Supporters of President Donald Trump and so-called “anti-fascists” clashed Sunday in Seattle, with the latter setting an American flag on fire and covering their faces with bandanas, goggles, and masks.
The “anti-fascists” were there to oppose and to shout down the pro-Trump Patriot Prayer group, which organized the rally.
According to Neal Morton of the Seattle Times, a group of “Solidarity Against Hate” demonstrators burned an American flag during the course of the afternoon clashes.
A couple of Solidarity Against Hate protesters burn a small American flag — “F–k America” – but stamp it out soon after pic.twitter.com/82vIQwRxeJ
— Neal Morton (@nealtmorton) August 13, 2017
Video of the incident also circulated on social media:
Burning a us flag. Sign says “go back to Europe.” pic.twitter.com/nLLkXjp3uM
— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) August 13, 2017
The Times reported that the crowd dispersed by evening, but that tense moments took place over the course of the day.
“The rhetoric and vitriol continue to flow at Westlake Park,” the Seattle Times reported at 3:30 p.m. PST. “Anti-fascist protesters continue to shout down the pro-Trump speakers, and more than once someone from the crowd has jumped onto the stage to grab the microphone away.”
— Jessica Lee (@jessleeST) August 13, 2017
“Part of the crowd is on the move, back toward Denny Park from Westlake, while others have ignored a police dispersal order and continue to crowd the Westlake plaza or circle back around the police lines,” the Times reported.
“Pepper spray and blast balls have been deployed, to varying effect on the crowd,” the Times reported. “Reporters on the ground describe the crowd as tense and emotional, and point to a growing police presence.”
The clashes came in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the day before, where white supremacists and left-wing protesters clashed violently before an apparent right-wing extremist rammed his car into demonstrators, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others.
However, both the Patriot Prayer rally and counter-protest had been planned before Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, the Times reported.