ANAHEIM, Calif. — Words can kill. And in Southern California, it nearly did.
A Ku Klux Klan rally in suburban Los Angeles , which echoed inflammatory slogans inspired by presidential candidate Donald Trump, quickly degenerated into violence when protesters showed in a counter demonstration Three people were stabbed and 13 people were arrested.
The KKK were holding a rally to speak out on illegal immigration and Muslims at Pearson Park in Orange County — two of the main issues that, not coincidentally, leading Republican presidential candidate Trump has been hammering away about incessantly on the campaign stump and during the contentious televised debates — when a pocket of protesters arrived.
When more Klan members arrived in a black SUV to fortify their fellow KKK members, a violent melee quickly ensued. One handcuffed and arrested Klan member used the sharp end of a Confederate flag pole to stab one of the counter demonstrators. According to the Los Angeles Times, a group of people could be seen kicking a man whose shirt read “Grand Dragon.”
Another man collapsed to the ground in pain, screaming and bleeding and saying he had been stabbed. The arrested Klan member said he stabbed the protester in self defense.
Ironically, the LA Times stated, one of the Klan members was saved from harm when a Jewish man pushed him away from the surrounding protesters.
Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism said he was standing next to one of the KKK leaders when a crowd of protesters swarmed the Klan members. Levin said he pushed the Klan leader away as the violence continued and a protester was stabbed.
Levin said he asked the man, “How do you feel that a Jewish guy just saved your life?”
“Thank you,” the Klan leader replied, according to Levin, the LA Times reports.
Levin added that he believed there should have been a police presence from the beginning and is angry that it took them so long to appear. He believes the police eventual arrival may have saved lives.
Law enforcement broke up the melee and eventually arrested 13 people in all.