Philadelphia, PA – There were 16 antifa-associated people arrested at a counter protest to a Blue Lives Matter march on Saturday.
The march was not directly affiliated with the Blue Lives Matter organization.
The Blue Lives Matter event was started on a Facebook group called Sports Beer & Politics II, according to the Wilmington News-Journal.
The Facebook promotion stated, “We don’t condone the use of violence by any party in attendance at this event. This event is to honor active, retired and fallen police officers, any violence, racism, or display of hate by any group or individual is extremely prohibited. Any group or party violating these conditions will be removed from this permitted event immediately.”
Among the speakers at the event was Billy Ciancaglini, the Republican mayoral candidate for the city of Philadelphia.
At about 11:30 a.m., around 75 antifa showed up to protest the 20 people at the pro-police march.
The Philadelphia Police Department arrested the counter protesters for fighting police officers, according to WCAU-TV.
Nine of the 16 arrested were issued citations for failure to disperse and several were charged with disorderly conduct, WCAU reported.
The antifa protesters accused the Blue Lives Matter march of supporting “Nazis, police brutality and the alt-right,” according to WCAU.
“This march represents the creep of ultra right wing politics into our communities,” one of the organizers of the counter-protest march wrote, according to WCAU. “We refuse to let that happen. We refused to allow the belittling and oppression of our friends, neighbors and community, and refuse to give the alt right a platform. They are hiding their despicable politics behind fake respectability and need for someone to call them out.”
Blue Lives Matter co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Christopher Berg said that antifa are just domestic terrorists who make up excuses to attack innocent people.
"Blue Lives Matter believes in racial equality and diversity, and strongly condemns any form of white supremacy or Nazi-ism," Berg said. "While the march wasn't directly affiliated with Blue Lives Matter, I didn't see any Nazis in the march video."
"Your typical antifa is somebody who wants to go 100% all-out to fight against people with different political opinions, and in their sheltered worldview, they think that means violence," he said. "My toddler used to do the same thing, then he realized that throwing violent temper-tantrums didn't accomplish anything."
Both demonstrations happened at the same time but the two groups did not interact, according to police.
You can see arrests of the antifa in the videos below (scroll down for more):