A protest against white supremacy in Dallas Saturday night deteriorated into social anarchy, as protesters rallied against the very cops who were protecting them.
In video captured by KDFW, the Fox affiliate in Dallas, protesters chanted “Cops and Klan go hand in hand” while they marched. That video is included below.
The anti-racism rally was in response to a pro-confederate statue gathering being held at Dallas City Hall on Saturday. Pioneer Park Cemetery, just a block away from city hall, is home to a number of statues and monuments, including confederate monuments. Several thousand people showed up and marched to the cemetery to show either their support or opposition to the monuments. Those who want the monuments removed largely outnumbered the pro-confederate crowd.
Although the march was contentious, it was largely peaceful until a group split off from the main group of anti-racism marchers. Dressed in ANTIFA-like garb and covering their faces, and holding ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs, this smaller group was largely aggressive and began chanting things like “Cops and Klan go hand-in-hand.” There were reports that the ANTIFA group got violent later in the evening, donning gas masks and throwing bottles at police. That, however, has not been officially confirmed.
The Dallas ANTIFA protesters were met by a group of armed militia members who said they were there to protect the statues. Although there were some heated exchanges between the two groups, no major confrontations were seen.
At the start of what was named the “Dallas against White Supremacy” rally, most people in the crowd chanted phrases like, “Hey, hey! Ho ho! These statues here have to go.” They held up signs with messages like “White Supremacy is NOT Welcome in Our City” or “Beautiful Nation of Many Colors.” Someone also brought a President Donald Trump effigy to the rally. The word “racist” was crossed out on his chest.
Raymond Simmons, a 48-year-old from Dallas, arrived at the rally wearing a picture of the two Virginia state troopers killed in a helicopter crash while patrolling a gathering in Charlottesville supporting that state’s Confederate monuments. He said he believes people who engaged in violence there should be charged with treason and the death of the two troopers, as well a woman struck and killed by a car.
Speakers including the Rev. Michael W. Waters addressed the group. “Now is the time to do what is right in the city of Dallas. Now is the time to bring these monuments down,” he shouted.
A small group of self-described militia members said they were there to protect the monument rally organizers want removed. They were armed and hid their faces. They said they would protect themselves if necessary.
“All we do is we back up authorities and police officers. We help them to do their job and if we see someone doing something wrong then we will apprehend them and then we will call authorities to come,” said a named who uses the nickname Blackjack and says he’s with an organization called the Texas Elite Three Percent.
One man wearing green was escorted away by police after getting into a confrontation with the anti-white supremacy protesters. “Shame on you. Shame on you,” the crowd chanted.
Just over a year ago, five Dallas police officers were shot and killed in an ambush-style attack during a Black Lives Matter protest. The chants by ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter protesters did not go over well with many. “‘Cops and Klan go hand in hand’ That’s the problem. These people holding ‘black lives matter’ posters are chanting hate and they’re fueling the hatred towards cops by saying the cops are the kkk what the hell is wrong with these people,” one commenter on Facebook posted.