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Pro-Trump Proud Boys were exercising their right to free speech in Kalamazoo, Michigan today.
They were holding a rally and peacefully marching downtown.
It wasn't until counterprotesters showed up that things got violent.
It is being reported that BLM and Antifa protesters incited a fight with the pro-Trump group.
People were punching, kicking, and pushing each other.
The video even shows people tearing down street signs and using them as weapons.
More details below:
Of course, the media will likely (and predictably!) try to blame Trump supporters for beginning the violence.
The police were able to intervene and calm the situation before it entirely got out of hand.
According to the Detroit News:
Members of the far-right Proud Boys group and counter-protesters clashed Saturday afternoon at Arcrobinadia Creek Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo, resulting in arrests, police said.
Assistant Chief Vernon Coakley of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said a few people were arrested but didn’t know exactly how many.
“A fight occurred, people were fighting, and that’s when we stepped in,” Coakley said.
Journalist Samuel J. Robinson, 23, was arrested and charged with impeding traffic while reporting live on Facebook for MLive. According to MLive, Robinson was later released from custody on $100 bond.
"I'm media," he told officers, as he was pushed to the ground.
The Proud Boys had planned a rally and counter-protesters, described as the anti-fascist leftist group antifa by protesters, staged their own event in the area at the same time, according to local media reports.
At about 2 p.m. Saturday, members of the Proud Boys marched past antifa members armed with assault weapons. Fighting erupted with combatants wielding sticks and batons and throwing things.
The Proud Boys released a chemical irritant, dispersing the counter-protesters, and continued marching down Michigan Avenue to Bronson Park, where they were confronted by more counter-protesters.
Some fistfights occurred before police arrived and ordered the crowds to leave. Robinson reported that some of the Proud Boys also used pepper spray on people.
Several members of the group who identified themselves as antifa declined to give their names.
Initial reports suggest that there were only 50 so-called Proud Boys at the rally
However, the crowd of BLM and Antifa members was up to 200 people big, according to estimates.
Rather than simply counter protesting, things became violent.
The pastor who organized the counter protest claimed that the Proud Boys were attacking the black people in the crowd.
The videos appear to indicate, however, that the protest was peaceful until BLM and antifa appeared.
According to the NY Post:
The dueling rallies turned violent when an estimated 50 Proud Boys — deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — were confronted by about 150 to 200 counter-protesters, MLive said.
It was “very obvious the Proud Boys were going after Black people in the crowd; it was clear from the get-go,” Rev. Nathan Dannison, a pastor who organized of the counter-protest, said.
Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain claimed that the heavy police presence came because multiple groups were visibly armed with various weapons, including firearms.
“Numerous physical fights broke out among the groups,” Chamberlain said in a statement.
“Once the event turned violent, the officers responded quickly and restored order. To restore order to the area, the officers declared a police zone and dispersed the crowds. This is still an unpredictable situation and we encourage the community to remain safe.”
Instead of live and let-live, it appears that radical leftists would rather attack you for expressing your viewpoints, rather than allowing you to exercise your right to free speech.