Five people attending a counter-protest against President Donald Trump were arrested in Minnesota over the weekend after police said they allegedly set off fireworks inside the state capitol building.
A St. Paul police spokesman confirmed to TheBlaze that five people “who allegedly lit fireworks in the capitol building and fled on foot” were arrested Saturday. He said they are charged with riot 2, which is a felony.
Another counter-protester was arrested by State Patrol, which polices the state capitol building, and charged with disorderly conduct, a spokesperson confirmed.
According to KMSP-TV, about 400 people attended a March 4 Trump rally in St. Paul on Saturday, which coincides with national rallies over the weekend in support of Trump. About 40 to 50 counter-protesters also attended.
“Our intent was to rally everybody,” Alison Heruth, a March 4 Trump organizer, told KMSP. “Doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat, Republican, what race you are. We all need to come together.”
But according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the capitol rotunda reverberated with dueling chants and taunts throughout the afternoon until the counter-protesters were dispersed. Police reportedly separated the two groups.
Video footage uploaded to YouTube and social media shows scuffles between the two groups. KMSP quoted multiple people who said the counter-protesters had mace and tasers, but police officials said Monday afternoon that they could not confirm those allegations.
— Samuel King (@SamuelKingNews) March 4, 2017
“There’s no middle anymore,” Ann Marie Cosgrove, 59, told the Star-Tribune. “There’s no middle. And Obama did very little. I don’t recall him doing a great effort to bring people back together. I see a lot of division.”
KMSP reported that some counter-protesters, too, decried the violence at the rallies.
“This is not the political process,” said Anne Wheaton, a counter-protester. “This is not a protest, this is violence. I will not participate in this.”
Violence also erupted at a March 4 Trump rally in California where Berkeley police said they arrested 10 people. The charges ranged from battery to assault with a deadly weapon.