A series of planned “White Lives Matter” rallies across the US flopped spectacularly on Sunday, with sparse turnout and counter protests outnumbering them as police broke up scuffles and made arrests during clashes between members of the two groups.
In Huntington Beach, California, more than 200 counter protesters, including those from the Black Lives Matter movement, gathered in the city before the scheduled “White Lives Matter” rally in the morning.
Police declared an unlawful assembly in the area of Fifth Street and Walnut Avenue shortly in the afternoon after the situation heated up and members of the two groups clashed, reported the Los Angeles Times.
At least 12 people from the counter-demonstrations were taken into custody for various reasons as the crowd turned violent, reported Abc7.
In Fort Worth, Texas, three rallies of “White Lives Matter” were uneventful and outnumbered. The people from the rally and counter-protesters got involved in heated arguments and some broke the signs brought by the “White Lives Matter” organisers.
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Similar “White Lives Matter” events planned in Raleigh and Asheville in North Carolina, and Columbus in Ohio also fizzled out, with counter protesters documenting them in their live streams and photos on Twitter.
Visuals showed people from the “White Lives Matter” rallies carrying American flags and signs supporting former President Donald Trump as counter-protesters raised slogans of "Nazis go home!"
The “White Lives Matter” rallies were planned to be held nationwide on 11 April, marking it as the national day of White Lives Matter after many aligned groups scheduled these events on Telegram application. But the internal chats ended up being leaked to journalists and the police.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, police formed a circle around a single protester to separate him from the large crowd of counter protesters. Over a dozen of counter protesters gathered unopposed near the Trump Tower where the original protests were scheduled.
The planned events by “White Lives Matter” protesters, many of them white supremacists, were to combat what they call a threat to white people from multiculturalism and anti-white bias in media.
They come even as the Huntington Beach City Council voted on 5 April to condemn violence and rise in hate crime against Asian Americans while denouncing white supremacy.
Prior to the rallies, Huntington Beach interim police chief Julian Harvey shared a statement on Facebook, saying they are aware of the planned events and are taking measures for safety.
“We hope events such as this will serve as an opportunity for unity rather than a platform to spread hate, bigotry and division. The City of Huntington Beach proudly stands by the values of diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.