U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Independent journalist chased, assaulted by mob during protest in Oregon

Incident Details

Date of Incident
September 4, 2021
Olympia, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
September 4, 2021

Independent journalist Alissa Azar tweeted that she was chased and assaulted by a mob of Proud Boys wearing helmets and carrying shields as she covered a protest in Olympia, Oregon, on Sept. 4, 2021.

Business Insider reported that the protest was organized near the state capitol as an anti-COVID-19 demonstration.

Video posted on Twitter shows the gang suddenly change direction and head towards Azar, shouting her name, surrounding her and pulling her to the ground.

She said on Twitter she had been walking with a group but had separated from them to walk a short distance when she was suddenly targeted by a group of about 50 Proud Boys.

In another video, members of the mob can be heard shouting “get her” and “whip her ass,” and then are seen leaving the scene laughing. Many of them are masked and wearing helmets and body armour.

Azar, who did not respond to a request by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker for a comment, tweeted right after the attack that people in a nearby bar in Olympia helped her get away. “I ran as fast as I could. They caught me and pulled my hair and shoved me to the ground then bear maced me.”

In a separate tweet she added: “Not OK and shaking, but safe now and have protection.”

The Olympia Police Department did not respond to a U.S. Press Freedom Tracker request for a comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].