Today, while reading an article about the “Freedom Mossyrock Rally” planned for the 12th, I was taken aback by what was reported in it. No, I wasn’t surprised that local people would stage a protest against the governor’s public health mandates. After all, a trip to the Chehalis Walmart is all you need to get a feel for what people really think about the governor. Instead, what surprised me was the name attached to this rally: Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer.
Who is Joey Gibson, and what is Patriot Prayer? If you take the name “Patriot Prayer” at face value it can seem hard to hate. After all, patriotism and prayer are both virtuous traits. They’re also qualities that we can fall back on in harder times, especially like those we face now. When all you know about a group is that it’s called “Patriot Prayer,” it’s natural to assume that they are good, upstanding members of our community who love God and country.
I would like to urge my neighbors to be skeptical of this Joey Gibson and his “Patriot Prayer” bringing trouble up from the city. According to the FBI, Gibson and his supporters “have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies” in our area.
Along with another Portland-area group, the Proud Boys (who were present at the Hamilton Corner rally earlier this year), Gibson’s main mission seems to be to seek out people that he disagrees with, cause a scene and then post about it on social media. Probably the worst example came in 2019 when Gibson was charged with felony rioting after Patriot Prayer members beat a woman unconscious and broke her vertebrae outside a bar. Just a few months ago, he even threatened to kill my little sister. That’s not something I can abide, and I know you would feel the same if it was your family.
Gibson doesn’t care about Mossyrock: he’s merely using it as a platform for his own agenda. Him showing up is sure to bring the wrong kind of attention to our area. Whether you agree with Mossyrock’s decision to resist the governor’s public health mandates or not, I hope that we can all agree that Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer are troublemakers who should stay out of Lewis County.