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  • Black Lives Matter protesters against racism and police brutality protest in downtown Portland, Oregon, the U.S. July 27, 2020.

    Black Lives Matter protesters against racism and police brutality protest in downtown Portland, Oregon, the U.S. July 27, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 September 2020
Opinion

In the leaked conversations, the pro-Trump groups also show confidence in police overseeing their actions, while confronting BLM and leftist leaders.

U.S. antifascist group Eugene Antifa revealed several leaked chats between Pro-Trump far-right militia members that plotted in advance violent attacks against Black Lives Matter and other activists in Portland protests.

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Patriots Coalition members used the GroupMe app to plan how to make paintballs more harmful. When one of the members suggested freezing the projectiles, militia member Davis Willis recommended using pepper balls or rubber covered metal bullets instead of frozen paintballs and said it makes them “wildly inaccurate.” 

Before the August 22 protest, 41-years-old pro-Trump Mark Melchi and member of “1776 2.0,” a violent right-wing group, told fellow militia members to ignore weapons statutes and warned they might be caught in “crossed fire.” 

“I saw someone say bats, mace, and stun guns are illegal downtown. If you’re going to play by the books tomorrow night, we already lost. We are here to make a change, laws will be broken, people will get hurt… It’s lawlessness downtown, and people need to be prepared for bad things,” Melchi wrote.

Both Willis and Melchi face prior charges for carrying out violent confrontations. Authorities filed evidence that shows Melchi leading violent attacks against BLM demonstrators, even during the events of August 22. They were using bats and gas.

“My Group 1776 2.0 has been fighting Antifa in Seattle, Portland, for months. This won’t be a simple fistfight. People will get shot, stabbed, and beat,” Melchi texted.

In the leaked conversations, the pro-Trump groups also show confidence in police overseeing their actions, while confronting BLM and leftist leaders. Violent plotting escalated, and some of the chat members even suggested going after political figures and authorities, claiming their entitlement to carry out "justice" by their hand. 

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