Violent clashes broke out at a California rally around the Sacramento Capitol grounds leading to multiple stabbings and injuries. Right-wing and left-wing supporters gathered for and against the rally, which had been heavily promoted and condemned in recent days on different websites. Both sides claimed injuries during the confrontation.
— RT (@RT_com) June 27, 2016
Reportedly, the Traditionalist Worker Party, identified as a white nationalist extremist group staged the California rally to protest against the violence witnessed in Trump’s rallies, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
The Golden State Skinheads, a California affiliate of the group organized the march, which its leader describes as “the face of a new generation of white nationalists.”
Clad in black, the white supremacist group reportedly arrived sometime before noon Sunday at the state Capitol grounds and clashed with hundreds of counter protesters brandishing signs that decried “Nazi scum.”
— D (@Delo_Taylor) June 26, 2016
Meanwhile, the anti-fascist organization, Antifa Sacramento had been supporting a “Shut Down Nazi Rally” event on its website for some time.
On the other side, the TWP on its website described the march as their “Thermopylae,” a reference to the infamous Greek battle where a small Spartan force fought against a massive Persian army.
The clash at California rally resulted in fatal stabbings and injuries outside the capitol building in Sacramento. The counter-protesters clashed with the white supremacists, claiming that fighting fascism is their moral duty.
— Alba Ferrer (@Alba_at_work) June 26, 2016
“Violence began almost immediately, authorities and witnesses said, and by the time the clashes ended 20 minutes later, at least seven people had been stabbed, nine were hospitalized and many more suffered bruises, scrapes and cuts,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The major clash happened when people carrying sticks rushed into the rally area, a park by the capitol building. California highway patrol officers in time broke up the fight. While, Police intervened to break up clashes, but they failed to separate all the participants before serious injuries were inflicted. No arrests have been made so far.
The Sacramento Fire Department described the injuries as a “mass casualty event.”
Video and images posted on social media show people, some wearing masks and wielding wooden clubs, racing across the capitol grounds and attacking others. Reportedly, many of the protesters dressed in black, wearing face masks and hoodies which made it difficult to distinguish at times who was on which side.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 26, 2016
Following the clash at Calif rally, hospitals treated at least ten people with injuries and critical stab wounds. The Guardian quoted Chris Harvey, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman saying, nine men and one woman were treated for stab wounds, cuts, scrapes and bruises.
Young man stabbed at Nazi Rally at State Capitol in Sacramento
— Bobby Severe (@sacramentaoman) June 26, 2016
The Sacramento Bee quoted police Chief Sam Somers saying this time, the anti-fascists took a more aggressive stand against the skinheads to wreak havoc in the city.
Somers also stood for the right to free speech for the skinheads.
“Regardless of the message, it’s the skinheads’ First Amendment right to free speech”
According to the New York Daily News, “The neo-Nazi group obtained a permit from the California Highway Patrol and scheduled the rally from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.”
This election season reported an increase in violence, especially during Trump’s rallies by the right-wing supporters, but the recent clash at a California rally shows the violence coming from the left as well. A related violent clash happened at a Klu Klux Klan rally near Los Angeles earlier this year, when counter-protesters confronted Klan members and chaos ensued.
— EricStriker (@Pr0tocolsrReal) June 27, 2016
Violence and skirmishes has been a regular feature of Donald Trump’s elections rallies. However, Trump blames “professional agitators” and “thugs” for violence that happened at many of his rallies.
The clash at California rally raises concerns about future violent protests outside the major party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia this summer and in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]