At least two law enforcement officers were injured on Monday during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the State Capitol to counter a rally by a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa.
The clash erupted as California Highway Patrol and police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage following their protest.
About 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles, then rushed the officers.
Two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. CHP Capt. Andy Menard said one officer who was struck in the face by an object was released from the hospital. The second officer was getting X-rays after apprehending a person suspected of throwing objects, Capt. Menard said.
Three Occupy members were arrested on suspicion of disobeying an officer.
Members of the South Africa Project were trying to draw attention to what they said is black-on-white violence in that country. Organisers said similar demonstrations were planned in other States and elsewhere in California.
The group was mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.
Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, said they came from the San Francisco Bay area to counter what they called a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Morris Gulett, a spokesman for the South Africa Project, called the clash in Sacramento unfortunate.
“It’s not surprising that the counter-protesters got in the way of the peaceful march we wanted it to be,” Mr. Gulett said. “Our intention was to conduct a peaceful march.”
Ryan Stark, 26, who said he is part of Occupy Sacramento, said he joined the protesters challenging the South Africa Project demonstration because there needed to be a showdown.
“I didn’t throw anything... but these sorts of demonstrations need to happen,” he said, referring to the counter protest. “They do have the right to say what they want, but we’re not going to let it fly.”
Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old girl with Occupy Oakland was taken to Juvenile Hall after she became combative and assaulted an officer who asked her to pick up litter, California Highway Patrol Officer Sean Kennedy said.