On Saturday, five people were injured and 13 other arrested in Southern California after a Ku Klux Klan rally erupted into clashes. According to the police, the fight began when counter-protesters attacked members of the KKK, leaving three people stabbed and one of them in critical condition.

The Ku Klux Klan, which is the name for three distinct extremist reactionary movements in the US, planned to hold an anti-immigration rally with the theme “white lives matter” at Pearson Park in Anaheim, California.

Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/AP
Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/AP

By midday, six members of the Klan arrived at the place and were attacked by counter- protesters.

“Immediately as the K.K.K. guys got out of their vehicle they were attacked by the counter-protesters,” said Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, as reported by The New York Times. “That soon developed into several different fights between the two groups that were spread along the length of a city block.”

Anti-Klan protesters waited at the park for members of the Klan to arrive. The Klan’s members arrived dressed in their typical black clothing with patches of the Confederate battle flag sewn on them.

According to Wyatt, the clashes began with separate fights that left three counter-protesters with stab injuries, including one who was stabbed with “the decorative end of a flagpole” and rapidly taken to a hospital in critical condition; and another two KKK members being stomped by the crowd. Police arrested all six members of the KKK and seven from the counter-protesters.

Counter-protesters smashed the side window and the front windshield of the Klan members’ vehicle. The incident got extremely violent since some protesters began kicking a man when he was down, and the KKK members injuries ranged from minor to significant.

Police were aware that the Klan members had their event planned at the park on Saturday and had officers present to monitor the situation. According to Wyatt, “as reprehensible as it may be “, KKK members are still protected by the First Amendment, so they have the right to say and express what they want.

Source: The New York Times