Five people were arrested, American flags burned and police officers used bicycle barricades and pepper spray to separate demonstrators at the University of Washington’s Red Square on Saturday during a much-anticipated rally called by supporters of President Donald Trump and others who said they aimed to promote free speech.
The rally led by leaders of the College Republicans and their guests, the right-leaning Patriot Prayer, based in Vancouver, Washington was peaceful early on.
The chaos came roughly 75 minutes in, despite officers’ efforts to keep at a distance a couple of hundred protesters who far outnumbered the pro-Trump crowd.
Those protesters came to denounce the president and promote a variety of anti-capitalist or pro-civil-rights themes.
People supporting the Patriot Prayer gathering broke out in chants of “USA! USA! USA!” with signs including, “We died for liberty not socialism.” A few held yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags.
At least one person wore a Proud Boys T-shirt in support of the far-right men’s group.