In response to the conviction and sentencing of Patriot Prayer member Mackenzie Lewis of felony riot charges associated with several assaults that occurred during a brawl at a Portland bar in 2019, Western States Center deputy director of programs Amy Herzfeld-Copple issued the following statement.
“Mackenzie Lewis’s actions at Cider Riot pub in Portland were despicable. Lewis and the larger Patriot Prayer organization have a long record of instigating bigotry and political violence. Patriot Prayer has routinely rallied with Proud Boys and white nationalists and encouraged violence against its political opponents. They have regularly planned and attended events that promote hate, political misinformation, and white nationalist agendas. They frequently appear at rallies armed, engaging in vandalism and community intimidation.
Lewis’ sentencing comes almost a year after Oregon’s elected leaders, including Senators Merkley and Wyden, wrote to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation into “hate group networks” in Oregon.
“Our communities need a robust response to political violence from government officials at every level in order to treat this threat with the urgency it requires. It starts with serious accountability that firmly rejects political violence as unacceptable, but it cannot end there. Our government must hold Patriot Prayer and all similar organizations accountable, to ensure the stability of our democratic institutions, safety of our neighborhoods, and protection of our most vulnerable community members.”
About Western States Center – Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy through building movement, developing leaders, shifting culture, and defending democracy.