Citys antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not related to fascist activity and police did not specify a motive

A Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run outside Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the citys anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene.

Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates.

The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward.

Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities.

Rose City Antifa, the citys longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealihers death that it was not related to fascist activity.

Police did not specify a motive.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site.

Six men, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May.

In an affidavit in support of Gibsons arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation.

Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra.

More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.

Cider Riots owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others.

Goldman-Armstrongs lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to homophobic and antisemitic harassment since the suit was filed.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

 

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