On Monday, Andy Ngo, editor-at-large at The Post Millennial, testified before the House Oversight Committee, powerfully rebutting Rep. Jerry Nadler’s (D-N.Y.) insistence that when it comes to the protests and riots spreading across America after the horrific police killing of George Floyd, the presence of antifa instigators is “imaginary.” Ngo, who has suffered serious injury from antifa attacks, is a living rebuke to such claims.
Yes, Rep. Jerry Nadler really did try to claim that Antifa was "imaginary." pic.twitter.com/Wka2qprv47
— MRCTV (@mrctv) June 26, 2020
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) noted that Ngo’s name did not appear on the Democrats’ web page for the hearing. “Mr. Ngo, why do Democrats try to ignore you?” Jordan asked.
“I don’t know if it’s intentional,” Ngo responded. “I’ve written for very major publications about this very violent threat.” He noted that Portland has experienced “thirty-straight days of violent rioting downtown” following protests over the death of George Floyd.
Jordan asked Ngo to respond to the claim that antifa is “imaginary.”
“Yes, it’s real,” the journalist responded. “When I heard that, I was quite surprised.” He held up police affidavits in criminal cases against self-described members of antifa.
He first presented a record on Amelia Joan Shamrowicz, who allegedly committed arson, criminal mischief (destroying or damaging $1,000 or more in property), and rioting. When police interviewed Shamrowicz’s roommates, they “reported that SHAMROWICZ stated they started the fire using a Molotov cocktail, and she is part of Antifa. SHAMROWICZ was reported to be extremely excited about being labeled a terrorist and was very animated about her hopes that police officers would be killed and injured by the riots. She also stated that she would be going out on another mission and the goal would be to set another fire.”
He also held up another affidavit from Travis County, Texas, in which three known members of a communist/socialist antifa group were charged with looting, burglary, and property damage at a Target in Austin.
Ngo condemned the “information warfare” on this issue, insisting that violence comes from extremists on both the left and the right.
“Ever since Donald Trump’s surprise election win in November 2016, there’s been consistent routine violent rioting in Portland,” the journalist testified, condemning both antifa and right-wing extremists.
Last June, a violent antifa assault landed Ngo in the hospital with a brain hemorrhage. He condemned police for failing to protect him from threats and violence.
On Monday, Jordan asked the journalist if Portland’s mayor had ordered police not to break up violent riots.
“I don’t have the evidence of that, but our mayor” has clearly expressed his “dislike of the police,” Ngo responded. He described “an environment were police are passive and they’re tolerating mob violence.”
“As police are retreating, I fear that America is experiencing what Portland has,” the journalist explained.
Jordan noted that members of Minneapolis’s City Council have voted to disband the police department, yet they receive $4,500 per day for private security.
“Elected officials need to be protected from terrorists and those who seek to harm them. And you know who else needs to be protected? Regular citizens,” Ngo quipped in response.
Andy Ngo also explained how antifa instigators operate, using peaceful protesters as human shields.
“I would like to bring your attention to this manual that I received from that so-called autonomous zone in Seattle,” the journalist said, claiming such pamphlets were “disseminated like candy.” This manual explained “how to use crowds” as cover for violent action.
“Draw a crowd by calling a meeting of some kind,” the pamphlet urges. “If the police build barricades, the crowd will be between us and the cops.”
The pamphlet encourages “exploiting large numbers of people as human shields, and that’s what we see happening every day in Portland,” Ngo explained.
“Yes, the majority of the people taking to the streets are peaceful,” the journalist said. But “it only takes a very small amount of people to turn a demonstration into a riot,” causing millions in property damage, “destroying livelihoods and causing the deaths of people as well.”
“Police in Portland and Seattle, like elsewhere, have sustained serious injuries from rocks, bricks, concrete chunks, IEDs, and more. I’ve witnessed how—while shouting ‘peaceful protest’—violent agitators from the crowd blind officers with lasers or paintballs before throwing projectiles at them,” Ngo testified. He noted that nearly 400 officers were injured in New York during a two-week period. Another 150 local and federal officers were injured in Washington, D.C., during one week. In Oakland, Calif., extremists used the cover of protests to shoot two federal officers, killing Dave Underwood.
Yet when rioters cynically exploit a peaceful protest and police act to prevent loss of life and livelihoods, their actions are “framed as police brutality.” Ngo lamented that in response, Portland’s City Council restrained police from using many of the tools available for restoring law and order.
“I don’t know what politicians want police to do. Do you want them to protect life and protect property, or do you want them to let rioters destroy and kill as they’ve done?” Ngo asked.
Americans are rightly horrified by the death of George Floyd, and we should work together to achieve meaningful police reform. While some police responses to the violent riots have indeed gone too far, it is important for law enforcement to return law and order to America’s streets.
The antifa instigators behind the looting, vandalism, and arson that has destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments must be exposed and held accountable. Democrats’ insistence that antifa is “imaginary” is an insult to the riots’ victims.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.