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Anti-vaccination protest turns violent in downtown Los Angeles

LA County public health officials reported more than 4,200 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

Anti-vaxxers AFP via Getty Images

Demonstrators attending an anti-vaccine protest collided with police and other people attending a counter-protest Saturday (Aug. 14) in downtown Los Angeles.

One person was stabbed and taken to a hospital after an altercation broke out during the demonstrations, according to The LA Times. The outlet reports several hundred people attended the “Choose Freedom March” to protest the “medical tyranny” of the city’s proposed mandatory vaccinations and coinciding passports. Around 2:30 p.m. the few dozen people who gathered for the opposing “No Safe Space for Fascists” rally met with the anti-vaxxers on the corner of 1st and Spring streets. Punches were thrown and objects, aimed at the opposing side, were hurled into the air.

The Los Angeles Police Department shared details of the fight on Twitter. “LAPD is monitoring a protest at the south lawn of the LA City Hall. We are on scene to maintain order after a fight broke out. We are aware of one male that was stabbed & is being treated by LAFD. No arrests have been made but investigation is ongoing,” LAPD tweeted.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, Capt. Stacy Spell, confirmed in a statement the counter-protesters involved in the fight were part of the anti-fascist, anti-racist political movement called Antifa, The Times reported. While several people on social media have referred to the anti-vaccination protestors — who donned Trump memorabilia and carried American flags— as members of the white nationalist organization the Proud Boys, the police did not confirm if they were affiliated with any known organizations.

On Saturday (Aug. 14), LA County public health officials reported more than 4,200 new COVID-19 cases. In response to rising rates and the highly-transmissible Delta variant, county officials have reinstated a rule requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces. The county also voted this week to move forward with creating vaccine requirements for indoor public spaces. New York announced a similar initiative weeks ago.

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