Antifa activists brought chaos as they descended on the weekend’s annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver, drawn by favorite targets such as Oregon journalist Andy Ngo and Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican.
Videos posted by Mr. Ngo and The Blaze’s Elijah Schaffer showed multiple fights, including a brawl between a man who confronted dozens of protesters outside the Hyatt Regency Denver, site of the two-day conference hosted by the Centennial Institute.
Protesters, some with bullhorns, harassed people entering and exiting the hotel. Activists blocked traffic, prompting one driver to jump out of her car and accuse them of throwing a water bottle at her vehicle. Others chanted “Boebert’s bitch boys” at a line of police outside the venue.
“Antifa view events like this and even just this speech as extremely threatening to them, which is why they’ve organized the so-called protests outside,” said Mr. Ngo in his Saturday appearance.
Denver police said Saturday there were no arrests made at the protest, which was advertised on Facebook as the “Western BLM-Antifa Summit,” or “two days of fiercely jubilant opposition to the Western Conservative Summit!”
Organizers included the “Denver Communists, Front Range Mutual Aid Network, WITCH Denver, Front Range Community Defense Collective, Anon Resistance Movements, Anti-Repression Colorado, Denver Action Network.”
Centennial Institute director Jeff Hunt said the Antifa presence shows that the conference is having an impact.
“The fact Antifa has chosen to protest our event proves to me three things: 1.) the Western Conservative Summit is doing things right; 2.) they’re afraid of the impact of the conservative message; and, 3.) they’re just rabble-rousing idiots,” said Mr. Hunt in an email.
“Many thanks to the Denver PD officers who’ve kept our speakers and attendees safe,” he said.
Antifa activists continued their antics into Saturday, yelling profanities at police as officers lined up outside the hotel to protect attendees as they left the conference, as shown on video.
“Denver Police did a great job keeping the peace,” tweeted Mr. Hunt. “As opposed to these protestors, we celebrated America and #backedtheblue at the Western Conservative Summit.”
The Facebook announcement included graphics of milkshakes and mocked Mr. Ngo, who was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage and other injuries after Antifa activists beat and threw “milkshakes” at him as he tried to cover a June 2019 protest in Portland, Oregon.
“This year, big names have been replaced by lesser losers like local grifter and professional victim Lauren Boebert, Lakewood’s anti-gay cake-maker Jack Phillips, Portland’s right-wing provocateur and infamous milkshake-wearer Andy Ngo, among various other d-list culture-war reactionaries,” reads the Facebook post.
Mr. Ngo wore a knee brace Saturday from injuries suffered last month as he was beaten and chased into a hotel by Antifa after he attempted to go undercover to cover a protest in Portland, saying “they came very close to killing me.”
“Things are really bad in Portland. I feel like I can’t overstate it,” Mr. Ngo said. “This is what happens when you turn a blind eye to left-wing extremism. The population has been cowed and silenced because if you dare speak up again them, then you’re called a racist, a fascist, and all that, and then they will dox you. They really have held the city, the population as hostage, in a way.”
He cited the autonomous zone created by protesters last summer in Seattle, a six-block area that they ruled for three weeks until the city cleared them out. Two people were shot and killed in the zone.
“Look at what happens when they are given territory,” said Mr. Ngo. “They want to create anarchist-communist communes where there is no law, there’s no order, and they can do whatever they want. And they got to experiment with that, and it leads to people dying and getting murdered.”
Ms. Boebert, who spoke Saturday on a panel with fellow Colorado Republican Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, said that the Democratic-controlled state legislature has passed “unfunded mandates” that are exacerbating the “urban and rural divide.”
“At some point, we have to recognize that you’re not voting compassionately by putting Democrats in office because these policies destroy everything that we are working so hard to build each and every day,” said Ms. Boebert.
She also gave a shout-out to police officers providing security at the conference.
“It is devastating to see how our law enforcement officers have been demonized and vilified over the last year,” she said.
Organizers limited attendance this year to 500 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and moved it back to the Hyatt Regency venue after several years of holding the event across the street at the larger Colorado Convention Center.