Partisans pick on each other in front of Texas Capitol

DPS troopers keep watch during dueling demonstrations at the State Capitol on Saturday, June. 10, 2017. (KXAN/Phil Prazan)
DPS troopers keep watch during dueling demonstrations at the State Capitol on Saturday, June. 10, 2017. (KXAN/Phil Prazan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – More than two dozen rallies across the country from Connecticut to Seattle were held to denounce Sharia law, which organizers say poses a threat to American freedom. Texans, and Americans as a whole, do not live under Sharia law. The protest in Austin Saturday morning ended peacefully but was tense at several moments.

The “ACT for America” protest against Sharia law was met by anti-fascist protesters, called Antifa.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Austin Police Department said none of their officers made any arrests. But DPS said they brought in extra troopers from other parts of the state, in case of trouble.

With Trump slogans and side arms, local members of ACT for America brought signs to the Texas Capitol. DPS troopers arrived when masked counter protesters descended from across the street. Antifa is an online collective against people they deem fascists. The partisans picked on each other through the barricade of DPS troopers as Austin police officers watched on. Most were elderly or recent college grads. They rarely give their names or talk to the media but drew a lot of attention from onlookers.

Despite the show of force, the protests ended peacefully. Joey Reyes heard about it from social media and drove up from San Antonio.

“They’re expressing their First Amendment right. As an American citizen dude, as someone who loves our amendments bro, who loves our bill of rights, I’m for that. That’s awesome.,” said Reyes.

Another sign of a divided America plays out on the south steps of the Capitol.

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