- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Bernie Sanders supporter who was beaten by Antifa earlier this month in Portland, Oregon, says he had no idea that carrying an American flag would elicit such violence.

Paul Welch, 38, was sent to an urgent care clinic on Aug. 4 with a 3-inch gash in the back of his head because the “slightly progressive leftist” carried an Old Glory. Black-clad members of Antifa to literally lashed out at him for holding the “fascist” symbol.

“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” Mr. Welch, who voted for the Vermont senator during the 2016 primary elections, told The Oregonian for an interview published Monday. “I remember thinking there was a very good chance that I could be beaten to death.”

Footage of the City Hall incident was originally captured by freelance journalist Mike Bivins and shared on Twitter.

“I had felt like showing that a liberal, free Portland — or any major city, really — is much more American and much more numerous and strong than any of these interloping groups,” Mr. Welch said of his rationale for carrying the flag.

The line cook added that his original intent was not to side with any one group, although he did consider the conservative activists at the event “tacitly fascist.”

“They’re just offensive,” Mr. Welch said of the group Patriot Prayer and its allies.

Sgt. Chris Burley, a Portland police spokesman, told the newspaper that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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