By Ken Stone
So when they met face-to-face Tuesday outside the La Mesa police station amid a small Black Lives Matter protest, it wasn’t pretty.
“You call yourself a patriot. I call you a coward,” Williamson told Ogden. “Everything you do is based on lies.”Replied Ogden, who shared video of the exchange: “I don’t need to talk to fanatics. … You guys are all about threats and intimidation.”
Williamson, the recent San Diego mayoral candidate, confronted Ogden, often seen at protest events with his handheld Canon Vixia video camera.
Minutes later, La Mesa police handcuffed Ogden and led him inside the station. The episode was captured by videographer George Rojas on Facebook and also by The Activated Podcast on YouTube.
Ogden says he was detained* about 7 p.m. for showing a small can of pepper spray.
“They did an investigation and talked to the BLM people and decided that I had not committed a crime and released me and asked me to promise that I would leave the area, which I did,” he said.
Ogden says he arrived at the protest to shoot video about 6:10 p.m. and Williamson recognized him and “started agitating against me about 6:20. Accusing me of being a racist and that kind thing.”
Ogden says he posted video of her threatening to burn down National City in 2018 and has been “blogging her” ever since. He accuses her of inciting the May 30 La Mesa riots that saw two banks and a historic building burned down. He keeps a “Tasha Williamson archive.”
“She and her people were harassing me and crowding around me for a few minutes,” he told Times of San Diego in a Facebook chat. “It kind of died down and I went off to the side and talked to someone I know from [La Mesa] for a while.”
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Then about 6:50 p.m. the protesters “decided my presence was intolerable and they were going to run me out of the area,” Ogden said. “I pulled out a tube of pepper spray because I felt threatened.”
Ogden says he stayed in the police station for about 45 minutes. Then police drove him to his car, “but we had to wait for 15 minutes for the BLM people near my car to leave before he let me out.”
Williamson didn’t immediately respond to Facebook and text messages seeking comment. Neither did a La Mesa police spokesman.
But William “Will” Johnson, a prominent local activist, called Ogden a well-known propagandist.
“While he describes himself as a ‘nationalist’ as opposed to white nationalist, he makes lots of videos that spread white nationalist propaganda, and also knows that white nationalists read his webpage and watch his videos,” Johnson said Tuesday.
He said Ogden described the Central American migrant caravans of 2017-18 as “fake refugees” and waged a “ridiculous campaign to rename and repaint Chicano Park.”
Johnson says Williamson and others have gotten death threats as a result of his videos.
“It should come as no surprise that people were hostile toward Roger; and it certainly didn’t surprise him either because apparently he was ready with that pepper spray,” said Johnson, who didn’t attend Tuesday’s event in La Mesa.
On a KQED podcast posted in May 2018, Ogden is described as an active protester, a “self-described nationalist” who fears “our nation will be destroyed” by cosmopolitan globalists.
“I’m sort of getting used to it lately — being called a white racist,” he tells the host.
A San Diego journalist who didn’t want to be named shared a “dossier” of local white supremacists that included Ogden.
It says he organized “Patriot Prayer” rallies and “Patriot Picnics,” including one in 2018 that became violent and ended up with a Black man (Frederick Jefferson) dying in jail.
Ogden is depicted as a “water bottle slasher” — one who empties lifesaving resources set out for migrants hiking desert trails to elude border agents.
“He has a real hard-on for Chicano Park, which he thinks is a no-go zone for whites,” the report adds. “He’s been trying to incite racial violence in San Diego for years, with some success.”
A website called Anti-Fascist Action San Diego” devotes a whole page to him, calling Ogden a “vile white supremacist who goes under the name Patriot Fire on YouTube.”
Ogden says YouTube shut down his channel after he had uploaded 450 videos.
“They didn’t give a reason, just banned me with no strikes at the time,” he said, although he conceded that he “reused a lot of video and got quite a few copyright strikes.”
“I was making some video about the border fence, which were getting a lot of hits and I decided to try to monetize the channel to help pay for travel,” he said. “They reviewed my channel and just deleted it and said I was permanently banned.”
Ogden says he has no desire to use YouTube anymore.
“I had a lot of videos critical of radical black and brown racial ideologies — and Leftists brand that as racist,” he said. “Antifa had been trying to take down my channel for several years.”
— Dave Summers (@DaveSummersNBC7) August 12, 2020
Ogden says he learned of the latest La Mesa protest through a post on the private Defend East County page on Facebook.
Although he supports DEC, “I am not DEC,” he said.
“I’m a blogger and have my own opinions and priorities,” he said. “Many in the media know me to some extent and that helps counter the charges of racism and white supremacy.”
In his video, protesters force Ogden into a slow retreat. The mostly young crowd sang the Steam refrain: “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, good-bye.”
“I sang along with them,” Ogden said. “No sense of humor.”
*An earlier version of this report incorrectly referred to an arrest.
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