Joey Gibson claims conspiracy theories on protest eve

Civic Affairs

Patriot Prayer planning "Peaceful Prayer Rally" in Portland Sunday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a 17-minute video posted to Facebook Saturday morning, Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson alleged that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, the Multnomah County district attorney and a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group are colluding to prevent “patriots and followers of Christ” from speaking out.

The video was also a call to Patriot Prayer supporters to join him at Pioneer Courthouse Square Sunday afternoon for what he bills as a “Peaceful Prayer Rally.” Gibson also said they would march around the downtown area.

The 35-year-old Vancouver resident, currently facing a felony riot charge for his alleged actions at a May Day brawl in Northeast Portland, said that the City of Portland is in collusion with Council on American-Islamic Relations in “trying to build a city of intimidation.”

Joey Gibson in downtown Portland, September 12, 2019 (KOIN)

“I am being specifically targeted because I am an outspoken follower of Christ,” he said. Gibson also alleged that CAIR “thugs” come to Patriot Prayer events “to beat the s–t out of us.”

During the video, which he recorded while sitting in his car and drinking coffee, Gibson repeatedly said “someone has Ted Wheeler by the balls” and that the mayor was about to cry during a Thursday press conference that cleared PPB Lt. Jeff Niiya of inappropriate contact with Patriot Prayer leaders during protests.

He offered no proof for any of his claims.

Portland Police Bureau holds press conference regarding investigation into text messages exchanged between Lt. Niiya and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, September 12, 2019. (KOIN)

Gibson also said there was a direct “parallel between the civil rights movement and what’s happening with conservatives” in this country.

He’d “rather have small numbers and have people who are committed to be non-violent” at Sunday’s downtown Portland rally. He said he doesn’t think there will be any violence, “but it’s your God-given right to defend yourself.”

“I don’t care if they charge me with more crimes,” Gibson said.

OJRC condemns Gibson’s ‘dangerous claims

On September 5, Bobbin Singh, the Executive Director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, issued a statement addressing this planned Patriot Prayer event.

“We reject and condemn Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer’s dangerous Islamophobic claims and implied threats against CAIR-OR, and their false assertions about us and other groups. By planning and publicizing yet another march in Portland and advancing his conspiracy theories, Joey Gibson knowingly risks violence and intimidation against any of the groups he criticizes. The extreme rhetoric that he and Patriot Prayer use has led to violence before. Mr. Gibson can very easily predict that making these false and bigoted claims to his followers may result in violence again.

“Joey Gibson is following the white nationalist playbook in trying to create a bogeyman to generate hysteria and incite violence against a specific group. The lurid rhetoric and conspiratorial theories he uses are strongly reminiscent of those deployed by white nationalists against Jews.

“In our view, it is important now for City and Portland Police Bureau leadership to focus on protecting Portlanders from the threat posed by Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer. At a time when the relationship between PPB and Mr. Gibson is being investigated, Portlanders need to be able to feel confident in walking the streets and working in this community, not intimidated.

“At the same time, we have received via email a threatening message against CAIR-OR. We do not know whether the sender is associated with Patriot Prayer or merely inspired by them, but we have forwarded it to law enforcement.”

Gibson’s legal troubles

On August 27, 2019, Joey Gibson pleaded not guilty to a felony riot charge stemming from a May Day brawl at a Northeast Portland bar called Cider Riot. He was booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center on $5,000 bail, posted bail a few hours later and was released.

may day fight joey gibson 05012019_1556815005469.jpg.jpg
Joey Gibson, middle with sunglasses, at a brawl outside Cider Riot in Northeast Portland, May 1, 2019 (KOIN)

He told KOIN 6 News he believes the felony riot charge is politically motivated and an attempt by the city of Portland to ban him from the streets.

The maximum sentence for conviction on felony riot — a Class C felony — is five years in prison.

Gibson pushed a woman, taunted a number of people and physically threatened others in the May Day brawl outside Cider Riot, court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News alleged.

The affidavit from Deputy DA Brad Kalbaugh lays out a series of events from that day that were witnessed by a plain clothes officer and later by a detective looking at “numerous video clips” that were “readily obtainable on the internet via numerous sources.”

In the melee, a woman named Heather Clark was knocked unconscious. Before she was knocked out, Gibson is seen on video pushing her. That happened moments after Gibson and other Patriot Prayer members — some of whom also face charges — taunted and threatened Antifa members “in an effort to clearly provoke a physical altercation,” the court document states.

The owner of Cider Riot, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, filed a $1 million lawsuit against Patriot Prayer and Gibson over the brawl.

The lawsuit accuses them of negligence, trespass and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the lawsuit, Ian Kramer hit Cider Riot patron Heather Clark and knocked her unconscious. The lawsuit also accuses Gibson of harassing and menacing patrons at the pub and facilitating a street fight between two people, which he live streamed.

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