8 arrested in clash in Texas between White Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter
Eight people were arrested on Saturday when a small group of protesters from the group White Lives Matter were confronted by counter-demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter at the Texas State Capitol near where Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier dedicated a monument recognizing the contribution of African-Americans to the state.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Victor Taylor said four of the arrests were for assault, two for evading arrest, one for disorderly conduct and one for "interference with public duty." Two of those arrested were on Capitol grounds and the others on adjacent streets.
"Some protesters assaulted other protesters," Taylor said. "We don't know for sure which side they were on. A lot of them were co-mingled."
Austin police and state troopers dressed in riot gear and some mounted on horseback had tried to keep the two groups separated.
Taylor said the confrontation did not affect the unveiling of the monument, which was in a different part of the grounds. A state helicopter circled overhead.
About two dozen individuals with the White Lives Matter group, some of whom were armed, demonstrated against what they called the unequal application of hate crimes laws, which they said are applied in a way that favors minorities. The group said it was a coincidence that its protest was held at about the same time as the ceremony for the monument.
White Lives Matter member and protest organizer Ken Reed said into a bullhorn that his group was concerned with "white people's preservation."
"You all are anti-white and anti-American," he told the counter-protesters, according to the Austin American-Statesman.