From the September-October 2020 issue of News & Letters
Kalamazoo, Mich.—At Arcadia Park about 12:15 on Aug. 15, 45 minutes before the Proud Boys rally was supposed to begin, I noticed a decent amount of police officers around the area. Everybody there, I’ll refer to us as counter-protesters, was being 100% peaceful. We had a few guys at entrances with rifles, and everybody else was waiting to see what these Proud Boys were going to do. Absolutely zero issues.
When we had gotten word that the Proud Boys were getting geared up to march, I noticed all the police officers in the area had left. Every single one. The police left at the exact time that the Proud Boys were getting ready to move in.
About 1:30, we saw them marching towards us. No exaggeration, this was a uniformed militia marching through the streets of Kalamazoo, chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”
No police to be found anywhere.
As they walked by the park, tensions rose. There was screaming and aggression from both sides. People were breaking street signs and hitting people with them, and from what I’ve seen that was mainly coming from the Proud Boys.
This brawl lasted on and off for about 20 minutes until the Proud Boys started macing us, so we backed off. Mind you, there was zero police presence for the entirety of this brawl.
After getting their asses kicked, the Proud Boys left, and we began marching through the city. Now the police come back. We were met with riot lines at almost every corner, while the Proud Boys were able to walk back to their meeting spot and vehicles with absolutely zero consequences.
ONLY PROTESTERS TARGETED
People were maced by police, people were arrested, and for what? Protecting our city from a group of racists and white supremacists because the police are on their side?
Everywhere we went, we were followed by a riot line of police, telling us to cease and desist or face arrest. But the uniformed militia walking through downtown Kalamazoo gets to go home with no consequences.
We were peaceful. We were gathered at a park to stop a group of white supremacists from holding a rally there. We defended our city when the police failed to do so, and we were punished for it, while the instigators walked away with no problems.
—Participant, Metro-Detroit Political Action Network