7 stabbed in clash in California capitol

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Authorities say at least seven people were hospitalized with stab wounds after a clash between members of right-wing groups and counter-protesters outside the California state Capitol building in Sacramento.

At least three others were hospitalized, according to authorities.

California Highway Patrol Officer George Granada says about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party gathered at the capitol for a rally when they were met by about 400 counter-protesters and a fight broke out around noon Sunday.

A large fight broke out after people carrying sticks rushed into the area where the rally was being held, a spokesman for the party said.

Emergency crews transported six people who were stabbed outside the California state Capitol building in Sacramento, authorities said.

None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening, Officer Matt McPhail with the Sacramento Police Department said.

The Traditionalist Workers Party had scheduled and received a permit to protest at noon Sunday in front of the Capitol. McPhail says a group of counter-protesters showed up to demonstrate against them.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has described TWP as a group formed in 2015 as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which aims to “indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.”

Matthew Heimbach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, tells the Los Angeles Times that his group and the Golden State Skinheads organized the Sunday rally.

Vice chairman Matt Parrott, who was not present at the Sacramento rally, says it was a peaceful march and blamed “leftist radicals” for instigating the violence. Heimbach says that in the clash, one of their marchers had been stabbed in an artery and six of the “anti-fascists” had also been stabbed.

On Twitter he is quoted saying “They got 1 of ours, but we got 6 of them. 6 Antifa on the way to the hospital.” Antifa is a slang term for anti-fascist.

A message left at a phone number for the Traditionalist Worker Party was not immediately returned to The Associated Press.

A post recently uploaded to site of the Traditionalist Youth Network says TWP members planned to march in Sacramento to protest against globalization and in defense of the right to free expression. They say they expected to be outnumbered 10-to-1 by counter-protesters.

California Highway Patrol officers managed to break up the large fight but that some members of both groups remain in the area, authorities said.

No further information was available.

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