When I headed out to report on an anti-Trump protest at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, I didn’t expect it would end with me getting threatened by a gang of antifas.
The Constitution is a wonderful governing document, because it guarantees you freedom of speech and assembly no matter where you are in America… in theory. In practice, holding a political event that Leftists don’t like—or peacefully attending a Leftist event to film it—will end with you facing down two dozen antifas making homosexual come-ons and menacing you.
I found that out the hard way on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, when I attended the Rally to Stop Trump and March on the RNC to record live video for Red Ice (you can watch our video coverage here). While I once had to flee a #BlackLivesMatter protest after being falsely accused of being an undercover cop, I’ve never had Leftists recognize me and call me out by name, or send gangs of goons to threaten me with violence.
Admittedly, it’s flattering to be popular enough that antifas view me as a notable adversary, in the same way that Robert Christgau was flattered when Lou Reed devoted an entire drunken rant to him on Live: Take No Prisoners. Thing is, Christgau didn’t have to worry about Reed stalking him to his hotel and beating his skull in with some PVC pipe.
The rally was held at the Mall, a public park in downtown Cleveland not far from the Quicken Loans Arena, where the RNC is being held. I attended with Edwin Oslan, William Rome and a couple other guys whom I’d met via Red Ice. Several blocks to the west, Citizens for Trump was holding a conservative rally at Settler’s Landing Park, which was being covered by Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa and featured speakers such as Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Roger Stone.
We entered the park from the northwest, right behind the stage where the professional agitators were holding their speeches. It was your usual collective of paid stooges: Students for a Democratic Society, people holding “Dump Trump” signs, androgynous waifs with enough metal in their faces to freak out a TSA agent, the works. One wag had a naked blow-up doll mocking Trump’s tiny hands and presumably tiny sexual appendage.
Things went smoothly at first as we took up a position near the front, allowing us to film the protests from the best possible angle. However, about a half-hour in, William gestured to a portly black man to my right: “Psst, that’s Daryle Jenkins.” Jenkins is the head of the One People’s Project, one of the many Soros-funded instigator groups focused on documenting “racism” (read: denouncing everyone to the right of Hugo Chavez). He’s also known for staging protests at American Renaissance’s conferences.
I should have taken this as my cue to scram. I didn’t.
After getting some more footage of the protest, Edwin and I were interrupted by a voice to my left: “By the way, Philando Castile was not a Crip.”
I wheeled to face the unknown speaker. It was Jenkins.
“Oh, Daryle Jenkins,” I said, trying to be polite and offering my hand to shake. “Nice to meet you.”
“I’m not gonna shake your hand right now,” he rebuffed me. “Listen, I know who you are. You’re Matt Forney. In about five minutes, I’m gonna tell these people that you’re a neo-Nazi, and they’re not gonna take kindly to you being here.”
“Well, thanks for the warning.” My eyes darted for the exit, knowing full well these people would tear us apart if he blew our cover.
“Listen, everyone!” Jenkins began bellowing. “This man’s name is Matt Forney! He’s a white supremacist and a fascist!”
I motioned to Edwin to follow me out as the crowd jeered us: “FUCKIN’ NAZIS! FASCISTS! RACISTS!”
We rejoined William across the street (he had ejected upon seeing Jenkins the first time, as he had ran into the guy before). We hustled a block west to make sure we weren’t being followed, then reported in to Red Ice. Henrik Palmgren suggested we head over to the Citizens for Trump event, which we did… as the anti-Trump marchers tromped right through our path, chanting their usual hackneyed slogans: “WHO SHUT SHIT DOWN! WE SHUT SHIT DOWN!” “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, NO RACIST POLICE!”
With the instigators in our way, we pulled out our phones to record some more video. The march proceeded west past Public Square, then curved around in front of Tower City. After shaking off a hippie with a TV camera who kept zooming in on me, asking “Got anything to say, Matt!” (my response was “Make America great again!”), we slipped into a bus stop for a better vantage point. Then Daryle Jenkins materialized behind us like a grue in Zork.
“Hey, this is going out live,” I warned him.
“Go right ahead and film all you want,” he yelled. “It doesn’t bother me none. You can’t do as much to me as I can do to you.”
William, Edwin and I began arguing with Jenkins, as he angrily accused us of being Holocaust deniers and told us that if we didn’t get out of town, he’d make sure bad things happened to us. You can watch the entire exchange here.
After that point, we continued following the protest as the Leftist tromped down Ontario and Prospect, around the Secret Service security fence separating the convention from everyone else. As we went east, we ran into a Trump supporter—a bubbly blonde from Tennessee—and stopped to say a few words to one of the few people in the area who didn’t want us skinned alive.
The march rounded the corner and headed north on 6th St. I was spotted by a Latino instigator, who demanded to know why a “fucking Nazi bitch” like me was still at his precious rally. I shouted back that “we [had] a right to be [there]” as the Latino and his pals swore at and threatened us. Watch it below (it starts at 2:44):
It was then that two greasy, chomo-looking antifas (one in a pink shirt) came up to us with a pierced-lipped girl in tow, calling me that “white supremacist dude” and barraging me with a array of homosexual pick-up lines, calling me “daddy” and sexy. Realizing that they were sent by Daryle Jenkins to harass me, I backed off until they went away: you can watch the incident here.
This was probably the clearest possible indicator that we should have vamoosed: with just Edwin and William with me, we didn’t have the numbers to ward off a concerted antifa attack. But curiosity got the better of me, and due to the police cordons, the only way to Settler’s Landing was through the march itself. We continued to trail the marchers, filming all the while, until they arrived back at the Mall.
With the path clear, we could leave without cutting through the crowd, but we hung around near the back and kept filming. We were spotted again, with Pink Shirt Chomo and a gang of a dozen antifas approaching us for a chat. I began retreating backwards, tripping over a staircase and spraining my ankle on the way down. Amazingly, not only was my phone undamaged, but my connection to Red Ice stayed intact.
After seeing me tumble, the antifas moved in for the kill. I kept retreating and filming as the instigators separated me from William and Edwin. Pink Shirt Chomo’s remarks became increasingly threatening, pointing out that I was “alone” and asking where “my guys” were, saying that “they should be jumping [him] by now.” I was saved after I called out to some police that they were stalking me: watch the incident here.
After checking back in with Red Ice, I met up with William and Edwin back in Tower City. William told me that he had been cornered by twenty antifas and successfully stood them down: he accused them of “LARPing as Martin Luther King,” they accused him of “LARPing as a Nazi,” and he responded “Do you see me sieg heiling?” Edwin had been cornered by one girl who refused to let him go; when he tried to budge past her, she cried out, “Oh, you’re hitting girls now?” They were saved when he cried out that what she was doing was “illegal,” attracting the cops’ attention.
The three of us got some sodas and headed over to Settler’s Landing, where the Citizens for Trump rally was winding down. While there, I got to meet Mike Cernovich and Chris from Good Looking Loser, and I also ran into Roosh V later in the evening while I was out and about. After the action we’d seen, though, we weren’t in the mood for any more confrontations with antifas.
The day’s events confirmed for me—and everyone watching my adventures—that there’s no reasoning with Leftists. They want to shut you up and they want you dead. If they can’t use the legal system or threaten to get you fired from your job, they’ll threaten you with violence. I knew that I was heading into a dangerous situation when I went to the rally, but I didn’t figure that I was notable enough that I’d be recognized by my face.
While I’ll be reporting on the RNC for Right On and Red Ice through the end of the week, I’m not taking the chances I did on Monday again.