Protests spark violent battles: Antifa and Proud Boys brawl in Michigan, cops clash with BLM marchers in Chicago and pro-police demonstrators fire gunshots in Portland as rallies across the US get ugly

Brawls between Antifa and far-right Proud Boys broke out on the streets of a Michigan city on Saturday, as protests against police brutality saw clashes between counter-protesters, demonstrators and riot police – scenes replicated across the United States this weekend.

From Portland in the west to Miami in the east, via Michigan, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Chicago, Americans took to the streets on Saturday to demand change.

In Michigan, a rally by the far-right group Proud Boys turned violent in downtown Kalamazoo, with demonstrators clashing with anti-racism protesters at a vigil organized by the First Congregational Church.

‘The Proud Boys, they not only have hatred for Jewish people and Muslim people, but they’re also very hateful of anybody who doesn’t look like them or act like them,’ said The Rev. Nathan Dannison, the church’s pastor.

Addressing the gathered crowd, Dannison urged those present to commit themselves to non-violence and non-aggression, MLive reported.

‘Let’s work together to remain peaceful and manifest positive energy with each other, to take care of each other, to take care of our own selves and our own safety, and to defend one another,’ Dannison told the crowd.

Shortly thereafter, chanting, mostly mask-less Proud Boys marched toward the park’s entrance, waving American, Trump, and Gadsden flags and other symbols.

Violence broke out soon after, with Proud Boys attacking counter-protesters with fists, kicks, and shoves.

Police arrived around 2pm to try and separate the rival protests.

In Chicago, police used pepper spray and batons to repel hundreds of demonstrators, who took to the streets calling for the defunding of police.

One protester was seen apparently bashing an officer over the head with a skateboard.

Officers then ripped umbrellas and bikes from protesters’ hands and sprayed the crowd with a chemical irritant, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The demonstrations began at Chicago’s iconic Bean before the group traveled to Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

Multiple arrests were witnessed at the scene, NBC 5 said.

The group then continued to Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, heading toward Chicago’s Loop as city bridges remained lifted, preventing them from crossing the Chicago River.

A heavy police presence was seen in the area with several officers both in front and behind the marching demonstrators and other lines of officers blocking streets.

The group chanted things like ‘no justice, no peace’ as they called for defunding the police, removing police from the city’s public schools, and abolishing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Source: Daily Mail