SEATTLE – Hundreds of demonstrators and counterprotesters converged in downtown Seattle Sunday one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Seattle police say they made three arrests and confiscated weapons as dueling demonstrations converged in downtown Seattle.
The rally organized by the conservative pro-Trump group known as Patriot Prayer – and a counterprotest aimed at standing against hate – were previously planned for Sunday.
Hundreds of people carrying signs opposing hate and the KKK and showing support for Charlottesville marched to downtown Seattle where Patriot Prayer was gathered for a rally it billed as in support of freedom and free speech.
The pro-Trump group has held similar events throughout the Pacific Northwest and they have been met by counterprotests.
A barricade separated the groups of protesters in downtown Seattle. Police officers stood by dressed in riot gear.
Police said they used pepper spray and blast balls to disperse crowds after fireworks were thrown at officers.
Those arrested were a 40-year-old man for obstruction, a 37-year-old man for assault and a 25-year old-man for assault.
A Seattle city councilman said police officers blocked hundreds of counterprotesters from reaching the downtown rally organized by the pro-Trump, conservative group.
Mike O’Brien said he joined Sunday’s march to stand in solidarity against the violence and racism in Charlottesville over the weekend.
He walked with other peaceful protesters toward Westlake Park, where the Patriot Prayer group was holding a rally. But officers blocked their route several times.
O’Brien said he texted Seattle police Chief Kathleen O’Toole in the middle of the march and that she told him demonstrators would not be allowed to proceed to Westlake Park.
Police ordered protesters to disperse at Second Avenue and Pine Street.
O’Brien said he and other counterprotesters returned to Denny Park north of downtown.
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