White Nationalist and alt-right figure Richard Spencer on Saturday led a protest against President Trump’s decision this week to strike a Syrian airbase, leading to a handful of skirmishes with counter-protesters in front of the White House.
Spencer has long been an outspoken supporter of Trump and his policies, including building a wall on the southern border and banning refugees form entering the country. But his decision to lead a handful of protesters to speak out against the strike has been emblematic of the split between Trump and some of his most ardent and far-right supporters.
“We want walls, not war!” chanted some of the protesters accompanying Spencer in front of the White House.
One of them held a sign that read, “No more wars 4 Israel.”
Spencer and his supporters were confronted by counter-protesters near the White House, who also shouted chants in an apparent effort to drown out Spencer’s crowd.
At one point, Spencer called the counter-protesters, “storm troopers of the establishment.”
“Commies go home,” Spencer and his supporters chanted while opponents yelled, “Nazis go home.”
After alt-right protesters chanted, “Make America great again,” the opposing group chanted, “Make America punch Richard again.”
The two sides were seen on social media pushing and shoving each other at one point.
Video also showed someone apparently throwing glitter at Spencer toward the end of the protest.
At one point, police are seen running after someone in the crowd.
Although Trump supporters in the alt-right and white nationalist movements have expressed support for most of the president’s agenda, his decision to strike a Syrian airbase, after the government was suspected of using chemical weapons, has caused a split among some of his supporters.
Some, including “new right” blogger Mike Cernovich have claimed the chemical attack was a hoax and a “false flag.”
After the US strike, some Trump supporters like Spencer even added a Syrian flag to their handles on social media.
Others, like Spencer, appear to be arguing against any foreign involvement of the US.
Spencer and his supporters also seemed to be focusing much of their attention against Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband and one of the president’s closest advisors.
After the protest, Spencer and some of his friends were seen running away from the area, trying to find a car to leave the area. Spencer said on social media that counter-protesters surrounded and “slammed” on a cab, forcing him and the driver to get out of the car.
He was eventually seen on social media getting into another cab.
DC’s Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to questions whether there were arrests or injuries at the protest.
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