PORTLAND, Ore. — Cider Riot is suing right-wing group. Patriot Prayer, following the brawl which took place at the bar on May 1.
It is suing for repeated attacks, threats, loss of business and costs incurred due to the incident and harassment which ensued thereafter.
The brawl began after Patriot Prayer members showed up to Cider Riot during a May Day celebration where several antifascists were in attendance. A violent brawl broke out.
Cider Riot touts itself as being an inclusive place what welcomes everyone, including left-wing antifascists.
Cider Riot owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong says he has had to take down his business’ Facebook page, unplug his personal phone and is looking over his shoulders a lot more these days.
The lawsuit is asking for up to $1 million on four counts including negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with economic relations and trespassing.
It cites clean up costs from the fight, graffiti allegedly done by Patriot Prayer before the brawl and costs to cover increased security and training for Cider Riot’s employees “in case of another Patriot Prayer” attack.
“We are not going to be kowtowed by these fascist bullies, coming down, crossing state lines to attack our establishment and our patrons,” said Goldman-Armstrong.
Joey Gibson with Patriot Prayer has posted on Facebook about the incident, stating he was on a public sidewalk while he was “pepper sprayed, spit on and assaulted by drunk Cider Riot customers.”
“They were macing people on our property and we’re not going to stand for that. So thankfully we have legal representation. It’s come to this point. Enough is enough,” said Goldman-Armstrong.
The lawsuit outlines violence that was organized by Patriot Prayer days before the event and states Patriot Prayer pepper sprayed patrons. One customer even had her head hit with a baton, she was knocked unconscious and suffered a vertebrae fracture.
The lawsuit goes on to say that members of Patriot Prayer are still harassing Cider Rio. According to the suit, the group vows to return to Cider Riot and have placed false reports to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
“What is the subject of the lawsuit are intimidation, fear, threats and violence that are caused by Joey Gibson and his followers,” said Juan Chavez, the lawyer filing the suit with the Oregon Justice Resource Center.
Goldman-Armstrong took issue with Portland police's response time saying it was too slow. He says police arrived after Gibson had already left.
When asked if there was any intention to sue Portland Police, Chavez said he and his client were considering their legal options.