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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say 16 Antifa protesters were arrested on Saturday after clashing with officers in Center City.
Organizers of the protest rallied dozens to meet at City Hall to oppose the Blue Lives Matter March being held at the Liberty Bell.
Philadelphia police say 75 Antifa protesters were in the area of Broad and Arch Streets around 11:30 a.m. During the protest, police say, several members started to fight with police. Sixteen Antifa protesters were arrested. Nine of those protesters were issued citations and seven were charged with disorderly conduct.
The Blue Lives Matter March, organized by a popular group called Sports Beer & Politics II, began at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Market Street.
“In spite of all the negative press towards police, we want to show our support of our men and women in blue,” wrote Zachary Rehl, the Blue Lives Matter event organizer.
Rehl is the son of deceased Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Rehl.
The event organizers stated that they did not condone any violence in association with the rally. In fact, “any violence, racism, or display of hate by any group or individual is extremely prohibited,” organizers added on the event page.
Still, members of the Philly Socialists, Liberation Project, Workers World Party Philadelphia, OccupyICEPHL, and many other Antifa groups sought to counter protest against the march.
According to members of those groups, they were marching to demand an end to police brutality, the stop-and-frisk policies, and mass incarceration.
“No justice, no peace” counter-protestors can be heard shouting in a video. “No racist police,” they can also be heard shouting as they march.
Police can be seen redirecting them out of traffic and keeping the situation calm as hoards of people, some wearing mask and holding flags, gathered in the streets of Center City.
“We’ll tell the fascists at the Liberty Bell we don’t want them in our town,” wrote organizers of the “Fascists Go Away: March Against Police Brutality”.
One anti-fascist group, Refuse Fascism, attended the protest with a banner that read, “The Nightmare Must End: Trump/Pence Must Go!”
“Unfortunately we had 11 arrests occur in the process,” tweeted OccupyICEPHL.
Many organizations that participated in the Antifa rally have posted to social media asking for help with bail.
Officials confirm that while the two groups marched, they did not interact.