Amid an intensifying atmosphere of racist rhetoric and hate-fueled violence, 10 people were injured Sunday after violence broke out between a white supremacist group and anti-fascist counter-protesters in Sacramento, California.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
Demonstrators battled with sticks, protest signs and other weapons as the Traditionalist Worker Party group – which said it wanted to assist supporters of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – began setting up for a scheduled noon rally on the west steps of the Capitol.
Even before the event began, clashes broke out at numerous locations around the Capitol grounds among the 400 people gathered for and against the rally, which had been heavily promoted – and denounced – in recent days on various websites. Injuries were reported on both sides of the altercation.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, said he had long warned that the Capitol rally could erupt into violence. It had been planned for weeks, giving both sides plenty of time to organize.
Levin said such violence ultimately can play into the message of white supremacists who claim they are “under siege.”
“Make no mistake – I think the hatemongers wanted to have this violence take place,” Levin said. “And some of the anti-fascists very much wanted to have a violent confrontation.”
In a call-to-action ahead of the rally, anti-fascists wrote that “the need to counter fascism and white supremacy has never been greater.”
“The campaign of billionaire Donald J. Trump and his promotion of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and attacks on broad sections of the working-class and poor has helped to embolden the far-Right,” they said.