A planned white nationalist rally unraveled into violence in Sacramento, as counter-demonstrators clashed with the gathering just outside the California Capitol. At least 10 victims have been hospitalized with what the Sacramento Fire Department characterized as “critical trauma stab wounds.”
Officials say many others suffered minor cuts, scrapes and bruises.
The violence, which the Sacramento Fire Department called a “mass casualty event,” began at a protest organized by the Traditionalist Workers Party and the Golden State Skinheads. It ended in bloodshed and chaos, as attackers clad in black swung weapons and others live-streamed the clash on social media.
(Careful: There is violence and profanity in this clip.)
“Unclear at this time how much of this was planned and how much of it was a sudden reaction to what was going on,” Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey told CNN. It is also unclear if the victims were affiliated with the protesters or counter-protesters.
As yet no arrests have been made, Reuters reports.
The Traditional Workers Party describes itself as “America’s first political party created by and for working families.” But according to The Associated Press, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, phrases the group’s mission differently. It identifies the organization as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which aims to “indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.”
The group called its Sunday march a “protest against globalization and in defense of the right to free expression.” Prior to the protest, there was also a social media push to organize counter-protesters, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“We knew we were outnumbered. We stood our ground. We will be back. This is a victory for us because more of them walked away injured,” the group’s vice chairman, Matt Parrott, told the newspaper.
As of early afternoon Sunday, protesters had been cleared from the Capitol grounds.