There were violent clashes in Washington's capital on Saturday during a "Back the Blue" rally when black bloc anarchists held their own counterprotest.
The Olympia Police Department released a notice: "Large group of opposing protesters started near the Capitol and are now moving through downtown Olympia. Near City Hall. The groups have dispersed into smaller groups and are moving throughout the area. Officers are monitoring to ensure things are peaceful from here forward."
The black bloc anarchists held their own event titled "Squash Fascists." The two groups baited each other throughout the day, as seen in footage from photojournalist Independent Media PDX. The black bloc members burned American flags and the "Back the Blue" supporters retaliated by burning a black umbrella, which many Antifa members carry to conceal their identities.
(Content Warning: Explicit and violent videos):
At an event labeled “Squash Fascists” Portland/ Washington Protesters gather in Olympia Washington, counter protest… https://t.co/zwPRJC3MAG— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607201589.0
Portland/ Washington protesters and counter-protesters are currently standing off at Franklin and 4th Ave. downtown… https://t.co/2IK7LTRvtt— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607207240.0
Counter protesters burn an Umbrella that belonged to Portland/ Washington protesters in response to American Flags… https://t.co/Fi2p37Ywk0— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607202538.0
At one point, a brutal brawl between the two groups erupted. Individuals dressed in all black are beaten with American and Trump flag poles.
Fight breaks out between Portland/ Washington protesters and counter protesters for Back The Blue and President Tru… https://t.co/pt2xrYVcoC— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607202174.0
Fight breaks out between Portland/ Washington protesters and counter protesters for Back The Blue and President Tru… https://t.co/3lwliTWEVH— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607204435.0
Patriots Clash With Antifa At Washington State Capitol. One shot was fired. https://t.co/Meg3cg6iiP— Black Rebel (Andrew Duncomb) (@Black Rebel (Andrew Duncomb))1607204756.0
The Olympia Police Department said the groups "have largely dispersed." The department said, "An arrest was made for two counts of felony assault. An additional charge may be referred for reckless endangerment as well."
"We did make an arrest for a subject that appeared to fire at least one round from a handgun into the opposing crowd," the police tweeted. "Any witnesses to that crime should contact @OlyPD through the 911 system."
We did make an arrest for a subject that appeared to fire at least one round from a handgun into the opposing crowd… https://t.co/jzMRDfylAw— Olympia Police Dept (@Olympia Police Dept)1607212894.0
Individual who fired his gun earlier in the day can be seen at the :23 second mark pointing his firearm at proteste… https://t.co/ZnNLKwh4kQ— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607214954.0
Olympia wasn't the only place where groups clashed. In St Paul, Minneapolis, groups prepared for confrontation.
Antifa militants gather in St. Paul, Minnesota to oppose a conservative rally. https://t.co/asGYLnk1I3— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô)1607206644.0
In California, Black bloc militants wielded shields and chanted, "No more Proud Boys in Sacramento!" There was a heavy police presence with officers wearing riot gear. Police officers fired non-lethal munitions at rowdy demonstrators dressed in all black.
Leader of anti-Proud Boys march past 11th and L, calls out Proud Boys for allegedly harassing unhoused people at Ce… https://t.co/dkLHIySuMl— Scott Rodd (@Scott Rodd)1607200831.0
Counter protesters shaking barricade. Officer firing what appears to be paintball-looking gun point blank at prot… https://t.co/WrpNj6CkOF— Scott Rodd (@Scott Rodd)1607202008.0
These are the weapons Sac PD was firing into demonstrators attempting to tear down a barricade. https://t.co/CdPSdkmHJP— Nick Miller (@Nick Miller)1607202414.0
At one point, alleged Proud Boys and black bloc members clashed. Black bloc members attacked Trump supporters and left them injured.
Proud boys and counter protesters clash outside of the California State Capitol. Proud Boys have been hosting weekl… https://t.co/MOU3bb21eT— Denis Ivan Perez-Bravo (@Denis Ivan Perez-Bravo)1607205374.0
Crowd had gotten violent. Some descend on man and woman pro-Trump demonstrators walking down street. https://t.co/TbZzQ99IHU— Scott Rodd (@Scott Rodd)1607205461.0