By Brad Smith
GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A southern Oregon’s hate group Facebook page disappeared from the social media platform shortly after their leader was arrested by Grants Pass police earlier this week.
Jon Clement, 61, and Ryan Clark, 43, both of Grants Pass, were arrested on Oct. 26 by Grants Pass police after the pair were allegedly shooting at birds from a pontoon boat drifting down the Rogue River. According to press releases, the two men fired shotguns as their boat drifted near both Tussing and Reinhart Volunteer Parks. Some witnesses reported they heard pellets pass overhead.
Clement and Clark were taken into custody sometime after 5 p.m. and were booked into the Josephine County Jail. Both were charged with unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
Clement is the leader of RV Salt Shakers, a hate group that’s operated throughout southern Oregon for the last few years. Clark is allegedly a member as well. The Salt Shakers have been known to picket area Planned Parenthood clinics and harass patients and others using PP services. The Shakers have also been a nuisance at many local events, ranging from Pear Blossom to Ashland’s holiday parade. A number of groups have taken measures to bar the Salt Shakers from their events. They have also targeted the LGBTQ and immigrant communities.
Clement’s group has been accused of using fear tactics and even intimidation.
“(Fear tactics) are sometimes necessary to further our message,” he said in 2019. “If it helps our cause, we’ll do it.”
Word of Clement and Clark’s arrests spread like wildfire through social media and it wasn’t long before the group’s page was hit by trolling.
The Salt Shakers have been scaling back their weekly harassment of Planned Parenthood clinics since counter protestors – some calling themselves the RV Pepper Shakers – have appeared.
Clement was contacted by the Rogue Free Press. He did not respond.