Showing up to photograph a pro-Trump Make America Great Again (MAGA) rally in downtown Omaha did not disappoint when a couple dozen Antifa protestors arrived. As the Trump supporters began their march west on Farnum Street from 13th Street, there was a heavy police presence to include mounted, bike, and pre-staged cruisers.
At the onset of the march there was only one protestor who followed the group on the other side of the street, holding a sign in one hand and a bullhorn in the other hand, and was continually yelling at the Trump supporters. As the march ended near the Douglas County Courthouse, a small group of peaceful protestors gathered outside of the Trump rally. All was good until the Antifa arrived, dressed all in black, faces covered, beating a drum and waving Communist flags.
The arrival of the Antifa did not stop the President Trump supporters from carrying on with their rally as several from that group moved out to confront the Antifa by chanting "USA! USA! USA!" to drown out the protestors drum and shouting through a bullhorn. The Omaha Police officers quickly moved in to create a barrier between the two groups. The police asked the Antifa to move back to where the peaceful protestors were standing so as to create some distance from the MAGA rally. The Antifa refused police orders and that's when things became interesting.
The first arrest came as a protestor began resisting police orders by shoving the bicycle back towards the police. The police eventually got the more than two dozen protestors moved to an area where the peaceful protestors were standing. Shortly thereafter, an Antifa protestor threw some type of a smoke device at the police which escalated tensions.
As the police diffused the device their tactics changed from controlling the protestors to dispersing them. To aid in dispersal the police fired pepper ball rifles at the feet of the protestors. In total, eight protestors were arrested. This whole time the Trump rally continued, unaffected by the protestors. Once the police had successfully dispersed the Antifa protestors, the peaceful protestors returned and stayed until the rally was over.
For more information about what happened, Omaha's KPTM Fox42 Steve Sanders reported on the protests. I walked him through the events of that morning and he used several of my photographs for their 9pm news broadcast.