AUSTIN - Protests throughout the weekend meant to voice concerns over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, turned into violence as one brawl broke out, while others set off fireworks in the streets.
It's the kind of scene well-known Austin radio host and gun right's advocate, Michael Cargill, ran into Saturday night. He recorded the intense moments on his phone as he was headed home in North Austin.
“That is definitely a problem and it needs to be documented,” Cargill said.
He says the violence is a result from Councilman Greg Casar. In a recent appearance, Councilman Casar spoke out against ICE and the potential raids within the city.
Cargill believes his words encouraged protesters to take a negative approach, calling it a mob instead of a protest.
“You're not destroying private property. You're not destroying businesses, you're not throwing things at cars,” Cargill said.
The radio host went on to say when violence takes over, the message is lost.
"That is something city council member Greg Casar has condoned,” Cargill said. “And that is something that cannot be put up with in this country, in Austin, Texas -- not in this state."
Early Sunday councilman Casar took to Facebook saying:
Last night, I visited my constituents at the intersection of North Lamar and Rundberg on my way home from another event. I was greeted by many families with small children and young people, the overwhelming majority of whom were peacefully exercising their first amendment rights to voice their opposition to recent ICE enforcement actions in Austin, which have instilled fear in Austin over the last few days. I spent time with elementary and middle school students and their parents, who I've known for years.
Many protests have broken out over the last few months, both planned and unplanned. Because of the climate of anger and fear in many of our neighborhoods, I saw my constituents responding to what they feel had been an attack on their communities. I urge that all community members -- be they neighbors, city employees, or activists -- work to maintain a peaceful environment and grow solidarity in these tense times. What ICE officials have done in our community has not been peaceful. I believe we should serve as the better example through a commitment to nonviolent solidarity -- as has been successful in so many struggles throughout our nation's history.
Meanwhile, it’s unclear how long the ICE raids will continue in Austin.
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