(KMSP) - Seven people were arrested at the State Capitol on Saturday after a clash between protesters and counter-protesters broke out at a “March Against Sharia” rally.
The rally was held inside the Capitol Rotunda with a heavy police presence in attempts to avoid a repeat of the protest at the “March 4 Trump” rally earlier this year. Those in attendance were given alternate means of getting in and out of the building, but some decided to march around the Capitol, bringing them face-to-face with a large group of counter-protesters outside.
After scuffles broke out between the groups, state troopers arrested seven people for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. Out of the seven, two face assault charges.
People on both sides of the issue blame the other for instigating the chaos.
“We’re being shut down, free speech,” one protester told Fox 9’s Samuel King. “We were marching, they ran up to us…they came out and attacked us.”
“Again, it shows that the idea here is hate groups like Act For America know exactly what they’re doing,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR. “And unfortunately all they’re doing is inciting people.”
About 100 people gathered inside the Capitol Rotunda for the “March Against Sharia” rally. Though organizers say they were not anti-Muslim, but rather anti-Sharia Law, some speakers did directly criticize Islam.
Despite the clashes, the State Patrol reports no injuries. Those arrested are currently being held in the Ramsey County Jail.