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Paul Welch came to the downtown protest Aug. 4 to let his political leanings be known.
With pride he clutched his U.S. flag as he moved among the crowd of like-thinking demonstrators.
Soon a group of black-clad anti-fascist protesters, also known as antifa, demanded he lose the flag, calling it a fascist symbol. Welch refused, and a tug-of-war ensued.
It ended with Welch taking a club to the back of the head, lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood.
Only Welch was not a Proud Boy, a Patriot Prayer supporter or among the other conservative activists who descended into the area that day, many from out of town.
He was one of hundreds of progressive Portlanders who had turned out to oppose the right-wing rally held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
"I didn't come as a part of any one group," Welch said in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive. "I was just protesting outsiders coming here for their tacitly fascist event."
"I had felt like showing that a liberal, free Portland — or any major city, really — is much more American and much more numerous and strong than any of these interloping groups," he said.
It took four staples to close the 3-inch gash in the back of his head, Welch said. He spent the next two days recovering from a concussion, though he was able to return to work.