed on their expectations for the election: widespread mayhem, and possibly civil war if Donald Trump loses. Whatever happens, their chat logs show they intend to be prepared.
The entire article is a must-read. But be warned: It could keep you up at night.