‘We need to do something’: Activists protest after white supremacist rally in Spokane
Protesters from a black separatist group were confronted by a group of white supremacists on Saturday after an event hosted by the Spokane flower shop.
The protest took place in the parking lot of the Spokane Flower Shop in downtown Spokane.
The event attracted hundreds of people who protested the white supremacist groups agenda, as well as the fact that the store was hosting a black nationalist gathering.
The Spokane Bee reports that “people were chanting and waving white flags and chanting anti-racism slogans, but they also brought up the issue of the white supremacists gathering.
It was a good moment for the demonstrators.”
Several protesters had their faces covered with blackface while others wore masks, including a woman in a mask and a black-masked man in a wig.
The Bee reports a woman was pepper sprayed by the masked man and a woman who was pepper-sprayed was arrested.
Police said they used pepper spray on several protesters.
The group, who are calling themselves the Black Lives Matter Spokane chapter, are trying to organize a peaceful march through the city of Spokane on Saturday to demand justice for Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Cleveland, Ohio, last month.
The demonstration was originally scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. but organizers moved it to the parking lots of the store.
The protesters gathered at the flower shop and then marched through the downtown area, where they were met by white supremacists and other protesters.
Several demonstrators were pepper sprayed during the protest.
The demonstrators, including members of the Black Bloc, the Black Youth Project 100, and the Anti-Racist Action, were able to get a few hundred people to leave the parking area to go through the streets to the Spokane Center Mall.
Several protesters, including black women, wore masks while others held signs that read, “This is not your country,” and “No racist violence.
This is not a hate crime.”
One woman was arrested during the march and faces charges of resisting arrest and obstructing an officer.
Police did not say if she was arrested for the act of pepper spraying.
Police say they received reports of two separate incidents of white supremacist violence and were working to determine if there was an ongoing hate crime.
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling on the Spokane Police Department to investigate whether there was a pattern of hate crimes.
“We strongly condemn any acts of violence directed against the peaceful demonstrators, but particularly the racist actions that took place during this demonstration, and urge the Spokane City Attorney’s office to investigate the allegations,” the statement read.