Activists crash James O’Keefe tribute – get beaten & hospitalized
It happened almost a week ago, but news about the assaults by a mob of right-wing thugs has now emerged:
A secretive group of conservatives in the entertainment industry, the Friends of Abe, hosted rightwing conman James O’Keefe at Eamonn’s Bar & Grill in New York on Sunday. Past Undercurrent collaborator Ryan Clayton attended and taped his remarks.
During the Q&A segment of the talk, Clayton sang a roast of O’Keefe, and was subsequently attacked by several people in the audience, as reported by The Huffington Post. Another progressive activist, Jason Charter was also assaulted. Both men were hospitalized and have filed charges including assault, strangulation, and robbery. (Attendees broke Charter’s tie camera and stole his wallet, glasses, and cell phone.)
Although Charter’s camera was broken, Clayton’s was not, and he was able to capture some colorful comments.
O’Keefe, for his part, told a homophobic joke about gay British neo-Nazi Milo Yiannopoulos:
[D]uring the FOA event, he slammed political correctness and made a racist anal sex joke involving the alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Here’s the clip:
According to Ryan Clayton, one of the victims of the assault, the altercation ensued during O’Keefe’s speech. After boasting about his relationship with Trump, including details from a phone call between he and Trump shortly after the election, O’Keefe invited attendees to the stage to share similar stories. The victim proceeded to the stage, where O’Keefe handed him the microphone. When the victim began roasting O’Keefe, an O’Keefe associate attacked him from behind and began choking him.
“My neck popped six times,” said Clayton, “and I couldn’t breathe. I honestly thought I was going to die.”
At least three additional attackers jumped in on the assault, punching and kicking the victim repeatedly. They then threw the him down a wooden staircase, at which point the victim was able to escape the venue. …
An O’Keefe associate then complains, “I just got assaulted by the cops!”
Witnesses at the scene disputed O’Keefe’s claims. Peter James Callahan, who was at the scene of the incident to support the victims, said, “It was insane. They were beating them senseless. And the whole crowd, especially that sheepfucker O’Keefe, was cheering them on. As an activist, I’ve seen a lot of violent responses to nonviolent resistance, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”