Snohomish mayor says alt-left and alt-right conflicts don’t define city

Jun 5, 2020, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm

A counter-protester wears a jacket with an Antifa symbol during an alt-right rally on August 17, 20...

A counter-protester wears a jacket with an Antifa symbol during an alt-right rally on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The city of Snohomish has seen some demonstrations since last weekend, and video posted online shows scuffles between counter protesters and some of the members of the Black Lives Matter protest, which included high school students.

Snohomish Mayor John Kartak joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss the Proud Boys versus Antifa conflicts at what were otherwise peaceful protests.

“We had, on Sunday afternoon, a situation where there was a threat and the threat was against our city,” Kartak said. “And that was by the Emerald City Antifa. There was a social media post that was put up and then taken back down. It was noted, and my police chief called me. Officers were ready to converge, if necessary.”

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“Just about every single business owner on First Street came out to stand in front of their own businesses,” he added. “We had a bunch of bikers come in and they came down to protect First Street. And so this is the remarkable difference between the Seattle model and the Snohomish model.”

Mayor Kartak says that members of fringe groups do sometimes show up to clash with each other, but says they have little connection to the community and don’t define the town.

“What’s taking place is there have been some alt-right, alt-left groups that show up … for whatever it’s worth, they don’t define our town,” he said. “Our community tends to be welcoming to all people of all races, all colors, all genders, in any way.”

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“So what happens is that there are media types who will come in and take advantage of certain imagery. There was some very ugly imagery that happened to show up,” Kartak said. “They do not define my community.”

Jason noted a few videos making the rounds, including one that showed the Confederate flag being carried, and another in which a counter protester, an adult, appears to punch a high school student participating in the Black Lives Matter protest.

“It’s just shameful,” Kartak said. “But since then on Saturday we had a very peaceful example of people showing up and holding signs and protesting racism, protesting what happened to [George Floyd] … It’s one of those things where we had a very peaceful demonstration with maybe up to 500 people the day before.”

“And then when this threat came down for Sunday, they decided they wanted to hit small town America … we did have up to five Antifa members that did show up, including a leader who apparently is very recognizable, and what they saw was a very unified community,” he added. “There were some very undesirable elements on the alt left and alt right, and what they saw let them know that they’re not going to burn this town down.”

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Snohomish mayor says alt-left and alt-right conflicts don’t define city