SACRAMENTO -- The factions in Sunday’s protest were a collaboration between white nationalists and skin heads, confronted by various anti-fascist and anti-white supremacist organizations.
It is unclear exactly what caused things to go so bad so fast at the Capitol Sunday afternoon. But it seems obvious, some people came with very different plans for making a political point. Some say they wanted to talk about issues.
“As many people as there are, that’s how many political discussions we could have, there’s no reason to result to violence, by any side,” said Toby Wenning, a self-described nationalist, who also stated he is not a racist.
Others wanted action.
“Oh no, we did not talk to them, we made sure they had to leave, and we are very proud and have so much respect for everyone who came out, together we did that,” said Yvette Felarca with the Coalition to defend Affirmative Action Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Many Means Necessary.
Known as B.A.M., Felarca’s group, was one of the different organizations protesting the white supremacists.
It was not immediately clear which of the protest groups were involved in the violence, and Felarca wouldn’t explain what caused a bloody injury to her head, however, she was clearly not bothered by the violence.
"They weren’t able to recruit anyone today, and that’s thanks to the militant action that took place. That’s what matters,” said Felarca.
Also making up the 400 or so protesters was an NAACP board member who says he can’t believe skin heads and nationalists are allowed to rally openly.
“It’s appalling and it’s disturbing to know that this thing can still happen,” said Joe Dobbs.
A man toting a dump fascism sign also took part.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but people need to know there are consequences,” said Chris Tafoya.
Organizing the protest was a group called Traditionalist Workers Party, or TWP, a nationalist group whose website says they reject racial supremacism.
“I do know who they are, and as far as I know they are not Nazis”, said Wenning.
The TWP collaborated with the Golden State Skin Heads to put on the permitted rally. A notice about Sunday’s event on the organization’s website said in part:
"The purpose of Sunday's rally is simple: A peaceful demonstration based on the principle that we, like everyone else has a right to stand and have our voices be heard. The countless threats of violence and attacks on our very lives will not deter us from attempting to achieve our initial goals."
Wenning, who says he is not a racist, came to learn more and says he and his son were attacked.
“They were splashing me with stuff, hitting me with a stick, or they tried to hit me, I didn’t get hit,” said Wenning of the antifascist protesters.
Matthew Parrot, a representative from the TWP was not at Sunday’s rally, but spoke with FOX40 over the phone from Bloomington, Indiana. He says the purpose of the rally was to protest what he called left-wing intolerance of right-wing gatherings. He specifically referenced violent rallies outside Donald Trump events.
Parrot tells FOX40, to his knowledge, only one of his members was injured in Sunday’s rally.
That man was stabbed and released from the hospital Sunday, according to Parrot. Parrot says his organization was instructed not to initiate any violence, but the protesters were prepared to defend themselves.