EDMONTON — Dozens of police officers raced to break up a fight involving about 100 people in northeast Edmonton Tuesday.
About 30 officers were called in to separate two groups of about 50 people each, after a dispute erupted into pushing and shoving.
It started around 8 p.m. in a shopping centre parking lot located at 118 Avenue and 82 Street.
One group was chanting “Black lives matter,” the other was chanting “all lives matter.”
People on both sides of the dispute told CTV News Edmonton they were not affiliated with any particular groups.
The group calling themselves “patriots” accused the others of being “anti-fascists,” while people on that side accused their rivals of being “Nazis.”
“We’re not hateful. I’m a proud Canadian Patriot. I love my country. I’m tired of seeing racial division. We just believe all lives are equal, all lives matter,” said one man involved in the skirmish, who declined to provide his name or affiliation.
Police briefly handcuffed and detained one man after a fight nearly broke out, but he was released when the two sides dispersed around 9:15 p.m.
Victoria Stevens, who lives in nearby Delton, said she saw a “Canadian Patriots” event posted online, and came to protest them.
“I couldn’t let this happen without being down here to fight this white supremacy and this racism,” Stevens said.
Members of the “patriots” group repeatedly denied accusations that they were racist or a hate group, but Stevens didn’t buy that.
“Of course they say they’re not. Because they know Nazi is a bad word. They know white supremacy is not something people want to hear, but they are. They absolutely are,” Stevens said.
Police were seen physically stopping the fight from continuing, but it didn’t appear that anyone was injured and a Staff Sgt. said no charges were expected.