Hundreds of Police Violence Protestors and Counter Protestors Swarm Region; 7 Arrested

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Placerville police come between protestors (photo by Ty Lyman)

By Angel Cabral and Ty Lyman
Special to the Vanguard

SACRAMENTO REGION – Hundreds of demonstrators opposed to police violence and the back-shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, WI, a week ago, participated in a series of protests Thursday through the weekend in Sacramento, Placerville, Lincoln and the surrounding area.

They were met by hundreds of law enforcement personnel, from Sacramento police, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento Sheriff’s Dept, Citrus Heights police and other units from as far south as Lathrop and Hanford.

They were also confronted in most all of the protests by dozens of loud and aggressive pro-Trump and pro-police counter protestors.

In all, as of Sunday, the Vanguard has learned that at least seven people were arrested in Sacramento – and while most have been released on simple misdemeanor counts with zero bail, two are being held with no bail until a hearing Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court.

According to court information, the bail would normally be only about $10,000 for one of those being held and that would normally be waived per the COVID-19 orders to keep jails emptied. However, a little used penal code section is keeping them in jail – officials are suggesting the defendants could be a public safety threat, although in one case the person is charged only with having a “dirk or dagger” on their person.

Sacramento police with so-called non-lethal weapons at the ready (photo by Ty Lyman)

In Sacramento there were repeated reports, according to the National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter, that police were challenging protestors with loaded weapons, pushing them to the ground, and refusing to identify themselves as required by state law. The NLG monitors police actions at protests nationwide.

There were an estimated 150-200 demonstrators on Sacramento streets each night, Thursday through Saturday, amid heavy police presence, and a very small “proud boy” presence. Vanguard staff said they saw one truck and one individual with a sword, who confronted a protestor and nearly got into a physical confrontation before being maced.

There was light damage to government buildings, including graffiti or broken windows at the District Attorney office, Sheriff’s Dept. and City Hall..

The crowd was very strict with cameras, and Vanguard photographers were repeatedly approached by a man with an umbrella, so that photos could not be taken of demonstrators.

Police were visibly irritated and ready for confrontation, as they were banging their shields with nightsticks and occasionally yelling at protestors. A high degree of militarization was on display.

The Vanguard saw an officer taking aim at protestors with a rubber bullet weapon at a time when no others were doing so. The police seemed more ready for confrontation than the protestors. Overall, the marches were peaceful, and the leaders helped guide the crowd while avoiding confrontation.

Militarized Sacramento police guard city hall (photo by Ty Lyman)

Legal observers from NLG also reported having police put weapons in their faces, even though legal observers from NLG wear bright green hats to identify them as non-participants like the press.

In Placerville Friday afternoon the tension seemed to be mounting steadily towards a crescendo of conflicting philosophies and political ideologies, as supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and their boisterous, conservative rivals filled opposite sides of Main Street.

Roughly 200 people gathered around and across from the El Dorado County Courthouse, monitored closely by 15 or so police officers on foot, many of them without masks, with more stationed discreetly in parking lots awaiting orders.

It should be noted that a majority of the officers seemed much more comfortable on the side of the street which was occupied by the right-wing counter protestors – they were often seen making amicable small talk and shaking hands.

The officers positioned by BLM took a much more serious and authoritative approach than with the counter protestors.

The gathering was organized by Rural Resistance Placerville, a progressive community collective, which supports and coordinates mutual aid efforts in the area with the intention of eliminating systemic oppression, while fostering social justice.

Hundreds of anti-police brutality protestors in Placerville (photo by Ty Lyman)

Although fairly new to the sociopolitical activism scene, RRP was able to summon an impressive amount of support and solidarity from some locals, but mostly from individuals residing in the surrounding areas of El Dorado County, as well as residents of the Bay Area and even Portland.

The primary purpose for this gathering was to argue in favor of removing the noose and hangman imagery from the city’s businesses, memorabilia, and town square.

