6 Stabbed at White Nationalist Rally in Sacramento | NBC Southern California
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6 Stabbed at White Nationalist Rally in Sacramento

Officials said a total of 10 people were hospitalized, some with "critical trauma" stab wounds

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    A violent protest broke out Sunday in Sacramento as a white supremacist group clashed with counter-protesters at the state Capitol. At least six people were stabbed, police said. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Sunday, June 26, 2016)

    At least six people were stabbed and others were struck by chunks of thrown concrete when a white nationalist group clashed with counter-protesters at the California state Capitol in Sacramento on Sunday.

    Officials said a total of 10 people were hospitalized, some with "critical trauma" stab wounds. All were expected to survive, according to the Sacramento Police Department. Officers said people on both sides of the fight were stabbed.

    A spokeswoman from UC Davis Medical Center said it was treating eight people with injuries related to the rally. Their conditions ranged from "good to critical" and included "various types of trauma," she said. 

    The white nationalist group was identified as a California affiliate of the Traditionalist Worker Party. About 30 representatives protested at the Capitol, while the opposing group — the anti-fascist Antifa — numbered 400, the California Highway Patrol said. The Traditionalist Worker Party had a permit to hold the rally, police said.

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    Several people were seen walking through the crowd with bloodied faces, while counter-protesters chanted "get off our streets" at the supremacists.  A news reporter and photographer were reportedly injured in the mayhem.

    Police said a window was shattered on the ground level of the Capitol building. 

    Matthew Heimbach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, said in a phone interview with NBC News his group was "attacked by 200 anti-fascist people" as soon as they emerged from the parking garage.

    Heimback said one member was undergoing surgery after being stabbed in the arm but "it's mostly the other side that were the aggressors who are injured."

    "Some leaders were saying they were militants, saying they were going to kill us. It's premeditated attempted murder. This is a criminal conspiracy," he said. "They brought deadly weapons and chanted actively to kill us. ... This is political terrorism the other side has committed."

    The Traditionalist Worker Party declaresd victory on its Facebook page.

    "Our Golden State comrades in the Traditionalist Worker Party went up against ten-to-one odds and won," the post said. "We provoked the leftists into showing their true colors."

    But one injured counter-protester from Oakland, who was wearing a thick, bloody bandage on her head, had a much different perspective.

    "We shut down the Nazis, and in the process of that, they attacked us," said Yyvette Falarca of the group By Any Means Necessary. "But they were not successful in doing that on balance overall. This is about building a militant-integrated movement that's independent, organizes masses of people and takes militant direct action to stop it."

    The Traditionalist Worker Party sent out a news release ahead of the march, calling the event "one to remember."

    "Under the Traditionalist Worker Party banner, many Nationalists will unite and take a stand; never will we give away our right to speak and think freely," the statement said. 

    Matthew Heimbach, a chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, told the Los Angeles Times his group organized the event with the help of the Golden State Skinheads, another white nationalist organization. 

    The group acknowledged that a counter-protest had been planned, noting that members of the group would be prepared to fight. Members of the party appeared to carry large sticks. 

    The area was shut down shortly after 11:30 a.m. as police tried to control the chaos. More than 100 law enforcement officers, including some on horseback, converged on the area.

    The Capitol building was locked down around noon. Hundreds of people remained on the Capitol grounds until about 2 p.m., when police cleared the area.

    Police said no arrests had been made as of Sunday afternoon.