Five people were rushed to the hospital Sunday with stabbing injuries after Neo-Nazi protesters fought with counter-demonstrators at a rally outside the Capitol in Sacramento, California. Emergency responders were called to the scene around 11:45 a.m. local time, and helped treat the five with critical stab wounds and several others with minor injuries, and the scene was mostly clear an hour later. Video from the scene shows people screaming for medical attention and police dispersing a large crowd using mace and riot gear.
The parade was apparently organized by the Traditionalist Worker Party, which was organizing the demonstration to "protest against globalization and in defense of the right to free expression." The group describes itself as a politically alternative group that "transcends contemporary Western partisan politics," according to the group's website. "While our defense of the traditional institutions of marriage, military service, and religious expression in public life would place us firmly on the “right” side of the political spectrum, our opposition to capitalist materialism, corporate greed, destruction of the environment, and selfish individualism is perhaps more at home on the “left” side of the political spectrum. The Traditionalist Worker Party has yet to issue an official comment on the incident.
Although the Traditionalist Worker Party claims to be a haven for minorities, the California affiliate that organized the protest, which calls itself the Golden State Skinheads, has a reputation for anti-Semitism. "The union of GSS is a social club of California white nationalists," according to the group's mission statement on its website. "Our membership is made up of European American men who are working class and drug free," continues the mission statement. "We are banned together for the survival of our people and our beliefs." According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the GSS is one of several extreme right wing groups that has flourished within the last few years.
No arrests have been made in the attacks thus far, and there are no reports on who started the fighting or how it began. The GSS claimed that it had received violent threats against the protests, which may have been enacted by the anti-protesters. Police closed down the five block area surrounding the Capitol building during the ongoing investigation, and more information should be forthcoming soon about the victims' conditions.