Placerville’s official city nickname is “Hangtown,” a name which, according to city officials and counter-protestors, originates from its history as a lawless town overrun by bandits, so referencing the frequent hangings that would occur there. One can actually still visit and see the old hanging platform they used for this purpose.

This morbid history carries with it a fetishization of nooses, and you can easily spot these hanging from storefronts, trees, and on the front of commemorative t-shirts and baseball caps donned by the locals. The RRP protestors claimed that no matter the historical connotation or context, the image of a noose is problematic and insensitive, and should not be glorified, while the counter protesters claimed that to ban the image would be to strip their town of its unique historical identity.

Although the program for the afternoon started off without much backlash or interruption from the few, mostly elderly, counter protesters who situated themselves on the outskirts of the rally, the size and anger of this group grew as the protest progressed.

Trump counter protestors give Nazi salute in Placerville (photo by Ty Lyman)

While a recording of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech was being played through speakers in honor of its 57th anniversary, monstrous pickup trucks with thunderous engines and black smoke erupting from their exhaust pipes, brandishing large Trump banners and colonial flags began making multiple trips up and down the street in an effort to drown out the protest.

The paradigm for the protest had shifted with the arrival of these new counter protesters, and they soon began to succeed in their quest for provocation. A couple of protestors got into verbal spats with men giving Nazi salutes, which nearly escalated to physical confrontation until the intervention of law
enforcement.

No arrests were made on either side, and no one seemed unfairly targeted by police, though the readiness of law enforcement to shake hands with people giving Nazi salutes was disconcerting to protestors.

Overall, the protest dispersed peacefully once the program reached its conclusion, and BLM protestors were given security chaperones to their vehicles, while the counter protesters lingered about, heading to various bars and restaurants on the main street.

As these reporters drove away, we attempted to take a picture of “Willie,” a mannequin hanging from a tree who’s considered a sort of town mascot here, but we were quickly accosted and stopped by a few locals who weren’t too keen on us documenting this particular local attraction.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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17 thoughts on “Hundreds of Police Violence Protestors and Counter Protestors Swarm Region; 7 Arrested”

  1. Alan Miller

    Overall, the marches were peaceful,

    This wording has become a  joke: variations on “Mostly Peaceful Protestors”.

    As has been pointed out, police mostly don’t kill people, and overall, police are peaceful.

    Reading right- and left- leaning news from Portland, they might as well be reporting from different planets.  America sucks in the news from ‘their side’, and that reality is reinforced.

    And the beat goes on . . . (keyboard riff) . . . and the beat goes on . . .

    Thanks Sonny.  Thanks Cher.

    1. Alan Miller

      supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and their boisterous, conservative rivals filled opposite sides of Main Street. Roughly 200 people gathered around and across from the El Dorado County Courthouse, monitored closely by 15 or so police officers on foot

      I wonder what would have happened if their were no police present – would the two sides have gone after each other in violent mini-civil-war?  I don’t know the answer, but interesting to speculate.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Yes… one speculation would be that when ‘matter‘ and ‘anti-matter‘ collide, they completely cancel/annihilate each other, with a big emission of energy… would be an interesting experiment… could further physics and political science…

        To push the speculation further, perhaps law enforcement is the control rod, to prevent a “melt-down”… but to date, not particularly effective…

  2. Alan Miller

    It should be noted that a majority of the officers seemed much more comfortable on the side of the street which was occupied by the right-wing counter protestors – they were often seen making amicable small talk and shaking hands.

    From what I know of Placerville, this is probably because they knew each other personally, whereas I’m assuming most of the BLM protestors were from out-of-town.

    1. Bill Marshall

      From what I know of Placerville, and knowing several folk who grew up and/or worked there, I believe your speculation is very close to, or on, the “mark”, Alan…

    1. David Greenwald

      This is the type of post, we want to stop Alan. And then you complain when we pull them. (A) it’s not funny, (B) it adds nothing to discussion, (C) it offends people. So you complain every time we pull a post and then you make these? And several of these apply.

