A small and peaceful demonstration in an Ohio town to support the Black Lives Matter movement at the weekend was overwhelmed when hundreds of counter-protesters – some armed with rifles or baseball bats – harassed the group.
Related: Supreme court blocks Trump from cancelling Daca immigration program – follow live
Alicia Gee, a 36-year-old substitute school teacher, expected about 50 people to attend a demonstration – the first protest she had ever organized, she told the Cincinnati Enquirer – but almost twice as many turned out.
The rally was intended to show solidarity with the minority black community in Bethel, a mostly white town of about 2,800 people 30 miles east of Cincinnati, she added.
But the small group of protesters were overwhelmed when roughly 700 counter-protesters turned up to show their opposition to the kind of rallies and marches against racism and police brutality sweeping the nation since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis in May.