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Christian And Anti-Fascist Groups Brawl (Video)

| by Michael Allen
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A brawl broke out on July 16 between some Christian demonstrators and anti-fascist protesters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (video below).

According to CBC News, members of Street Church Ministries were holding an "In Defense of Christianity" event in front of city hall where Bill Whatcott, an anti-abortion and anti-gay activist, was scheduled to speak.

However, members of Calgary Anti-Fascist Action (CAFA) staged a counter-protest.

Shoving and pushing broke out between the two groups on a sidewalk near city hall. The scuffle escalated to punching and kicking in a nearby street.

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Several people were treated for minor injuries by paramedics, but no one was arrested.

Police Det. Keith Silvester said: "Investigators will be looking into it, going over video ... and if we deem that arrests are necessary, people will be arrested and charged."

According to Silvester, Street Church Ministries had a permit for their event.

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The cops didn't expect CAFA to show up even though there had been prior clashes between to the two organizations in front of city hall.

The Street Church Ministries website describes their city hall demonstrations:

We preach the gospel at the steps of City Hall. During the years, God shifted our ministry from preaching just to the poor and the homeless, to preaching to politicians and business people, that leave and enter City Hall. At the same time, every week, we feed thousands of homeless, and yet we have an opportunity to proclaim Jesus to all creation, to the rich and the poor. Since 2007, all have the chance through the preaching of salvation by repentance to receive His love, grace and mercy. He died for all who will believe and turn from their wicked ways.

CAFA issued a statement on Facebook:

Today's violence seems to have generated a fair amount of controversy. We'd like to make CAFA's opinion on this very clear: queer allies don't defend their attackers. If you hear about queer people being assaulted, and then try to make the conversation about how they shouldn't have been in that place, or were there in the wrong way, you're a bigot.

Punches were thrown and a fight broke out when members of Street Church and their friends came down the steps to antagonize the protesters. The reasoning, supposedly, was that someone had unplugged their speakers- no justification for assault. (Edit: To further clarify, Street Church people were coming down the steps, speaker in hand, to thrust it in protesters' faces.)

There are reports of mace being used by a non-CAFA queer ally, which unfortunately hit people on both sides. The police eventually formed a line on the steps of City Hall, giving Street Church the plaza to themselves.

CAFA understands and respects the rights of marginalized people to self-defend. Those present today defended themselves in the way most appropriate to the circumstances, with the help of valuable allies. If queer people (who understand this specific situation far better than you) take issue with your condescending, unhelpful "advice," you are not an ally. CAFA has no solidarity with you. We do not tolerate victim blamers.

Sources: CBC News, Street Church Ministries, Calgary Anti-Fascist Action/Facebook / Photo credit: Joshua Ommen/Flickr, Practice Velocity, George Street Church of Christ

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