Scuffles broke out at the site of a planned White Lives Matter rally in Huntington Beach, California, as scores of counter-protesters squared off with right-wing demonstrators. Several people were arrested.
Several dozen Black Lives Matter activists showed up for a counter-protest in response to a rumored ‘White Lives Matter’ rally that was expected to take place at Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday afternoon. However, only several right-wing demonstrators showed up and were heckled by the crowd, with some led away by police, which turned out in force to prevent altercations.
Supporters of Black Lives Matter here at PCH & Main in Huntington Beach. This gathering is held the same day rumored “White lives” demonstrations promoted on social media were supposed to take place. . but I’m not seeing anyone who appears to be here for that. @ocregisterpic.twitter.com/s3EZmXdvil
— Eric Anthony Licas (@EricLicas) April 11, 2021
Altercations occurred despite the massive police presence, footage from the scene shows.
Counter-protesters chased and screamed obscenities at an alleged ‘Nazi’ who came to the rally wearing a balaclava.
Another video shows him being detained and led away by police.
Police also arrested a man with a swastika tattoo on his arm for assault after he pushed away an activist who was standing in his way.
Another demonstrator carrying a flag pole with an American flag and a Trump 2020 flag among others, was also filmed being taken away in a police car, after reportedly scuffling with counter-protesters who tried to rip down his flags.
This man, who was waving a flag pole with a “Trump 2020” flag among others, was just arrested at the “White Lives Matter” protest in #HuntingtonBeach. Earlier he was involved in an altercation with counter-protesters and his flags ripped down. He returned with the flags. @CBSLApic.twitter.com/fL7g9sC744
— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) April 11, 2021
As tensions flared, police declared the gathering unlawful and called on the “unruly” crowd to disperse.
The Black Lives Matter counter-protesters celebrated victory. “We got too big, we got too scary. There’s too much media here. The police aren’t going to be shooting us today,” a man with a megaphone, apparently one of the organizers of the counter-protest, said, declaring that the activists “have already won this war.”
While the ‘White Lives Matter’ protest was seemingly organized on social media, police said they failed to identify who was behind the event, which gained media attention after Ku Klux Klan fliers promoting it were seen in the area last weekend.
Although California is overwhelmingly liberal, Huntington Beach has long been seen as a right-wing stronghold, which has opposed Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown policy.
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