Four arrested during confrontation at Denver rally “against Sharia”

Denver Police reported that four people were arrested in the chaos “for disturbance, assault, threats, and an active warrant.”

Two anarchist protesters are thrown to the ground and detained by police after they tried to start a fight with bikers leaving the park. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Two anarchist protesters are thrown to the ground and detained by police after they tried to start a fight with bikers leaving the park. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Two anarchist protesters are detained by police after they tried to start a fight with bikers leaving a rally “against Sharia” atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

On Saturday afternoon, the area above the Capitol steps was filled with bikers, militia members and people wearing Donald Trump T-shirts for what organizers described as a rally against Sharia law. Below them, a large group of counter-protesters, many with faces covered in black, lined Lincoln street.

The rally was one of several nationwide organized online, attracting extremists — and counter-protesters.

The Associated Press described the Denver rally as about 175 protesters, who held their rally on the Capitol grounds, singing the national anthem and waving signs. Around 200 counter-protesters gathered across the street with signs expressing support for Muslims. About 100 police officers were in between.

The groups spent the better part of two hours mostly yelling up and down the hill at each other through bullhorns.

At 5 p.m., the event permit expired. The group atop the steps had to exit together, escorted by police. Tensions rose as they crossed Liberty Park, between Lincoln St. and Broadway, and passed the opposing group of anarchists and angry “anti-fascists.” Police in protective gear appeared as state troopers ran to separate the groups. Officials shut down Liberty Park until the rally group disappeared.

Denver Police reported that four people were arrested in the chaos “for disturbance, assault, threats, and an active warrant.”

Zach Debiore hollers at the start of a rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Zach Debiore hollers down to counter protesters below. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Bikers against radical Islam A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;

Bikers Against Radical Islam face their opponents down the hill. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

While some young men wearing white power symbols were ejected from the event by police, the protest was, overall, a mixed group. Many people wore leather vests reading “Bikers Against Radical Islam.” Others’ clothes read “III,” identifying themselves as part of the “three percenter” militia movement.

One of the three percenters, who asked not to be named, said her militia group aims to protect the Constitution, and emphasized that it was solely “radical” Islam that she came to speak out about.

The rally was observed by a U.S. Justice Department Community Relations Service, a “peacemaker” group that works on issues pertaining to “community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability.”

Anarchist protesters sprint away from pursuing police officers. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Anarchist protesters sprint away from pursuing police officers. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A group of white supremicest ralliers face a following crowd of hecklers after being ejected from the event by police. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
A group of white supremacist demonstrators face a crowd of hecklers after being ejected from the event by police. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
A rally atop the Capitol steps. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Caryn Sodaro yells across police tape as she and others block ralliers' exit. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Caryn Sodaro yells across police tape as she and others block rally attendees’ exit. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A state trooper tells a Biker against Sharia Law named Hellboy that the group must turn back when anarchist protesters blocked their exit. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
A state trooper tells a demonstrator that the group must turn back when anarchists blocked their exit. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Protesters leave clad in battle gear. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Protesters leave clad in protective gear. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A biker argues with a state trooper who ordered him to exit the park. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
A man argues with a state trooper who ordered him to exit the park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Riot police hold a line between protest groups. A rally against Sharia law atop the Capitol steps, June 10, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; rally; protest; sharia law; islamophobia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Police hold a line between protest groups. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.