Months of anti-racism protests are increasingly pitting Americans against one another.
Right wing racist groups have fought with liberal counter protestors in Georgia, Michigan and Oregon drawing in riot police and SWAT teams.
Groups ranging from an anti-government patriot group in Portland, Oregon to alt-right Proud Boys in Kalamazoo, Michigan battled anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter activists as months of anti-racism protests increasingly pitted Americans against one another.
Several dozen demonstrators, many armed and carrying Confederate battle flags, staged a rally in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain next to a park famed for its giant monument to leaders of the breakaway slave-holding states.
A mix of militia members, Confederate followers and supporters of President Donald Trump faced off against more than a hundred left-wing protesters, some armed, many carrying signs or wearing T-shirts supporting Black Lives Matter.
After hours of shouting, and the burning of a Confederate flag, the protest devolved into scuffles and fist fights, drawing in police backed by a SWAT team.
So I was minding my business, shooting for an upcoming project in Stone Mountain (Georgia) when a white supremacist militia started to gather for a lil rally they’d planned for today. pic.twitter.com/GcpvABR7jO— Jackie Hill Perry (@JackieHillPerry) August 15, 2020
In Kalamazoo, the all-male Proud Boys group staged a rally in support of police, clashing with members of the anti-fascist Michigan People's Defense League and other counter protesters, leading to several arrests, according to a statement by the city's Department of Public Safety.
Members of the far-right Proud Boys group and counter-protesters clashed violently afternoon in western Michigan, 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.
Counter-protesters staged their own event in the area at the same time as the rally that the Proud Boys had planned, according to local media reports. When the Proud Boys arrived, the confrontation ensued.
Some fist fights occurred before police arrived and ordered the crowds to disperse. A reporter for MLive.com, who was detained by police while recording live on Facebook, reported that some of the Proud Boys also used pepper spray on people.
Several dozen right-wing demonstrators, some of them armed, also gathered in Portland to oppose anti-fascists and back police after 80 days of protests against racism and police violence in the Oregon capital, local television station Koin 6 News reported.
Scuffles broke out between the Portland-based Patriot Prayer members and Black Lives Matter activists, with a Koin 6 photographer tweeting that he heard gunshots.
Portland Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A pattern among the clashes was rising tensions between right and left wing groups after nearly three months of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and President Trump's "law and order" response to demonstrations.
Police dispersed right-wing demonstrators and counter protesters as scuffles broke out in an Atlanta suburb that is home to a giant Confederate memorial.
Several dozen demonstrators, many armed and carrying Confederate battle flags, staged a rally in Stone Mountain next to a park famed for its nine-story-high rock relief carving of leaders of the breakaway slave-holding states.
A mix of militia members, Confederate followers and supporters of President Donald Trump faced off against over a hundred left-wing protesters, some armed, many carrying signs or wearing T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.