We Are Change journalist Luke Rudkowski, independent Dresden-based journalist Max Bachmann and Marcus DiPaola of Heavy.com were attacked by Antifa while covering the G20 protests after being labeled as Nazis by a local mainstream reporter.
The group was targeted after being spotted walking near controversial political commentator Lauren Southern.
— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) July 6, 2017
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) July 7, 2017
Independent journalist Tim Pool, whose unbiased on the ground reporting has won awards, was also targeted and threatened as the group set their sights on Southern and anyone associated with her.
Pool told Big League Politics that Southern had been wearing an Identitarian shirt when they arrived at the protest.
“We all know each other so we typically are in the same vicinity when we cover stories, for safety,” Pool told Big League. He explained that credentialed German journalist Soren Kohlhuber had seen Southern and began taking photos of her and Rudkowski.
Kohnhuber had been tweeting the locations of Southern and those who dared to stand near her while declaring that they are all identitarian “fascists.” The journalist also began sending his target’s information to members of the violent Antifa mob, according to Pool.
“This journalist then tweeted that we were all Identitarians,” Pool explained. “The local German reporter, Luke, and an American freelancer were all beaten because of this photo. I had left after they started posting my whereabouts and photos of me.”
Pool added that several people had gone to his defense online and called the journalist out on his claims, but he did not retract them.
Prior to the attack, Rudkowski had been warned that people were walking around with the photos of him and the other journalists open on their phones while looking for them. As they were attempting to leave the scene, they began being followed by a group of roughly 10 members of Antifa.
As Antifa approached Rudkowski they accused of him being a Nazi, to which he loudly declared that he was not. Despite his long track record of impartial reporting, his declaration did not stop the activists from proceeding to jump him and the two other reporters.
Rudkowski claims that after the assault Antifa continued to follow them, and threatened to kill them if they did not leave town.
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) July 7, 2017
Southern has made an emotional video responding to the attack, in which she asserts that she did not even really know the two other assault victims, and that they had just happened to be walking near her when they became targets.
Speaking to Big League Politics, Southern said that she feels terrible.
“I honestly just feel terrible,” Southern said. “I’m not sure what to say. I didn’t expect the people around me to get hurt because of my opinions — it’s changed the game entirely. These people are out of their minds and need to be dealt with immediately. They are a terrorist organization.”
Pool stressed that he is not an identitarian and is mixed race, “but it doesn’t matter to these people. They just attack,” he said.
“I understand if you don’t like me and take issue with my work. You’re allowed to hate me. But when you go and beat an innocent local reporter simply for walking past Lauren Southern as a photo was being taken you are a violent extremist, you are the bad guy,” Pool told Big League.