Police used pepper spray and blast balls on rival demonstrations in Seattle on Sunday, just one day after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving one dead and dozens injured.
Sunday’s demonstrations took place less than a mile from each other, as the pro-Trump ‘Patriot Prayer’ group gathered for the ‘Freedom Rally’ in Westlake Park, and counter-protesters from the ‘Solidarity Against Hate’ movement gathered in Denny Park.
The counter-protesters marched to Westlake Park chanting and holding signs decrying hate and Nazism, with some seen burning an American flag. Officers in full riot gear blocked the crowd from reaching the ‘Freedom Rally,’ for the “safety for all those involved,” police said in a statement.
Tensions mounted as people used makeshift shields to break the police line between 5th and 6th Avenues and threw fireworks at officers. Police responded with pepper spray.
— Bettina Hansen (@bettinahansen) August 13, 2017
The stand-off continued on Lenora Street, where the anti-fascist demonstrators were hit with pepper spray again as they tried to push their way to the pro-Trump rally.
Police said no serious injuries were reported. The demonstrations resulted in three arrests.