- Moriah Ratner/Getty Images
- The Portland Police tweeted that officers have received information that milkshakes containing quick-drying cement were thrown during clashes between far-left and far-left organizations on Saturday – for now, there is no evidence to substantiate that claim.
- Controversy has arisen on social media over whether the information regarding cement in milkshakes is true, with author Shane Burley saying photos he took of the milkshakes have been taken out of context to spread rumors without evidence.
- At least three political organizations planned demonstrations in downtown Portland on Saturday, including members of the far-right group the Proud Boys and members of far-left anti-fascist group Rose City Antifa.
- Andy Ngo, an editor of the conservative online magazine Quillette, tweeted that he had been attacked by members of antifa and went to the ER for his injuries.
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The Portland Police tweeted Saturday night that they had received reports that “some of the milkshakes thrown” during demonstrations from far-left and far-right groups in downtown Portland “contained quick-drying cement,” and encouraged anyone “hit with a substance” to report it.
Fighting between demonstrators and counter-protestors broke out in Portland on Saturday between members of far-right group the Proud Boys and far-left anti-fascist group Rose City Antifa. Another conservative demonstration taking place was organized on behalf of the “HimToo” movement.
Police did not clarify whether milkshakes were thrown by any specific group or toward any specific target, but The Oregonian reported that some protestors whose affiliation is unclear threw eggs and milkshakes at police officers, and both police and protestors deployed pepper spray.
Police have received information that some of the milkshakes thrown today during the demonstration contained quick-drying cement. We are encouraging anyone hit with a substance today to report it to police.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 29, 2019
“Quick-drying cement” likely refers to a concrete mixture with a higher ratio of cement to gravel and water, so that the concrete sets faster (in about 20 to 40 minutes), as opposed to regular concrete, which takes 24 to 48 hours to dry.
Currently, there is no evidence to substantiate the claim of concrete or cement found in any milkshakes. Shane Burley, an author present at the demonstrations who watched the milkshake preparation, tweeted he did not see cement or concrete being mixed into the milkshakes.
Jack Posobiec stole this photo of mine and tweeted it with a question that suggested that they were putting quick dry cement in the cups. I watched them prepare the milkshakes and took this photo of it, and there was zero evidence of that. No one has found any concrete. https://t.co/qQo4W2um5K
— Shane Burley (@shane_burley1) June 30, 2019
Fast-setting concrete mix can be bought in stores inexpensively and just requires water. It is unclear whether a concrete mixture was left to harden and then added to milkshake mixtures, or whether a powder itself was found in milkshakes. Portland police did not respond immediately to clarify.
Andy Ngo, an editor of the conservative online magazine Quillette, tweeted that he was attacked by members of antifa while recording the demonstrations. Video captured of the incident shows masked members hitting Ngo, shooting silly string at him, cracking eggs over his head, and throwing cups at him as he walks away.
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
Ngo later tweeted he was in the ER, accompanied by pictures of lacerations and bruises on his face.
In the ER. pic.twitter.com/spe5N4nzVl
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019
Portland Police declared a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly just hours after the protests began around noon on Saturday. The Oregonian reported that three people were arrested for charges including second-degree assault, assault of a police officer, second-degree disorderly conduct, and harassment. Medics treated eight people for injuries, including three police officers and Ngo.
Several high-profile journalists and online commentators denounced the violence toward Ngo, including CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who tweeted that antifa regularly attacks journalists. Ngo has been criticized for targeting vulnerable people, including journalists, and organizations, and leaving them susceptible to threats of violence.