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Five Arrested at University of Washington Patriot Prayer Rally

UW’s College Republicans had filed a lawsuit against the school last week.

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Five people were taken into custody yesterday as clashes erupted at the University of Washington during a Patriot Prayer rally staged by the school’s College Republicans, who had sued the school over the right to hold the rally.

University of Washington and Seattle Police were on hand to separate those attending the rally and two groups of counter-protesters who showed up to voice opposition to Patriot Prayer and its figurehead, Joey Gibson.

According to a report from KUOW,

Before the event started Saturday, College Republicans acted as gate-keepers, advising officers who was allowed to enter the space cordoned off for the rally that became the stage for speakers.

They were joined by several members of the Proud Boys, a group that has been referred to as alt-right, as well as Patriot Prayer supporters and conservative students. Some of those attending the rally wore red caps with President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” on them. Others wore purple caps with a play on that slogan, “Make UW Great Again.”

Gibson hailed the UW College Republicans for having “the courage to be Republican, the courage to be conservative” at what he called “Marxist universities,” according to reports.

Scuffles broke out on the protesters side of the barrier, which led the police to intervene, taking two people into custody. Three others were arrested later for not protesting peacefully. There were scattered reports of pepper spray being used, but no law enforcement officials confirmed those rumors.

On Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining that prevented the University of Washington from enforcing a $17,000 fee against the College Republicans. The group’s lawsuit claimed the fee amounted to a repression of free speech.

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