      1. Alan Miller

        This is the type of post, we want to stop Alan.

        As I’ve said before, the way your brain is wired is so different from mine, I will never understand what passes your muster.

        And then you complain when we pull them.

        I certainly agree than any personal attacks or doxxing on individuals should be pulled.  Beyond that I really don’t understand the purpose.

        (A) it’s not funny,

        Wasn’t meant to be.

        (B) it adds nothing to discussion,

        Beholder, meet Eye (or “I”)

        (C) it offends people.

        How could that comment possibly “offend” people?  Unless you actually believe I am advocating for or would enjoy seeing a second civil war start in Placerville.

        Let me ruin it for you:  I was pointing out and concerned that tensions seemed very high on very divisive issues, and was speculating without police present, there could have been an all-out brawl in which people could have been killed.  I was just saying it my “Alan Miller” way.

        By your definition of “offended”, I am offended by the majority of the articles that you author.  Does that mean you should pull any articles I am “offended” by?  Because, after all, if anyone is offended . . .

        Well of course not, because the Vanguard view is the correct view.

    2. Bill Marshall

      This morbid history carries with it a fetishization of nooses, 

      Two thoughts:

      The “fetishization” applies big time… those who associate ‘the hangmans noose/knot’ with a form of capital punishment, when done correctly, was a fairly quick, humane manner… and those who associate it with ‘lynchings’ (vigilante/unlawful execution)… generally, lynchings were done with ‘slip knots’… very different… instead of a quick snap of the neck, killing pretty much instantaneously (the knot require 2 hands to tighten, and was typically set just below the left ear), most lynchings were done via slip knots, or poorly placed hangmans knot, where death was anguishing, due to suffocation… kinda’ like crucifixion…

      Gets to the “symbols” discussion… some see the ‘hangmans knot’ as a symbol of racism… others see it as what it is… a knot… with the advantage of being a ‘stable’ knot, which can be useful…

      And, yes… I know how to tie one, and have… but never as a symbol, or to harm anyone…

  3. Alan Miller

    A couple of protestors got into verbal spats with men giving Nazi salutes,

    What was the meaning of this, “giving” salutes to whom?  Does this mean the men were saluting Hitler, or that they were implying that to erase the town’s history was in line with Nazi suppression tactics?

    1. Bill Marshall

      Two darn good questions… don’t expect any real answers…

      ‘Nazi’s’ come in all shades… if you’re using the nuance of ‘totalitarian’, and the nuance of ‘intolerance’… there are some very liberal ‘nazis’ out there if you use those nuances… everyone who disagrees with them are ‘defective’, and “must be eliminated/disregarded”…

  4. Alan Miller

    while the counter protesters lingered about, heading to various bars and restaurants on the main street.

    Bars and restaurants that are famously flaunting mask laws.

    As these reporters drove away, we attempted to take a picture of “Willie,” a mannequin hanging from a tree who’s considered a sort of town mascot here, but we were quickly accosted and stopped by a few locals who weren’t too keen on us documenting this particular local attraction.

    Not like it’s not on the internet or anything . . .

    1. Bill Marshall

      Photo-op… to show they visited ‘old Hangtown’… Hangtown was a designation that preceded Placerville…

      Gets to other ‘symbols’… and history… should Auschwitz be razed, plowed over, and planted?  Loss of history… lack a of a place to affirm, “Never Again”…

      Looks like they’re thinking that all signs of the Confederacy, be eliminated from Gettysburg, Antietam, Wilderness, etc. …  to forget the Civil War ever happened?  What will future generations learn from that?  Nada…

  5. Keith Olsen

    They were also confronted in most all of the protests by dozens of loud and aggressive pro-Trump and pro-police counter protestors.

    And of course all the left wing and BLM protesters were quiet and non-aggressive.  LMAO

     

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