Violent clashes in Sacramento between a group of neo-Nazis and others protesting their presence outside the California state capitol has turned violent with multiple stabbing victims, officials with the city’s fire department reported.
Trouble apparently erupted after protestors engaged with a group of neo-Nazi sympathisers who had gathered for a Sunday morning rally that had been planned for several weeks.
The Sacramento Fire Department confirmed there had been a “mass casualty event” in the capital city of California. Meanwhile a spokesperson said via Twitter that at least five people had been rushed to nearby hospitals, some with critical injuries.
Social media postings on Twitter and elsewhere showed police taping off an area of the Capitol park where the clashes took place and evidence of splatters of blood on the paving.
Officer Matt McPhail with the Sacramento Police Department says none of the injuries of those being treated in hospital are believed to be life-threatening.
A fire department spokesman, Chris Harvey, said several different groups had descended on the area when the fighting began, including some who had come to protest the neo-Nazi sympathisers. “It was quite a bit of a melee,” he confirmed. There was no clarity on whether the victims were neo-Nazi activists or were instead from those who had come to disrupt the rally.
The melee came on the same day that many cities across the US, including San Francisco and New York, were holding their annual gay pride events where the focus was on offering tributes to the victims of the mass shooting in an Orlando gay bar earlier this month.
There were no reports of the police having made any arrests.
The rally was organized by an affiliate group of the Traditionalist Worker Party, The Los Angeles Times reported
The group describes itself this way on its website: “The Traditionalist Worker Party is America’s first political party created by and for working families. Our mission is defending faith, family, and folk against the politicians and oligarchs who are running America into the ground. We intend to achieve that goal by building a nationwide network of grassroots local leaders who will lead Americans toward a peaceful and prosperous future free from economic exploitation, federal tyranny, and anti-Christian degeneracy.”
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.”