A young member of the extremely active Antifa community in Portland has been bullied to the point where she claims to have become suicidal — simply for attempting to work with police to keep both protesters and law enforcement safe.
A 20-year-old activist named June Davies, who goes by the nicknames “Tan” and “Gia” is claiming that she has been receiving threats and warnings to leave the city after texting with a police officer about march routes and other information that could help to keep both sides safe.
“I knew what I was doing,” Davies told WW. “It was probably naive of me to think that I could change people’s mindsets. I saw the Portland police actually try. I never saw Antifa try.”
Davies’ first protest was two days after Trump’s election, but she immediately felt drawn in with the black clad rioters of the Antifa movement. Soon, she began volunteering as a medic to treat injured protesters.
The young activist, who considers herself an “anarcho-pacifist,” happened to meet Portland police Sgt. Jeff Niiya at a protest in June, where he gave her his business card. The next day, according to the Willamette Week, she “became a police informant.”
What was the exchange that would lead to a journalist referring to her as an informant? According to Oregon Live, it was a text message asking if a friend had been arrested at a protest the previous week. Sgt. Niiya confirmed that they were not.
Both the police and Davies deny that she was working as an informant, despite being in contact. Her goal, she says, was simply to share information in hopes that police would be aware of what was going on so that people would be less likely to get hurt and medics wouldn’t be arrested in the scuffles.
In the hundreds of text messages published by Oregon Live, Davies seemed to be attempting to debunk disinfo from both sides to create peace.
“If somebody from the community talking to us at an event is characterized as an informant, then anybody who talks to the police would be labeled an informant,” Portland Lt. Ryan Lee told Oregon Live.
“Anybody that’s willing to help paint a better picture to ensure public safety of an event, we’re willing to have a conversation with,” Lee continued. “We want to be able to talk to members of the public and find out what they need from us.”
Davies was not sharing any activist secrets with police about Antifa members or the protests, but once a “friend” discovered the texts in October and posted them to social media, it was game over. Davies was barred from the community that she had spent the past 11 months developing relationships in, smeared as a “snitch.”
“It was awful. I woke up and half of my friends were just gone. Everybody was talking about me. I got threats, I got told that I had to leave the city. It wasn’t exactly explicit, but it was implied that bad things would happen to me if I showed up at certain places,” Davies said. “I didn’t leave my house for like a month. I was afraid. The night that everything happened and the next morning, I was suicidal. I’ve had mental problems for a while, but I haven’t had suicidal thoughts that strong since I was 16.”
When asked why she would betray the Antifa rule of “no talking to police,” Davies said that “I watched my friends do May Day, and I thought what they were doing wasn’t 100 percent acceptable. They were just doing stuff to break stuff and wreck stuff.”
On May Day, a day of global protests and riots held annually on May 1, Portland was plagued by arson, riots, looting and violence.
“There’s no peace between police and protesters. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a peace. But I was trying to make it just a little bit easier so that the police would ease up on their tactics and then also see Antifa ease up on their tactics as well,” she said.
Soon, in addition to the threats against Davies, members of the Antifa community began to claim that Sgt. Niiya took advantage of her by flirting and exploiting her mental health issues — a claim which does not sit well with the former anarchist medic.
“This sounds like a fairy tale. They think I was taken advantage of for my disability. But he didn’t even know!” Davis told the WW. “I’ve had depression since I was a kid. I’ve had anxiety since I was in seventh grade. [But] I think those allegations victimize me. I’m not a victim.”
Davies even told Oregon Live that she once dreamed of being a police officer and admit that they do a “good job.”
“In all honesty, I think that for the most part police are there to protect and serve,” Davies said. “And for the most part, I think Portland police does a good job.”
The lack of a victim mindset, despite struggling with depression as well as homelessness for part of the year, makes it clear that she would never have fit in with Antifa — but unfortunately she still plans to find a place within the far-left where she can be accepted.
“If I ever do activism again, maybe I’ll go to Berkeley. I have been thinking about trying to go down there and see what the activism is like there, because that’s where all the activism started pretty much. Or even Seattle—and Seattle is not that far away from here,” Davies said.
An article on the Antifa website LibCom noted her sentiment, and warned that her desire to continue her activism means that she “remains a potential threat to others.”