Right-wing rally, counter protest at Rhode Island Capitol
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Police broke up a rally by right-wing group calling itself Resist Marxism after a short confrontation with counter-protesters who decried the organization as a hate group.
No arrests were made and no injuries were reported during Saturday’s “Freedom Rally” on the State House lawn. Police said they were looking for one man who set off a fire extinguisher near police.
“We are pleased to report that both sides were provided a safe venue in which to make their opinions known without major incident, and they dispersed peacefully after being asked to do so,” said police Sperintendent Col. Ann C. Assumpico in a statement.
The gathering drew a larger police response Saturday than during a similar rally in August, during which several arrests were made and one man suffered a minor injury when he was hit in the neck by a bicycle lock.
The Providence Journal reports about 60 supporters of Resist Marxism faced off Saturday with about 150 counter-protesters who organized under the banner “Ocean State Against Hate” and chanted “Nazis go Home.”
The newspaper reports there was a brief physical confrontation before the lawn was cleared by police in riot gear and both sides left.
Freedom Rally attendees in August denied claims that they have ties to racism or white supremacy.
The group said on its Facebook Page that Saturday’s rally was to celebrate freedom and promote traditional values and comes at a time when others “advocate for disarming the populace and abolishing property rights.”