SACRAMENTO (AP) — Seven people have been stabbed outside the California state Capitol building in Sacramento.
Officer Matt McPhail with the Sacramento Police Department says none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
The victims were all present while a protest took place, though McPhail said it was still unclear whether and how they were involved.
The Traditionalist Workers Party had scheduled and received a permit to protest at noon Sunday in front of the Capitol. McPhail says a group of counter-protesters showed up to demonstrate against them.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has described TWP as a group formed in 2015 as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which aims to “indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.”
California Highway Patrol Officer George Granada says about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party gathered at the capitol for a rally when they were met by about 400 counter-protesters and a fight broke out around noon Sunday.
Granada says the capitol was lockdown three hours after the fight broke out but that thing scalmed down and only about 70 “anti-fascists” remain in the area nu mid-day Sunday.
Matthew Heimbach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, tells the Los Angeles Times that his group and the Golden State Skinheads organized the Sunday rally.
Vice chairman Matt Parrott, who was not present at the Sacramento rally, says it was a peaceful march and blamed “leftist radicals” for instigating the violence. Heimbach says that in the clash, one of their marchers had been stabbed in an artery and six of the “anti-fascists” had also been stabbed.
A post recently uploaded to site of the Traditionalist Youth Network says TWP members planned to march in Sacramento to protest against globalization and in defense of the right to free expression. They said they expected to be outnumbered 10-to-1 by counter-protestors.