Police, protesters clash in dueling rallies in Seattle

KING 5

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Hundreds of demonstrators and counter-protesters are converging in downtown Seattle one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
   
The rally organized by the conservative pro-Trump group known as Patriot Prayer - and a counter protest aimed at standing against hate - were previously planned for Sunday.
   
Hundreds of people carrying signs opposing hate and the KKK and showing support for Charlottesville marched to downtown Seattle where Patriot Prayer was gathered for a rally it billed as in support of freedom and free speech.
   
The pro-Trump group has held similar events throughout the Pacific Northwest and they have been met by counter protests.


   
A barricade separated the groups of protesters in downtown Seattle. Police officers stood along the march route by dressed in black, riot gear.

While the rallies, on the whole, were peaceful, a few skirmishes broke out with a few protesters and officers. At least one person appeared to be taken into custody by police. Some protesters were seen treated their eyes after presumably being pepper sprayed.

Seattle police said they made arrests and confiscated weapons; it wasn't clear how many people have been arrested.

Seattle councilman Mike O'Brien says police officers blocked hundreds of counter protesters from reaching a downtown rally organized by a pro-Trump, conservative group.

O'Brien says he joined Sunday's march to stand in solidarity against the violence and racism in Charlottesville over the weekend.

He says he walked with other peaceful protesters toward Westlake Park, where the Patriot Prayer group was holding a rally. But officers blocked their route several times.

O'Brien says he texted Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole in the middle of the march and she told him demonstrators would not be allowed to proceed to Westlake Park.

Police ordered protesters to disperse at Second Avenue and Pine Street.

O'Brien says he and other counter protesters returned to Denny Park; others reportedly continued on to Westlake Park.

King County Executive Dow Constantine tweeted a strong message to the white nationalists group:

To the white supremacists and fascists who gathered today at Westlake Center under the false pretense of patriotism the day after the violence that a similar group sparked in Charlottesville, I have a message to share on behalf of the people of King County:

We fought a Civil War against slavery, and you lost. We fought a World War against fascism, and you lost. Today, we stand united against the hateful rhetoric you have brought to our community. And you will lose again.

 

KING 5 crews followed the march and tweeted the latest developments (Warning: Some graphic content)

 

 

© 2017 KING-TV


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