ACT for America held anti-Sharia rallies across the country on Saturday and multiple resist groups organized demonstrations to protest them nationally. Although the counter-protest was largely peaceful, the group engaged in several conflicts with attendees of the rally, as well as police, during the latter part of the event.
Jimmy Cosgrove (middle) asks why counter-protesters are unwilling to engage in a conversation. Eight members of the Proud Boys were chased off by counter-protesters and then escorted by police in order to keep both groups apart, as they approached the marble stairs.
An unidentified man wrapped in an Israeli flag is confronted by multiple counter-protesters as he approaches the demonstration on the lower stairs of the south entrance of the Capitol. State troopers allowed the conflict to transpire at first, but when multiple counter-protesters began to surround him, officers intervened and asked him to leave. Protesters erupted into chants of “free Palestine”.
An unidentified man from the group of counter-protesters gathered outside of a building that houses government offices on the corner of Rev. Martin Luther King Blvd and Cedar St. is prevented from chasing a man wearing a pro-Trump t-shirt. Apparent rally attendees were escorted by police, but as they waited for the door to be unlocked, counter-protesters attempted to prevent them from entering, which ultimately led to seven arrests.
After the arrests, counter-protesters reconvened on the Capitol lawn to plan the march out, and advocated leaving in groups so that they “couldn’t be pursued by nazis”. An unidentified man is told to leave the area by multiple counter-protesters while one of them attempts to take his backpack. The man also claimed that counter-protesters stole his phone.
Counter-protesters also reportedly stole and broke equipment from Alpha News journalist Preya Samsundar. Samsundar said that video recording equipment was thrown to the ground forcefully and that her personal mobile device was stolen because they didn’t like the news outlet where she works.
Police didn’t allow masked individuals onto the Capitol grounds and those that refused to remove them were told to leave. This woman watches in the distance to make sure that they aren’t attacked by groups they’ve had conflicts with in the past.