A rally by right-wing groups protesting Big Tech speech suppression turned into clashes between violent, masked Antifa counter-protesters and police on Saturday.
During the Washington, D.C. rally police held the line and kept the peace. USA Today noted that neither side came face-to-face with each other. (RELATED: Here’s What Happened At The July 4th Protest Outside The White House)
Last weekend similar demonstrations in Portland, Oregon turned violent as law enforcement did not intervene.
The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Matt Miller reported live from the D.C. event:
The “Demand Free Speech” rally, which included around 250 attendees, was counter-protested by twice that number, including around 50 black-clad Antifa members.
The Washington Post reported:
Black-clad anti-fascists briefly marched along city streets, and police repelled attempts by Antifa members to erect a barricade with newspaper boxes and chairs. Police had earlier broken up a clash between that group and the Proud Boys, a self-proclaimed Western-chauvinist fraternal organization that believes in ending welfare and closing the borders.
The Proud Boys and other groups staged their event at D.C.’s Freedom Plaza, while Antifa and other protesters met in nearby Pershing Park. Police barricades along 14th Street NW kept both sides apart.
Several Antifa members, however, managed to go around police lines and surround a man wearing a MAGA hat, until police pulled him to safety, the Post reported. (RELATED: Andy Ngo Describes Brutal Antifa Attack)
Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, journalist Laura Loomer, reporter Nick Monroe, and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at the free speech event.
Though the groups yelled at each other across the divide, “the police cordon had done its work,” WaPo reported. “No one on the other side could hear a word of what he was saying.”
Deutsche Welle Journalist Benjamin Alvarez captured police holding the line and even pushing back Antifa protesters trying to get through.
“Antifa protesters tried to break through the police cordon at 12th Street with Pennsylvania Ave,” Alvarez tweeted. “Quick response by @DCPoliceDept.”
— Benjamin Alvarez (@BenjAlvarez1) July 6, 2019
After the rally’s conclusion, Antifa found out the bar several Proud Boy members were at and rushed over. Police, however, were quick to stop any confrontations there. The Daily Caller News Foundation film crew captured some of the footage outside.