Washington, D.C. erupted in violence again last weekend in a confrontation between people supporting President Donald Trump and counter-protesters.
A large group demonstrated to protest the results of the presidential election. Trump supporters chanted, “Four more years” and “We want Trump” as they marched through the capitol area. At one point the group sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Fox News reports.
After dark descended, the demonstrators and counter-protest groups clashed. A group of Proud Boys began chants against Antifa and marched to BLM plaza to find members of that group. Both Proud Boys and counter-protesters came prepared to fight, The Daily Caller reports. Antifa wore fighting gear, including helmets, shields, and face masks. The Proud Boys used batons and fists.
Police used pepper spray to separate the groups. At least six people were stabbed, and eight police officers were injured during the fighting in the nation’s capital, The San Diego Union Tribune reported.
Sacramento, California also experienced confrontations between groups with “divergent political agendas,” the Sacramento Bee reports. Right-wing groups clashed with left-wing bands in street fights. Numerous clashes were reported and documented on video. Police made six arrests.
In Olympia, Washington, a group supporting President Donald Trump collided with counter-protesters. About 200 people engaged in a street brawl, using bats, bottles, rocks, chemical sprays, and guns. A pro-Trump demonstrator was arrested for shooting at the counter-protesters, KOMO News reports. Demonstrators included Trump supporters, BLM proponents, and people opposed to pandemic restrictions. Police said some demonstrators came prepared for violence.
“Both sides have heavily armed individuals in the groups,” Washington state Patrol Sgt. Darren Wright told NBC News. “We’ve had sporadic confrontations throughout the day.”
Portland, Oregon has been under siege for months, Budget & Tax News reports. With violence rising well beyond what the city has experienced in the past ten years, residents are openly fearful. Local television station KATU 2 interviewed residents and businesses in the Portland area recently occupied by a protest encampment called the “red house” or “red house autonomous zone.”
“Scary. It’s honestly terrifying,” a resident told KATU 2. “We have armed militants walking around. We want it to end. We don’t want them to be our neighbors.
“In the neighborhood, they’ve taken the approach that if you’re not with us, giving us supplies, supporting us, you’re against us,” the resident said. “There is a lot of fear here. A lot of the neighbors I’ve talked to are very, very afraid. We are essentially held hostage.”
The occupiers are heavily armed, resident Damien Bunting says.
“I noticed people carrying firearms, AR-15’s, Glock handguns, people standing guard, giving the ok to either go in or leave for people that live in that neighborhood, and that absolutely blew my mind,” Bunting told KATU 2.
Whereas the past several months of rioting and violent confrontations were linked to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, the newer clashes and confrontations include a variety of messaging. The Portland autonomous zone was said to be a complaint about poverty and evictions, but the family being evicted also owns another home worth $600,000, the New York Post editorial board reports.
“Could there be a better sign of the hollowness of the moral pretenses of these anarchists?” the editorial board writes. “Yet the ‘zone’ loons still got their way. It’s another win for the radical wackos and another loss for law and order.”
Some recent post-election unrest began with a rally in support of President Donald Trump initiated by those who say the election was stolen. The “Stop the Steal” effort is a growing right-wing movement, according to MSN. Facebook banned the group, alleging some of its 300,000 members had called for violence.
The reaction from the Right has been mild thus far in comparison with the activities of the Left-wing activists, says retired police SWAT Sergeant Steve Rodriguez. That may not last, he says.
“As far as the Trump supporters, right wing groups, militias, and others starting to fight back, they’re not fighting back,” said Rodriguez. “If they decide to fight back, it will be much louder. For now, there are a few people protesting, and they stand out because they are the first to take to the streets.”