A Jan 15 OpIndia article says:

On the 23rd of November 2020, Antifa in Portland is said to have issued an ‘anonymous tip’ demanding that John Sullivan be “locked out” of their circles. “While it’s easier, and generally more fair, to believe he is a naive narcissist, clout chaser and inept organizer, it might not be an accurate analysis. A narc for the feds might not be an accurate assessment either. It’s more likely that John is an agent provocateur, putting activist communities in danger.”

Is there any verification of this claim, that "Antifa in Portland" issued that statement... anonymously?

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    I'm guessing "Antifa in Portland" refers to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_City_Antifa but not sure... Jan 17, 2021 at 8:58
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    There's a lot of groups in Portland who identify as Antifa. I am immediately suspicious of any article referring to BLM or Antifa as a single organization.
    – Schwern
    Jan 17, 2021 at 9:05
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    @Schwern In the case of BLM, it's complicated a bit by the fact that there actually is a particular 'main' organization (i.e. Black Lives Matter Global Network) in addition to the broader movement, much or most of which isn't directly affiliated with that organization. So, sometimes the term actually is used to refer to a particular organization and sometimes it isn't and speakers/writers often don't specify which they mean.
    – reirab
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:08
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    @reirab It's not complicated, which is why it's suspicious when folks get it wrong. If you mean an organization, or an officer of that org, you specify that. If you mean an individual member, you specify that. If you mean someone who identifies with a movement, you specify that. It's the difference between "Republicans in Portland say basset hounds got long ears" and "Joe Smith, a registered Republican residing in Portland, says basset hounds got long ears" and "Republicans For Basset Hounds, a non-profit based in Portland, issued a press release stating basset hounds got long ears".
    – Schwern
    Jan 18, 2021 at 20:29
  • @Schwern I was using "complicated" as the past tense of a verb, not as an adjective. Agreed that it's usually not that hard to report it correctly (assuming that you know or can reasonably find out whether something was done by a group of people who happen to identify with the BLM movement or by people actually affiliated with the BLM organization.) Unfortunately, however, most journalists seem to be lazy (or worse, intentionally misleading/sensationalizing) and don't specify which meaning of "BLM" they're using.
    – reirab
    Jan 18, 2021 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Let's clarify, there's no "Antifa in Portland" organization. There's a lot of groups who identify as Antifa in the City of Portland, Oregon, and a lot of groups who don't but are labelled Antifa anyway. Anyone can claim to be Antifa. Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist, and refers to an activist stance rather than a specific organization.

Yes he was identified as a problem in November 2020. A thread on the @RebellionBaby Twitter account on Nov 26, 2020 covers John Sullivan. Here's the beginning.

We have reason to believe that a likely infiltrator/agent provocateur by the name of John Sullivan, or “Activist John,” is attempting to insert himself in the Seattle protest community.

John has been kicked from the #SaltLakeCity and #Portland protest scenes due to alarming behaviors including grifting/profiteering, self-promotion/clout chasing, sabotage of community actions, threats of violence, and — maybe most disturbingly — ties to the far-right.

In short — John’s brother, James, is the co-founder of a pro-Trump org called “Civilized Awakening,” and has strong ties to Proud Boys — even having spoken at a Proud Boy rally. The brothers’ polarized political stances conveniently bolster the other's public personas.

In that thread they share a "document from a PDX comrade" (PDX being the airport code for Portland International Airport and a common abbreviation for Portland, Oregon) dated Nov 23rd, 2020 entitled "Anonymous Tip #1 From PDX. John Sullivan: Naive Organizer or Agent Provocateur?" which contains the quote.

After seeing a lot of posts about John Sullivan, AKA Activist John, I felt compelled to write up my personal experience and observations as well as share some of the research I found to help make better sense of the situation for the good and safety of our community and work.

If you don't have the time to read the whole piece, here's the big takeaway:

***While it's easy, and generally more fair, to believe he is a naive narcissist, clout chaser, and inept organizer, it might not be an accurate analysis. A narc for the Feds might not bee an accurate assessment either. It's more likely that John is an agent provocateur, putting protesting communities in danger.***

The document goes on to make their case.

@RebellionBaby had a long update thread on Jan 14th, 2021. Here's the beginning.

John Sullivan / “#ActivistJohn” / "#JaydenX" Update

Our first thread about John was intended to help protect leftist protest communities from his harmful behavior. Since John’s little stunt at the Capitol during the DC #Insurrection, we have more to talk about.


General Updates:

Shortly after our 11/26 thread, Seattle protesters made it clear that John is not welcome at our actions or in our online spaces. He later changed his main account names from “Activist X” and “Activist John” to “Activist Jayden” and “Jayden X.”


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