On Saturday, a fistfight erupted between pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protesters on a Southern California beach. Meanwhile, Philadelphia police are looking into an officer’s use of force as “Make America Great Again” rallies were held across the country.
The California rally:
California State Park Police Capt. Kevin Pearsall said that six people were arrested in Huntington Beach, California after fight broke out between some people in a crowd of 2,000 pro-Trump demonstrators and some people in a small group who showed up in opposition.
Pearsall said that some of the arrests were for illegal use of pepper spray. According to NBC Los Angeles, pepper spray was used in one instance by an anti-Trump protester claiming he was defending his friend.
Around 2,000 attendees gathered at the rally, while 30 to 40 people showed up in opposition, according to police estimate.
The skirmish between the pro and counter protestors was captured on video and shared on social media.
On the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, supporters of President Trump held a “MAGA” rally. They waved American flags and Trump/Pence signs, supporters praised the president and his administration’s commitment to the military and the police
Counter protesters gathered nearby, they blared bullhorns and carried flares in an attempt to disrupt the rally. According to NBC Philadelphia, police were on hand to prevent the protests from turning violent, two people were cited for disorderly conduct before the rallies dispersed.
A police officer was swinging a bike at someone at one of the events, a video of the event showed. The group the man belongs to isn’t clear.
Sgt. Eric Gripp, Philadelphia police public information officer, said that police are aware of the video and are looking into it.
Trump’s supporters said they went to Saturday’s rally because they feel the president is being falsely portrayed as racist and opposed to Islam.
Kelly McHuth of Auburn, Massachusetts who went to a Boston rally, told NBC Boston: “We are here to show that we are not racists, we are not Islamophobic, we aren’t bigots.”
Protesters carrying anti-fascist signs caught up to the marchers at a pro-Trump rally in Omaha, they were promptly blocked by police on bikes. According to the police, eight people were arrested overall, and most of those arrested were counter-protesters, not Trump supporters, and one woman threw a smoke grenade.
While in Oregon’s Capitol Mall in Salem, a fistfight broke out and the police arrestedMatthew Curtis Heagy after the 31-year-old man sprayed a trooper with pepper spray. Heagy was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, after troopers found a concealed gun on him. However, the gun was never displayed during the incident.
Frank George IV, an organizer for the pro-Trump rally in Salem said that he was disappointed that a fight broke out. “We are really looking to work with everybody and not just people on our side.”
At a pro-Trump rally in Boston, there were no arrests or incidents reported, although at one point competing groups were separated by a line of police.
While around 2,000 people turned out at a pro-Trump rally in Seaside Heights on the Jersey Shore, no arrests were made.
Trump thanked his supporters on Twitter for holding rallies Saturday.