Supporters of President Trump faced off with counter-protesters on Saturday in Pacific Beach, prompting San Diego police to declare the situation an unlawful assembly "due to acts of violence."
The protest, which is at Hornblend Street and Mission Boulevard, has prompted SDPD to ask residents to stay away from the area. Officials said "those who remain or return against this lawful order may be cited/arrested and risk exposure to chemical agents & less-lethal force applications."
Aerial video showed a line of SDPD officers trying to disperse the demonstrators around 3 p.m. Officers were struck with a glass bottle, eggs and rocks, and pepper-spray was shot at them as well, according to San Diego police.
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Aerial Images: Droves of Pro-Trump Supporters, Counter-Protesters Flock to Pacific Beach
Dozens of patrol cars are parked nearby, and officers in riot gear have formed two lines on Mission Boulevard to separate the two groups, which are now spaced several hundred feet apart. A fire truck and ambulance have also been spotted not far away. The situation is taking place just blocks from the beach, and there are many spectators in the area as well, some of them biking and skateboardng by the unfolding events.
At 3:30 p.m., the situation had the appearance of a standoff, with the two sides rallying in place, with several Trump supporters waving Trump banners. By 5 p.m., SDPD said both groups had seperated and said they would continue to monitor.
SDPD told NBC 7 three people have been arrested for refusing to disperse.
The protest was organized this week in the wake of events in Washington on Wednesday, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building. A digital flyer was circulated describing the event as a "Patriot March," which said the event's purpose was "To stand up for our republic, our Constitution and for our freedom."
Before long, counter-protesters were circulating the same flyer, with "Patriot March" crossed out, calling for their supporters to "Shut This Fascist Rally Down," declaring "no racists, no fascists in our community."
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