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Turn California Red rally could draw anti-fascist counter-protesters to the state Capitol on Sunday

Turn California Red rally could draw anti-fascist counter-protesters to the state Capitol on Sunday
The Capitol building in Sacramento. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A group of people who want Californians to elect a slate of conservative candidates in this week’s midterm election plan to assemble at the state Capitol on Sunday — a gathering that has prompted a call for a response from a Sacramento-based anti-fascist group.

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In a description of the Turn California Red rally on Facebook, event planners lambasted Democratic politicians, saying they had made California “unlivable for normal citizens.” Organizers plan to assemble at the capitol at noon.

“Let’s show these Democrat politicians that we are no longer silent and their seats are no longer safe,” the planners wrote.

By Saturday afternoon, about 150 people had posted on the Facebook event page that they planned to attend. The group has a permit for up to 500 people, according to a website of the California Highway Patrol, whose Capitol Protection Section has jurisdiction over the Capitol grounds.

An anti-fascist organization called Antifa Sacramento alerted its members on Facebook to the rally, warning that “the far-right is descending.” The anti-fascist group asked people to distribute warning fliers and to attend the rally so long as they felt “capable of intervening in the event of street harassment or attacks.”

Officials in Sacramento will be on high-alert Sunday. The CHP declined to say what extra security measures they might have taken in anticipation of the rally.

During the summer of 2016, a neo-Nazi rally at the Capitol escalated into a bloody brawl as white nationalists and skinheads clashed with counter-protesters, including some anti-fascists. Seven people were stabbed during the fight and the Capitol was locked down with staffers and tourists inside. Prosecutors ultimately filed criminal charges against supporters of the anti-fascist group and a man with ties to a white nationalist group.

11:10 a.m.: This article includes more information from the California Highway Patrol.

9:40 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4: This article was updated with new information from organizers of Sunday’s rally.

This article was originally posted at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

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