Peace Rally in Anaheim Follows Weekend of Violence

Protestors led by Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait and religious leaders march to city hall. / Photo by Jose Servin

Protestors led by Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait and religious leaders march to city hall. / Photo by Jose Servin

By Jose Servin

Demonstrators marched peacefully Monday at the same Anaheim park where the Ku Klux Klan and counter-protestors engaged in a violent confrontation over the weekend.

About 300 protestors started in Pearson Park and moved to city hall, where community leaders and clergy members of different faiths addressed the crowd, urging them to shut out violence with peace.

“This is Anaheim. What you saw this weekend is not us and we stand together in unity to say no to intolerance, say no to fear, and yes to kindness, compassion and respect,” said Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait.

Tait emphasized that Klan members had the right to express their beliefs, but that their views were not welcome in Anaheim.

While peace was the theme of the rally, a small group screamed for action while clergy members brought the crowd together in prayer.

Three people yelled over the speakers on the steps of city hall, demanding the freedom of 20-year old Marquis Turner, who remains incarcerated for his participation in the bloody brawl along with other counter-protestors.

Angry protested disrupted the peace rally demanding justice for Marquis Turner, one of the counter-protestors still in police custody. / Photo by Jose Servin

Angry protestors disrupt a peace rally demanding justice for the counter-protestors still in police custody. / Photo by Jose Servin

With their faces covered in mask, this small opposing group drew attention and some support that was met with larger chants from the main crowd for peace.

“Marquis might be in jail for the rest of his life. Why? Because he’s black and because he’s a minority, yet they let the racists go free,” said one of the protestors who asked to remain anonymous.

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The confrontation occurred at noon Saturday, when KKK members arrived at the park where they planned to hold a rally and were met by counter-protestors who immediately attacked them, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim Police Department.

KKK members stabbed three of the counter-protestors, leaving one with critical injuries.

Of the twelve people arrested, only the 5 KKK members involved have been released after investigators determined that they acted in self-defense, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim Police Department.

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