A Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California broke out in violence Saturday, leaving three people, injured, one critically, in stabbing attacks. 13 people were arrested as a result of the violence.
A small group representing the Klan announced it would hold a rally at Pearson Park Saturday afternoon, local police had even tweeted out the announcement to warn residents of the possibly inflammatory demonstration.
By late morning, several dozen counter-protestors had arrived to confront the Klan. Violence erupted shortly after, and some of the protestors could be seen kicking a man whose shirt read “Grand Dragon,” signifying the lead member of the KKK supporters. At some point during the violence, one of the counter-protestors collapsed on the ground bleeding, calling out that he had been stabbed.
A Klansman who was put in handcuffs was heard telling police that he “stabbed him in self-defense.” Witnesses said other Klansmen used the point of a flagpole while fighting with the counter-protestors.
Kobe Sato, a man who witnessed the scrum said a crowd swarmed the KKK demonstrators, when they arrived at the park carrying Confederate flags.
Once the violence died down, many voiced their anger over the lack of police monitoring the racist group’s demonstration from the onset. Brian Levin, who witnessed the violence and stepped in to try and quell it, said, “There were no officers here when this started happening.”
Anaheim had once been a huge hub for KKK power in the United States, and at the height of the groups prominence in the area, almost 300 Klansmen lived in Anaheim. While their presence in Southern California has since decreased, last year, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, residents of Whittier and Fullerton found KKK packets filled with racist rhetoric in their driveways.
(Photo: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images)