State Watch

Right-wing groups, counter-protesters clash in multiple states

Right-wing groups and counter protesters clashed in several states during demonstrations on Saturday, prompting police to get involved. 

Confrontations ensued between right-wing groups and anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter protesters in Georgia, Michigan and Oregon after growing tensions sparked from months of protests over racial injustice and police brutality, Reuters reported

In Kalamazoo, Mich., the alt-right organization Proud Boys held a rally in support of police and faced off with the anti-fascist Michigan People’s Defense League and others. 

As the clashes mounted, police worked to disperse the crowd, and Kalamazoo Public Safety said in a statement obtained by Reuters that officers made several arrests. CNN affiliate station WOOD reported that the demonstrators were “punching, kicking and even pepper-spraying one another.”

“Once the event turned violent, the officers responded quickly and restored order,” Kalamazoo Public Safety said in a statement obtained by CNN. The statement said police declared “a police zone and dispersed the crowds.”

Police said several groups “visibly armed with a variety of weapons, including guns,” and police took a 3-foot wooden club.

The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Proud Boys as a hate group, and Facebook has banned the organization.

Right-wing protesters also got together in Portland, Ore., where protests over police brutality have continued since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in May. Members of the Patriot Prayer, the anti-government patriot group, some of them armed, gathered to oppose anti-fascists and support police, according to Reuters. 

Black Lives Matter activists and Patriot Prayer members reportedly got into fights, including some involving pepper spray and a paintball gun. 

In a statement, the Portland Police Bureau encouraged those who were victims in a crime during the incident to report it. 

Members of a far-right group and progressive group in Stone Mountain, Ga. were both carrying rifles as confrontations broke out. The far-right group had intended to visit Stone Mountain Park, the site of the country’s largest Confederate monument, before the city closed it ahead of the rally.

The scuffles included a burning of a Confederate flag and fist fights, sparking police to intervene with backup from a SWAT team.

The high tensions of the demonstrators come as Trump has promoted a law-and-order response to protesters. 

Tags demonstrations Georgia Kalamazoo Law enforcement Michigan Oregon Police Portland Protests right-wing Stone Mountain

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