A group of KKK members led by a Jefferson County "Imperial Wizard" known only as Derek were ejected from a Saturday "Occupy ICE" counterprotest by members of conservative groups the "Three Percenters" and "Proud Boys," who had organized the response.
"Get your ass out of here... go, go... get the fu*k out. You're racist."
Confederate flag toting protesters booted from Three Percenter/Proud Boy gathering pic.twitter.com/n5SSdBvZ6x— jacob ryan (@jacobhryan) July 7, 2018
Occupy ICE has been physically blocking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) buildings across the country to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of enforcing existing laws. The group has been camped out in front of the local Louisville ICE building at 7th and Broadway since early this week, calling for the agency to be abolished.
In advance of the event, Louisville police Chief Steve Conrad warned residents of the potential for violence.
"I believe a number of people coming to this event will be armed," Conrad said at a press conference on Friday.
Gary Foreman, a spokesman for the Kentucky chapter of the Three Percenters, said on Friday the group would be coming to "ensure everyone expresses their thoughts in a peaceful environment." He said about 100 people are expected to attend, including members of state chapters in Tennessee and Indiana.
Conrad said people have the right to carry firearms in Kentucky, but the police department won't accept violence or property damage in any form. He said mixing firearms with the intensity of the immigration debate was the reason he canceled planned days off for police officers in order to have more resources on Saturday. -Courier Journal
"The fact (that) emotions are so high on this issue and people's opinions are so varied, I think it’s important that we provide a place where people can share their opinions and hopefully we can keep them safe in the process," Conrad said.
The Proud Boys and Three Percenters regularly attend rallies and other events in support, or counterprotest, of public policy or liberal activism. In 2017, the Three Percenters were involved in the "Unite the Right" demonstration against the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, VA organized by white nationalist provocateur Jason Kessler - who was an active Obama supporter just eight months prior to the event. Kessler's motives were called into question when he was discovered to have written and performed African revenge-porn poetry about "white devils" raping Africa, while his Jewish ex-girlfriend said he showed "no signs of being anti-Semitic" following the "Unite the Right" rally. From Kessler's "running thoughts" blog in December, 2015:
The Three Percenters distanced themselves from the neo-Nazi element at Charlottesville after dozens of people were wounded and a woman, Heather Heyer, died after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters.
“While we support and defend everyone’s right to free speech, we will not align ourselves with any type of racist group.” -Three Percenters
Meanwhile, violence between left and right has been escalating. Last weekend at a conservative rally in Portland, a large skirmish broke out which led to a viral video of a Proud Boy known as "Rufio" knocking out an Antifa member. (Knockout at 7:35)
And on the 4th of July, 16-year-old Trump supporter Hunter Richard was assaulted at 2:35 a.m. at a San Antonio Whataburger restaurant while dining with two friends, when 30-year-old Kino Jimenez threw soda on the trio and stole Richards's red MAGA hat. Jimenez was arrested on Friday.
So went out for a 2am snack and my friend (wearing a MAGA hat) had his hat stolen and a drink thrown in his face (and mine, you can see my arms on the left of the video) pic.twitter.com/B3QjBFIxPk— Brax🕊 (@brxpug) July 4, 2018
The recent confrontations over Trump's immigration policy come on the heels of several members of the Trump administration suffering harassment in public and at their homes - most notably Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was ejected from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA after the owner's gay employees became uncomfortable in Sanders's presence.
In response to the spate of public harassment last month, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) called for Democrats to form into mobs and physically confront members of the Trump administration if they see them out in public.
"If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere," said Waters.