DALLAS - Thousands of people attended a rally against white supremacy in what has been mostly a peaceful demonstration, but as night fell, a small faction of that crowd broke away and arguments began to grow tense.
At the height of the rally, about 2,300 people showed up at Dallas City Hall Plaza in downtown Dallas. The rally called for unity and acceptance as demonstrators held signs of support for all races and religions, leaving no room for hate. More than a dozen activists, politicians and faith leaders spoke at the event. Afterwards, a candlelight vigil followed.
Meanwhile, tensions heightened near the Confederate War Memorial Park, beside the plaza. Law enforcement eventually had to interfere and shut down the Pioneer Park Cemetery. Police have said they will begin arresting individuals who do not comply to leave the area. At about 10:30 p.m., a large group remains as police attempt to clear the area.
During the protest, five individuals were detained and released without charges.
Police anticipated that a counter-protest would show up, but that they did show. Instead, an antifa crowd got involved in several arguments, escalating tensions in the crowd. Antifa, or anti-facists, is a far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
The removal of Confederate monuments has been a point of a contention, which has sparked a debate across the country.
During the rally, police had blocked off several roads around Dallas City Hall.
Dallas police started preparing earlier this week. Barriers went up Friday around the Confederate War Memorial. They re-trained its officers on riot and crowd control. Officers from Garland, Grand Prairie and The Texas Department of Public Safety backed the Dallas Police Department backed.
This also has been a day of a protests across Texas. In Houston, nearly 500 people showed up at Sam Houston Park, demanding the removal of 'The Spirit of Confederacy' statue, which was resurrected more than 100 years ago to honor those who fought and died for the Confederacy.
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