One arrested after pro & anti-Trump demonstrators clash at Evergreen State College
OLYMPIA, Wash. - One person was arrested and at least two cars damaged, after demonstrators from a rally and competing protest clashed on the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia Thursday evening, according to the State Patrol.
WATCH: Demonstrators from dueling rallies clash on Evergreen State College campus in Olympia. LANGUAGE WARNING! This video contains language some people may find offensive:
The college shut down operations at 3:00 p.m. as a precaution, because of potential problems between the two groups.
"We gotta set a vibe that we want to reach out, we want to talk, we want to have conversations," said Joey Gibson who organized the Patriot Prayer group. "Basically, we just want our point of view heard."
"I believe in peaceful protests, me as an African America male in this institution. I don't feel valued because of the way people are treated on campus," said Student Nick Jeffreys.
"They just threw a can at me. I just went in there to try and shake some hands, try and talk to people," said Gibson. "Not one person shook my hand. In fact, they just sprayed a bunch of stuff on me and a guy threw a can and hit me in the face."
Tensions between both groups were high but State Patrol Troopers in riot gear, and officers from other law enforcement departments maintained a heavy presence to make sure things didn't get out of hand.
Troopers said the man was arrested and taken into custody for disorderly conduct. He was accused of having a knife and a group of demonstrators tackled him to the ground, then escorted him to police.
No word yet on any major injuries, but there was some property damage. At least two cars had their tires slashed following the demonstrations. One of those cars belonged to the Gibson.
"There's a culture of hatred brewing here and we just want to stand up to it," he said.
The college cancelled classes for three days earlier this month following threats of violence and campus confrontations.
"We're trying to do our best to make this a safe place for all students who come here," said Evergreen State College professor Jon Davies.
School officials moved Friday's graduation ceremony from campus to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma for safety reasons.
State lawmakers plan to meet on Tuesday to talk about campus safety at Evergreen State.