U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photographer shoved by group of pro-Trump demonstrators in Salem, Oregon

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 7, 2020
Salem, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
November 7, 2020

Documentary photographer Joseph Rushmore said he was shoved by pro-Donald Trump demonstrators while covering a rally in Salem, Oregon, on Nov. 7, 2020.

Rushmore was pushed while covering one of the “Stop the Steal” rallies held around the country to promote President Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

In the wake of the election being called for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that morning, about 200 people gathered outside the Oregon Capitol in the afternoon of Nov. 7. Some of the protesters appeared to be affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right group, journalists told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. Several other journalists documented harassing, threatening interactions with pro-Trump supporters while covering the Salem rally that day. Members of far-right groups have repeatedly attacked journalists in recent years.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Rushmore was shoved after noticing a group of protesters confronting a counterprotester and he started taking photos of the confrontation, he told the Tracker.

In footage of the confrontation posted on Twitter by Portland-based journalist Sergio Olmos, Rushmore can be seen wearing a pink bandana as he starts taking photos about 24 seconds into the video.

After Oregon State Police officers stepped in to protect the counterprotester, the Trump supporters turned their attention to Rushmore.

Video of the incident published by Olmos shows a group of protesters confronting Rushmore. One demonstrator can be seen repeatedly pushing Rushmore as he shouts back to get off of him. At one point, the protesters begin chanting, “Fuck antifa!” Eventually, state troopers get between Rushmore and the protesters.

“They were yelling that I was an anarchist or antifa, yelling about me being fake press, and somebody started pushing me,” Rushmore said.

“I’m yelling back at them a lot because I didn’t want them putting their hands on me,” said Rushmore. “I was scared at the moment. It’s a pretty violent group and they frighten me. I was way outnumbered.”

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