COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dozens of angry counter-protesters followed Ku Klux Klan demonstrators as they left the South Carolina State House grounds an hour early Saturday after a loud and combative demonstration. Police in riot gear blocked off the entrance to a parking garage so the white supremacist group could exit.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dozens of angry counter-protesters followed Ku Klux Klan demonstrators as they left the South Carolina State House grounds an hour early Saturday after a loud and combative demonstration. Police in riot gear blocked off the entrance to a parking garage so the white supremacist group could exit.


The crowd was not pleased.


An hour earlier, several dozen Klan members ascended the steps on the south side of the State House, escorted by police, to protest South Carolina’s removal of the Confederate battle flag last week from its Capitol grounds.


A larger crowd of anti-Klan demonstrators ran at them, shouting, before police installed barricades..


The Klan demonstrators walked around at the steps, waving the Confederate battle flag, and some, a flag bearing a swastika. Some were wearing "Nazi Socialist Movement" T-shirts. Demonstrators chanted and shouted toward the crowd but made no speeches.


People in the crowd jeered and yelled obscenities at the Klan members. Others simply watched. Someone threw bottles and the crowd scattered, not knowing what was in them. At least one person was detained and possibly arrested.


The crowd stripped one Klan demonstrator who crossed the barricade of his Confederate battle flag, tore it and were attempting to burn it. Counter-demonstrators carried pieces of the flag through the crowd triumphantly.


The Klan rally was to go until 5 p.m. but ended around 4. While some counter-protesters followed the Klan to the parking garage, police stopped traffic in front of the State House after several fights broke out, people chased each other across Gervais Street’s four lanes of traffic and several cars stopped and men got out to fight in the middle of the road.


There was no indication that protesters involved in an earlier, anti-flag "black power" rally on the opposite side of the Capitol were involved, even though the rallies overlapped by an hour.


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