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Patriot Prayer Rally Disrupted on Washington State Campus

Image: Patriot Prayer Rally Disrupted on Washington State Campus
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By    |   Monday, 12 February 2018 07:08 AM

A Patriot Prayer rally at the University of Washington was disrupted when a group of people invited to pray on the campus were met by more than 1,000 counter-protesters and fights broke out.

Five people were arrested for disorderly conduct as police used pepper spray during the skirmish, University of Washington Police told KOMO-TV.

Patriot Prayer, a Vancouver-based conservative organization, was invited on campus by the College Republicans, the Seattle Times reported.

Some protesters burned American flags as police used bicycle barricades to keep the two opposite groups at bay. Counter-protesters spoke out against President Donald Trump and appeared to support various anti-capitalist and pro-civil rights themes, the Times reported.

The rally supporters, who said they wanted to protect their free-speech rights, at one time chanted "USA! USA! USA!" while some held yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags.

Some left the gathering's sectioned-off area at the university's Red Square and walked into a crowd of counter-protesters, where shouting and fighting ensued.

"I'm showing support for the patriotic way of life," Ron Theis, who attended the Patriot Prayer event, told the Times. He said he wanted to show support for the president and his support for military funding.

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson told KOMO-TV before the event that he wanted conservatives on campus to stand strong at the rally.

"It's not easy being a Republican on a campus like UW," Gibson said, according to the television station. "I'm here to come together and encourage one another."

Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, urged the campus community to avoid Red Square in a memo on Friday, saying university police had "obtained credible information that groups from outside the UW community" planned to "instigate violence" at Saturday's event, KOMO-TV reported.

The College Republicans earlier won a federal temporary restraining order against the university after the school asked the group for $17,000 in security costs before Saturday's rally, KOMO-TV said. The university said, according to the television station, that it expected the event's security bill to reach $50,000.

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A Patriot Prayer rally at the University of Washington was disrupted when a group of people invited to pray on the campus were met by more than 1,000 counter-protesters and fights broke out.
patriot, prayer rally, disrupted
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2018-08-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 07:08 AM
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