White supremacists and the people who oppose them faced-off and got into fisticuffs in different parts of the country this weekend.
In Georgia, dozens of heavily armed white people traveled from around the state and neighboring regions to Stone Mountain Park to protest the removal of Confederate monuments, show support for Donald Trump, and to signal their general racist rage.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they were met with hundreds of counter-protestors—including some who were also armed.
As the police stood to the side and watched, the two groups kept getting in vocal arguments and physical skirmishes.
Tracy Baisden, a Black woman from Atlanta, engaged in a long discussion with a white man, who only identified himself as Zach, as the man declared his desire that races remain separate. Like many such face-to-face encounters, little was settled.
“I think this young man is lost,” Baisden said about Zach.
Militia members sprayed several counterprotesters with insect repellent or pepper spray, and several individuals on both sides were knocked to the ground. A counterprotester ripped the face mask from an Associated Press photographer as the he was attempting document the scene.
Meanwhile in Michigan, the white supremacist group that calls themselves the Proud Boys descended on downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday armed with assault rifles and pepper spray.
Church leaders and others had organized counter-protests in the area, with Rev. Nathan Dannison of First Congregational Church saying they wanted to use the occasion to stand against violent bigotry and remember those who have been killed by white supremacists, reports M Live.
Videos posted by an M Live reporter on social media show that as soon as the Proud Boys arrived, they started throwing punches at the counter-protestors—after which the streets erupted in bloody violence:
Here too, the intervention of any police was largely non-existent. Though they had days of warning that a hate group was coming to Kalamazoo, the reporter on the scene, Samuel J. Robinson, noted that cops were no where to be found when the violence erupted between the two groups.
According to M Live, the city’s police department explained its reason for not being on the ground from the onset by saying they had developed a plan for responding to it as a peaceful demonstration.
By the time it turned violent and the police decided to show up to execute their plan for that outlandish possibility, guess who they chose to arrest?
The Black journalist documenting what was happening:
Robinson was booked and charged with impeding traffic, and later released on bond.
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