WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, a white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. was dwarfed by thousands of counter-protesters who out-shouted and out-marched the 20-odd white supremacists who marched from the Foggy Bottom Metro Station to Lafayette Park under heavy police escort.
It was clear how Washington D.C. felt toward the white supremacists who chose to hold their rally the day after the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally that killed Heather Heyer.
Here’s how the events unfolded on the ground:
Signs covered in slogans like “No Hood In My Woods” and “Solidarity Trumps Hate” were staged at Freedom Plaza hours ahead of the arrival of the white supremacist groups.
Thousands of counter-protesters began to fill Lafayette Square by noon.
Press and counter-protesters waited outside of the Foggy Bottom Metro Station for the white supremacists to arrive for their planned march to Lafayette Park.
A Metro Police officer was overheard remarking, “I hope they throw something at them, just don’t hit me in the back of the head,” to a fellow officer.
Despite the palatable animosity toward the marchers, their arrival was peaceful, if loud.
Washington D.C. Metro police were there to escort the white supremacists on their march toward the White House.
One of the main criticisms of police in Charlottesville was that they didn’t adequately protect the public during the chaotic rally there last August. A report confirmed the public’s concerns were true.
Source: USA Today
But D.C. police are much more accustomed to handling large crowds and protests.
As police marched two officers deep on all sides of the 20 or so white supremacists, hundreds of counter-protesters surrounded them, drowning out all sounds but the sirens from police motorcycles.
The police barrier effectively kept the two groups separated from each other.
There were quite a few interesting characters at the event.
And the signs were creative, with some taking aim at President Donald Trump.
After being criticised for his comment that there was blame on “both sides” of last year’s rally, Trump tweeted on Saturday condemning “all types of racism and acts of violence.” He was at his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey over the weekend.
Source: Business Insider
Waiting for the white supremacists at Lafayette Park were thousands more counter-protesters.
The counter-protesters’ chants of “D.C. means don’t come,” echoed out toward the White House.
Police barricades continued to ensure the white supremacists and counter-protesters were separated.
As rain began to fall, the counter-protesters remained unfazed, pulling ponchos and umbrellas out to cover themselves and one another.
Some simply weathered the downpour.
After the white supremacists were secreted away by police, the counter-protesters took to the streets.
With the exception of a few tense moments between Antifa and police officers, the day remained peaceful.
As the sun set, a group of counter-protesters burned a Confederate and alt-right flag as the Metro D.C. police looked on.
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