Patriot Prayer founder: charges are 'politically motivated'
Joey Gibson, founder of the Patriot Prayer group that has staged violent rallies in Portland, surrendered to police Friday, Aug. 16, after a warrant for riot that had been issued against him.
The warrant was the result of an investigation that started on May 1 related to a disturbance in the Cider Riot!, a live music venue with cider drinks on the 800 block of Northeast Couch Street.
Gibson, 35, is lodged into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
A major protest between far-right and far-left forces, which is expected to turn violent, is planned for 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, in downtown Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Patriot Prayer is expected to take part in the event.
In an Aug. 15 phone interview with KOIN 6 News, Gibson said he believed the felony rioting charge was politically motivated and the city of Portland was trying to ban him from the streets.
Gibson and his lawyer said the charge stems from his role in a violent confrontation between right- and left-wing activists in Southeast Portland on May 1. The lawyer representing Gibson accused the Multnomah County district attorney of filing the charge without first securing a grand jury indictment.
Attorney James Buchal said charge relates to a clash between Gibson's associates and customers at the Cider Riot! cider bar following May Day demonstration in downtown Portland. Video of the confrontation shows some of the customers were masked in the style of anti-fascist activists; often called "antifa."
Four other people associated with Gibson have been charged with crimes stemming from the confrontation.
Buchal denied that Gibson engaged in illegal behavior and insisted he was the victim of violence by some of the Cider Riot! customers, which he identified as antifa activists.
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You can find a previous Portland Tribune story on the Cider Riot confrontation here.
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