A group of far-right protesters who planned to demonstrate outside Rep. Maxine Waters district office in South Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon failed to show up, but dozens of counterprotesters did.
"I am requesting those individuals and groups planning a counter-protest to not be baited into confronting the Oath Keepers with any demonstrations in opposition - such an occurrence would only exacerbate tensions and increase the potential for conflict", Waters said in a statement she released Wednesday.
At one point, a pickup truck drove by and the counter-protesters got into a brief confrontation with the men inside, though it wasn't clear they had any connection to the militia group.
The flag was stepped on and lit on fire as someone stoked the flames.
"This is not the American flag, this is their flag", some cheered. No one was injured or arrested at the demonstration.
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Attempts to reach a representative for Waters were unsuccessful. They were protesting Waters recent statements encouraging members of the public to confront members of the Trump administration wherever they might encounter them.
The group issued a "call to action" against Waters on Tuesday, telling members to prepare for as many as several weeks of protests in the Los Angeles area.
The Oath Keepers calls itself a non-partisan association of current and former military officers, police and first responders, ABC News said.
"The Oath Keepers would like nothing more than to inflame racial tensions and create an explosive conflict in our community", Waters said in a statement a day earlier urging counter-protesters to stay away. Waters is warning supporters that it will potentially be an "armed protest" because of the Oath Keepers' pro-gun stance and the fact that they have carried firearms at other demonstrations. Some held signs proclaiming "Black, brown and labor unity!" and "Resist!" Meanwhile, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers previously said it would lead "a coalition of community organizations" in a counter-protest at the location. "Violent right wing groups have no business here".
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