Disturbing footage has emerged from a small Black Lives Matter protest in the US state of Ohio which was violently hijacked by Trump supporters.
36-year-old substitute teacher Alicia Gee, had organised a small demonstration in Bethel, Ohio as a show of solidarity for those protesting inequality and injustice in the United States.
Police report that only 20 to 25 people were expected to attend the event on Sunday but around 100 actually turned up.
However, they were soon outnumbered by counter-protesters who reportedly arrived at the scene wearing Trump and pro-police merchandise, as well as Confederate flags. Some were also said to be part of motorcycle gangs and one man can be seen brandishing an assault rifle in the footage that has been shared on YouTube.
Raw Story reports that they were drawn to the event after a rumour was spread online that it had been organised by anti-fascists.
The scene soon turned ugly as the Trump supporters began to berate the protestors who were told "all lives matter" and were branded "a bunch of f**king traitors." They were also told to go back to cities like Cincinnati and Seattle. One man is also heard shouting:
This is a f*cking Republican state, b*tch. We don't play here.
According to a police report published by the Cincinnati Enquirerthere were around 800 people from the opposing groups which resulted in 10 incidents. Bethel officials said:
These groups included several motorcycle gangs, back the blue groups, and second amendment advocates.
Towards the latter part of the event, the various other groups began to move toward the Bethel’s Solidarity with Black Lives Demonstration area. This resulted in approximately 10 incidents. Those involved were removed from the scene and there are ongoing investigations concerning those incidents.
Speaking afterward, Gee made it clear that the event was not a protest but an act of solidarity with Black Lives Matter and why it was important to hold an event of that natures in Bethel.
Bethel was founded with abolitionist groups. We were a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Our first mayor was Ulysses S. Grant's father. And clearly we have moved away from those groups. I just felt like it was time that we get back to them and demonstrate that we aren't filled with white supremacy and hate
The Bethel Police Department has confirmed that an investigation into the incident is taking place but anyone with information about the suspects or victims is being encouraged to come forward.